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In light of the new framework for information literacy being developed by ACRL, the Project SAILS team is working toward a new assessment. The current SAILS assessments, including both the cohort and individual scores measures, will continue to be available to any institution that would like to utilize them for the foreseeable future. In fact, we are rolling out a number of improvements to SAILS.

The emerging ACRL framework for information literacy will affect libraries and librarians in many ways. The framework will offer new approaches to conceptualizing information literacy instruction and creating assessments. At Project SAILS, we are challenged to create a whole new standardized assessment that, like SAILS, can be used across institutions and that can span a college career.

To assist us with this process, in March we brought together a panel of knowledgeable and insightful librarians and measurement experts. During a two-day workshop, we discussed the existing draft of the framework, including metacognition and threshold concepts. We reviewed types of assessments and discussed the desired characteristics of assessments and reports. We conceptualized what an assessment based on the new framework would look like. Work continues and we are avidly following the continuing development of the framework.

Members of the panel include:

  • Joanna Burkhardt, Professor; Head of CCE Library; Chair of Technical Services, University of Rhode Island
  • April Cunningham, Instruction/Information Literacy Librarian, Palomar College, San Marcos, California
  • Jessame Ferguson, Director of Hoover Library, McDaniel College, Westminster, Maryland
  • Wendy Holliday, Head, Academic Programs and Course Support, Cline Library, Northern Arizona University
  • Penny Beile O’Neill, Associate Director, Information Services and Scholarly Communication, University of Central Florida
  • Dominique Turnbow, Instructional Design Coordinator, UC San Diego
  • Steve Wise, Senior Research Fellow at Northwest Evaluation Association, Portland, Oregon

We are grateful to the members of the panel and energized by the conversation, debate, and exchange of ideas.

As the framework moves toward completion and approval by the ACRL Board, we are continuing our work. We will have a beta version of our brand new assessment ready for testing soon. We will be revealing the name of the new assessment soon.

What will happen with the existing SAILS assessments?