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Planning to Plan: InfoLit Assessment Projects

For many libraries it's summer time and there's an opportunity to devote attention to longer-term projects. In this post I want to talk about making plans for information literacy assessment.

As you think about your information literacy program you may have questions like these:

  • What can I tell my faculty colleagues about information literacy outcomes on our campus? I want to have focused conversations with them that lead to common priorities and collaborations.
  • What information literacy data can we contribute to our institution's accreditation self study?
  • How can we demonstrate the value of the library to our campus administrators?
  • At what point are students capable of critically assessing the information they encounter?
  • How does student information literacy differ at lower and upper division levels?
  • Are there tools that will help us know are we meeting our institutional learning outcome goals for information literacy?
  • How can I guide my students in gaining a deeper understanding of their IL strengths and weaknesses? Can I guide their exploration of what information literacy is and why they need it, as well as get feedback about where they can improve?

Carrick Enterprises offers a suite of valid and reliable information literacy assessments to help answer these questions and achieve these goals. Supported by a team of information literacy and measurement experts, these assessment tools produce valuable insights that librarians are using to inform their information literacy efforts. Whether it's identifying areas for growth, looking for evidence of improvement over the course of a student's college career, or bringing formalized assessment to accreditation efforts, the Carrick Enterprises assessments deliver what you need with pricing that respects your budget.

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  • What are your assessment needs?  Write a brief description of the information literacy assessment project that you will be tackling. What questions are you trying to answer?
  • What is the scope of the assessment? Do you need to know about individual student performance? Information literacy classes? Your library's information literacy program, be it a mix of one-shot sessions, scaffolded instruction across a curriculum, or another approach to working with discipline-specific courses? Are you seeking data or other information to contribute to your institution's assessment efforts, perhaps for accreditation?
  • Who are your potential campus partners?
    Who has the expertise and the funding you need? Perhaps more importantly, who needs you? How can IL assessment benefit a class, a program, the institution?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
    Who will want to know about your results? Who should be informed about your findings?
  • When will you give the test? When do you want to get results?

Selecting an Assessment

Explore the Carrick Enterprises assessment tools and select the best one for your needs.

Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL)
TATIL is based on ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.
Read about the TATIL test modules
Evaluating Process & Authority
Strategic Searching
Research & Scholarship
The Value of Information

See sample items and reports and learn about testing dates, pricing, and more on the TATIL web site.

Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (SAILS)
SAILS addresses knowledge and skills originally published in the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.
There are three versions of SAILS:
Cohort Test
Individual Scores Test
Build Your Own Test

See sample items and reports and learn about testing dates, pricing, and more on the SAILS web site.


Assessment projects typically involve time and support from many stakeholders. These steps provide a general framework for your project:

  • Obtain approval from your institutional review board, if needed.
  • Investigate ways to recruit students to take the test.
  • Explore payment options and secure necessary funding.
  • Write up a testing plan to include when and where the tests will be given.


  • What will you do with the results?
  • What are you hoping to get from the results?
  • How will the results help you answer your questions?
  • What actions might be possible?

Let Us Know How We Can Help

Schedule an appointment with a member of the Carrick Enterprises team. We will help you identify the test that will meet your assessment needs, walk you through implementation, and answer all your questions.