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ACRL IL Standards Open Forum

I recently attended an online open forum on ACRL’s revision of the Information Competency Standards for Higher Education. The presentation / discussion was ably led by Trudi Jacobson and Craig Gibson, who co-chair the revision task force.

Trudi and Craig gave background on the project, described where the current standards are falling short, and identified desired qualities of new standards. They discussed two new elements that will be incorporated, threshold concepts and metaliteracy, and they provided a look at the structure of the new standards:

Framework unit
Dispositions and knowledge practices
Related metaliteracy objective
Possible assessments or assignments

They concluded with the timeline, which is ambitious and clearly reflects a commitment to hard work. A draft is scheduled to be released December 1!

If you would like to know more, I suggest three resources:

Read about information literacy threshold concepts here:

  • Hofer, A., L. Townsend, and K. Brunetti. (2012). “Troublesome concepts and information literacy: Investigating threshold concepts for IL instruction.” portal: Libraries and the Academy 12(4), 387-405.

Learn about metaliteracy here, and look for the forthcoming book:

  • Mackey, T., and T. Jacobson. (forthcoming). Metaliteracy: Redefining Information Literacies to Empower Learners. ALA Editions/Neal-Schuman.

During the forum I attended, there were lots of great questions. People wanted to know if there would be mapping from the current standards to the new ones, and how the new standards would relate to the AAC&U VALUE rubrics and to accrediting agency expectations. There were questions about SAILS, too!

Project SAILS Response to the New IL Standards

It should come as no surprise that we are keeping a close eye on the revisions to the information literacy standards. Every question in our current testbank is based directly on a learning outcome or learning objective in the current standards. The revision will have repercussions not only for us as librarians, but also for our products. With that said, we have made two key decisions:

  1. We are committed to developing new tests that reflect the new standards.
  2. We are committed to maintaining our current tests as long as they are of use to our participants.

Stay tuned to progress on the new standards, and for developments on the next incarnation of Project SAILS information literacy assessment