In March, at the ACRL Conference in Portland, Carrick Enterprises sponsored an exhibit booth. Rick, Carolyn, and their colleague Paula McMillen fielded questions about the Threshold Achievement Test. Many librarians from institutions as varied as chiropractic colleges, state universities, and community colleges from across the country expressed interest in taking part in the field test scheduled for this fall.
The field test will generate data that we’ll use to set criteria for scoring the test and will give us the chance to analyze individual items. It will give the participating institutions a snapshot of their students’ information literacy knowledge practices and dispositions.
But the discussions at the booth weren’t all business. Attendees also got to take a Facebook-style quiz to reveal which of the IL frames best matched their personality. If you missed your chance to take the quiz and find out if you know yourself, your friends, and the Frames as well as you thought you did, then plan to stop by the Project SAILS, Carrick Enterprises booth at ALA in San Francisco at the end of June. And as you check out everyone’s name badges, look for their Threshold Achievement Test stickers that proclaim their Frame.
Threshold concepts and the new IL Framework were hot topics at the conference and we got in on the action. Carolyn and I presented a panel with Hal Hannon, an advisory board member who teaches English composition. Our panel, titled “Slow Journey over the Threshold: Recognizing Intelligent Mistakes as Markers of Progress,” adapted the concept of “intelligent errors” from the work of composition instructors like Mike Rose and Mina Shaughnessy who carefully studied students’ work for signs that they were trying to apply writing concepts or were misapplying concepts as they progressed toward the troublesome and irrevocable understanding that we now recognize as threshold concepts.
You can find more information and our materials in the session description. If you’re interested in how to approach threshold concepts in your one-shot and embedded instruction, you should check it out. If you didn’t make it to the ACRL Conference, you can still access notes and materials from many sessions about the framework as well as threshold concepts more generally by browsing or searching the full conference program.
In April, we’ll keep working with our advisory board members and our consultants as we continue drafting test items. Check back here for ongoing updates.