Skip to content

The cornerstone of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy are the outcomes and performance indicators we wrote that were inspired by the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.

Working with members of our Advisory Board, we first defined the information literacy skills, knowledge, dispositions, and misconceptions that students commonly demonstrate at key points in their education: entering college, completing their lower division or general education requirements, and preparing for graduation. These definitions laid the groundwork for analyzing the knowledge practices and dispositions in the Framework in order to define the core components that would become the focus of the test. Once we determined to combine frames into four test modules, the performance indicators were then used to guide item writing for each of the four modules. Further investigation of the Framework dispositions through a structural analysis led to identifying and defining information literacy dispositions for each module.

We invite you to read the outcomes, performance indicators, and dispositions that we created. They are available on the Threshold Achievement web site and as a PDF document. The work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Module 4, The Value of Information, is presented below as an example.

Many other librarians and other educators have developed learning outcomes related to the Framework. One excellent site that brings together the work of many librarians is the ACRL Framework sandbox. As of this writing there are 10 listings in the Framework sandbox for learning outcomes. Another worthwhile source is the collection of information literacy learning outcomes from members of Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) .

Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy Module 4: Value of Information

This module focuses on the norms of academic information creation and the factors that affect access to information. There are two knowledge outcomes and two dispositions that make up this module.

Outcome 4.1: Recognize the rights and responsibilities of information creation.

Performance Indicators:

1.1:  Identify reasons why plagiarism is prohibited.

1.2:  Determine whether or not a passage is plagiarized.

1.3:  Identify appropriate citation options when using material from a source that is cited within the source at hand.

1.4:  Identify the type of plagiarism when presented with a plagiarized passage.

1.5:  Recognize the benefits of copyright protections.

1.6:  Given a list, select the purposes of citation.

1.7:  Recognize the rights or interests of an author's sources.

1.8:  Recognize that where a source is found has no bearing on whether or not the source should be cited.

Outcome 4.2: Recognize social, legal, and economic factors affecting access to information.

Performance Indicators:

2.1:  Recognize how reporting on the same event offers disparate levels of coverage when the sources are written to be disseminated in different venues.

2.2:  Identify the relationship between individuals' organizational affiliations and their access to information.

2.3:  Identify reasons that some people's views are not disseminated to the larger community.

2.5:  Identify the meaning and scope of the concept of intellectual property.

2.6:  Identify the circumstances in which one's personal information may be used by other individuals, groups, and organizations.

2.7:  Identify reasons that access to information may be restricted, including copyright, licensing, and other practices.

2.8:  Distinguish among the common reasons that information may be freely available, including open access, public domain, and other practices.

Disposition 4.1: Mindful self-reflection

Learners who are disposed to demonstrate self-reflection in the context of the information ecosystem recognize and challenge information privilege.

Example behaviors:

  • Considering how to use existing intellectual property to spur creative work without violating the creators' rights.
  • Participating in informal networks to reduce disparities caused by the commodification of information.
  • Recognizing and suggesting ways to reduce the negative effects of the unequal distribution of information.

Disposition 4.2: Responsibility to community

Learners who are disposed to demonstrate a sense of responsibility to the scholarly community recognize and conform to academic norms of knowledge building.

Example behaviors:

  • Accessing scholarly sources through formal channels.
  • Avoiding plagiarism in their own work and discouraging plagiarism by others.
  • Recognizing the value of their own original contributions to the scholarly conversation.