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It’s Here! Announcing the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy!

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After three years of development, two years of field testing, and countless hours of creative innovation and hard work, Carrick Enterprises is proud to announce the availability of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy!

We are fortunate to work with many librarians, professors, measurement and evaluation experts, and other professionals on the development of this test. We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with these creative people and to benefit from their insights and wisdom.


Test Item Developers
Jennifer Fabbi – Cal State San Marcos
Hal Hannon – Palomar and Saddleback Colleges
Angela Henshilwood – University of Toronto
Lettycia Terrones – Los Angeles Public Library
Dominique Turnbow – UC San Diego
Silvia Vong – University of Toronto
Kelley Wantuch – Los Angeles Public Library

Test Item Reviewers
Joseph Aubele – CSU Long Beach
Liz Berilla – Misericordia University
Michelle Dunaway – Wayne State University
Nancy Jones – Encinitas Unified School District

Cognitive Interviewers
Joseph Aubele – CSU Long Beach
Sophie Bury – York University, Toronto
Carolyn Gardner – CSU Dominguez Hills
Jamie Johnson – CSU Northridge
Pearl Ly – Skyline College
Isabelle Ramos – CSU Northridge
Silvia Vong – University of Toronto

Field Test Participants
Andrew Asher – Indiana University
Joseph Aubele – California State University, Long Beach
Sofia Birden – University of Maine Fort Kent
Rebecca Brothers – Oakwood University
Sarah Burns Feyl – Pace University
Kathy Clarke – James Madison University
Jolene Cole – Georgia College
Gloria Creed-Dikeogu – Ottawa University
David Cruse – Adrian College
April Cunningham – Palomar College
Diane Dalrymple – Valencia College
Christopher Garcia – University of Guam
Rumi Graham – University of Lethbridge
Adrienne Harmer – Georgia Gwinnett College
Rosita Hopper – Johnson & Wales University
Suzanne Julian – Brigham Young University
Cynthia Kane – Emporia State University
Martha Kruy – Central Connecticut State University
Jane Liu – Pomona College
Talitha Matlin – California State University at San Marcos
Courtney Moore – Valencia College
Colleen Mullally – Pepperdine University
Dena Pastor – James Madison University
Benjamin Peck – Pace University
Carolyn Radcliff – Chapman University
Michelle Reed – University of Kansas
Stephanie Rosenblatt – Cerritos College
Heidi Senior – University of Portland
Chelsea Stripling – Florida Institute of Technology
Kathryn Sullivan – University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Rosalind Tedford – Wake Forest University
Sherry Tinerella – Arkansas Tech
Kim Whalen – Valparaiso University

Standard Setters
Joseph Aubele – California State University, Long Beach
Stephanie Brasley – California State University Dominguez Hills
Jennifer Fabbi – California State University San Marcos
Hal Hannon – Palomar and Saddleback Colleges
Elizabeth Horan – Coastline Community College
Monica Lopez – Cerritos College
Natalie Lopez – Palomar College
Talitha Matlin – California State University San Marcos
Cynthia Orozco – East Los Angeles College
Stephanie Rosenblatt – Cerritos College

The Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL) measures student knowledge and dispositions regarding information literacy. The test is inspired by the Association of College and Research Libraries' Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and by expectations set by the nation's accrediting agencies. TATIL offers librarians and other educators a better understanding of the information literacy capabilities of their students. These insights inform instructors of improvement areas, guide course instruction, affirm growth following instruction, and prepare students to be successful in learning and life. Each test is made up of a combination of knowledge items and disposition items.

About the Test

The Threshold Achievement Test assesses students' ability to recall and apply their knowledge and their metacognition about core information literacy dispositions that underlies their behaviors. Through this combination of knowledge and dispositional assessment TATIL offers a unique and valuable measure of the complexities of information literacy.

The knowledge items in TATIL are based on information literacy outcomes and performance indicators created by the test developers and advisory board of librarians and other educators. Knowledge items assess an array of cognitive processes that college students develop as they transition from pre-college to college ready to research ready. Mental behaviors tested include understanding (facts, concepts, principles, procedures), problem solving (problem identification, problem definition, analysis, solution proposal), and critical thinking (evaluating, predicting, deductive and inductive thinking). The items are presented in a variety of structured response formats to assess students' information literacy knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Dispositions are at the heart of a student's temperament and play an important role in learning transfer. Dispositions constitute affective facets of information literacy and are essential to students' information literacy outcomes. They indicate students' willingness to consistently apply the skills they have learned in one setting to novel problems in new settings. While some dispositions can be seen as natural tendencies, they may also be cultivated over time through intentionally-designed instruction and through exposure to tacit expectations for student behavior.

To address dispositions in the test, we use scenario-based problem solving items. Students are presented with a scenario describing an ill-defined information literacy challenge related to the content of the module. Following the scenario, students are presented with strategies for addressing the challenge. Students evaluate the usefulness of each strategy.

About the Reports

Threshold Achievement Test reports provide test managers with detailed and robust analyses of student performance. Sections include:

  • Summary results for knowledge and disposition dimensions
  • Detailed results for each knowledge outcome
  • Performance indicator rankings that identify students' relative strengths and weaknesses
  • Performance levels indicators ranging from conditionally ready to college ready to research ready
  • Disposition results with descriptions that align with students' scores
  • Breakouts for subgroups such as first year students or transfer students
  • Cross-institutional comparisons with peer institutions and other institutional groupings
  • Suggestions for targeted readings that can assist in following up on the results

Test managers also receive a set of supporting files:

  • Test Item document. A PDF document with a description of each test item.
  • Raw data file. Contains all of the scores presented in the report.
  • Student data file. Contains scores for every student.
  • Student data codebook. Describes the demographic options that were configured for the test.
  • Student Report zip file. Contains a directory of PDF documents with an analysis of each student's performance.

Test managers have the option to present students with personalized reports upon completing the test. As soon as the student finishes the test a dynamically generated reports is displayed describing the student’s performance and offering recommendations for improvement. The report content is connected directly with the knowledge outcomes, performance indicators, and dispositions of the module being tested.

About the Modules

Two TATIL modules are available now! Two more will come online in 2018. Read brief descriptions below and click on the module titles to see the outcomes, performance indicators, and dispositions. You may also download a PDF document with descriptions for all four modules.

Evaluating Process & Authority (the first module, available now!) focuses on the process of information creation and the constructed and contextual nature of source authority. It assesses how students understand and value authority, how they define their role in evaluating sources, and how they perceive the relative value of different types of sources for common academic needs.

Strategic Searching (the second module, also available now!) focuses on the process of planning, evaluating, and revising searches during strategic exploration. It tests students' ability to recall and apply their knowledge of searching and it tests their metacognition about a core information literacy disposition that underlies their searching behaviors.

Research & Scholarship is the third module and will be available in 2018. The test addresses students' ability to apply the research process to their college work in order to participate in the scholarly conversation and assesses how students understand and value their role within the scholarly community.

The Value of Information (fourth module, coming in 2018) assesses how students understand and value their role within the information ecosystem. It focuses on the norms of academic information creation and the factors that affect access to information. It tests students' ability to recall and apply their knowledge of information rights and responsibilities and it tests their metacognition about core information literacy dispositions that underlie their behaviors.

Learn More

The Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL) is a unique and valuable tool to add to your assessment program. Explore the Threshold Achievement Test website to learn more about the test, cost and requirements for administering the finished modules, and participating in field testing for the remaining two modules.

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