In November we made significant headway in our test development. One essential component of designing a test is defining the concepts/skills we’ll assess and identifying the levels of performance we’ll expect to see students demonstrate. Since this will be an assessment of undergraduates’ IL, we’re drafting plans for a test that will differentiate among students at a beginning level (at or near entry), an intermediate level (at or near completion of lower-division coursework), and an emerging expert level (at or near completion of a bachelor’s degree).
The Advisory Board generated lists of the IL skills, concepts, and dispositions that we have observed among college students throughout their education. We organized those observations so that they fit into the 6 frames of the latest draft of the ACRL Framework for IL in Higher Education. This provided us our first model of how students’ IL changes as they encounter the threshold concepts at the heart of the 6 frames. We will continue to refine our model and use it to guide our development of test items beginning in early 2015.
We have also added details to our plans for using innovative item types that take advantage of the flexibility that’s possible in computer based testing. Innovative items can include images and offer alternative response modes so that we can increase the fidelity that the questions have to students’ research experiences and gauge their knowledge practices and dispositions in ways that have not been possible with traditional multiple-choice questions. For example, innovative items might use an image of typical search results and ask students to select a set of appropriate sources given a specific information need. Determining our full range of item types is the next phase before we begin writing items.
Finally, in November, we began discussions with an expert in educational adaptive technology. We are using resources like Web Accessibility in Mind to incorporate elements of universal design at this early stage of planning for test item types and response systems.
We’re looking forward to a busy winter as we conclude our planning process and begin test development. I’ll keep you up-to-date with another post soon.
Hi, everyone. I'm April Cunningham, the project lead, and I'm going to be posting here regularly to update you on our progress.
October’s been a big month for our plans to develop a new IL test based on the draft ACRL IL framework. We’re moving full-speed ahead because we believe the framework will be adopted by ACRL at the ALA Mid Winter Conference in Chicago, January 30-February 3, 2015.
This month we created an Advisory Board of librarians and educators deeply committed to IL. We’ll be meeting with them and engaging them in online discussions so their collective expertise will guide the plans for the test.
So far we’ve discussed what types of results the test should generate so that it’s meaningful as a tool for planning and learning.
Next we’ll work on defining which information literacy practices students should be able to demonstrate at each stage in their development as undergraduates. We have our work cut out for us, but it’s a very exciting conversation!
Please welcome our Advisory Board (updated 12/7/14):
||Information Literacy and Assessment Librarian at Misericordia University in Dallas, PA
||Political Science professor at Ohio State University in Mansfield, OH
||Assistant Director of the Champlain College Library in Burlington, VT
||Head of Teaching and Learning for Wells Library at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN
||Librarian; student in the Education Evaluation & Research PhD Program at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI
||Dean of the Library at Cal State San Marcos in San Marcos, CA
||Director of Hoover Library at McDaniel College in Wesminster, MD
||English Composition professor at Palomar College and Saddleback College in southern California
||Head of Academic Programs and Course Support for Cline Library at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ
||Administrator of Support Services at Encinitas Unified School District in Encinitas, CA
||Chemistry professor at Pomona College in Pomona, CA
||Director of Library Services at College of Marin in Kentfield, CA
||Instruction Librarian at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, CA
||Professor in the Educational Leadership Department, Coordinator of the Community College, Higher Education Specialization for the Educational Doctorate, and Director of the Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership (C-REAL) at Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, CA
||Teacher Librarian at Poway High School in Poway, CA
||Librarian and Instructional Designer in Los Angeles, CA
||Instructional Design Coordinator for the UC San Diego Library in La Jolla, CA
||Senior Research Fellow at Northwest Evaluation Association in Portland, OR
As you may be aware, Project SAILS has been operated by Carrick Enterprises, Inc. since 2012. Two of the original SAILS team members formed the company in order to continue providing the SAILS tests to institutions throughout the United States and, starting this year, around the world.
Project SAILS is based on the 2000 ACRL Competency Standards for Information Literacy in Higher Education. With the upcoming move to the new ACRL Framework, Carrick Enterprises will be developing an entirely new assessment instrument. This is a big job and we plan to provide more information about the instrument at the ACRL conference in March in Portland.
We are extremely happy to be able to announce that Dr. April Cunningham has taken on the job of coordinating the design of this new instrument. April is the Instruction/Information Literacy Librarian at Palomar College, a comprehensive community college in northern San Diego County. She is active on the Learning Outcomes Council, which coodinates institutional student learning outcomes assessments (including assessment of Palomar's general education information literacy outcome). She is also one of the curriculum developers/facilitators for ACRL's Assessment in Action project. We could not have found a more qualified person to lead this effort. Please help us welcome April to the project!