Assessing Student Information Competency
IMLS/ACRL Assessment Project Report #1

1)     Name and Institution  

Lori Buchanan, Austin Peay State University

2)     Name of Faculty Collaborators, Departments and Contact Information

Jim Clemmer, Al Bekus and Jill Franks, Languages and Literature (931.221.7891); I worked with Jim to create Humanities 1010-1020; Al Bekus has taught these courses and the companion “Heritage Humanities Fine Arts” courses from their inception; Jill Franks has taught HUM 1010-1020 during the last three years

Ted Jones and Danna Gibson, Speech, Communication and Theatre (931.221.7378); Ted has taught HUM 1010-1020 for several years; Danna has been involved for two or three years

Anne Berwind, DeAnne Luck and Elaine Berg, Woodward Library (931.221.7618); Anne and I have taught HUM 1010-1020 from the beginning; DeAnne has taught these courses several years; Elaine is involved for the first time this year

Maureen McCarthy, Psychology (Assessment)
(931.221.7233); Maureen will provide valuable feedback on assessment and run the assessment data entered by a student worker

3)     Course Name and Course Description in Which Assessment Will Occur  

Humanities 1010-1020 Writing, Speaking and Researching Across the Curriculum (see attached syllabi): Humanities 1010 provides intensive training in writing across the curriculum, in library research, and the principles of oral communication.  Emphasis is on gathering information, evaluating sources, and presenting ideas forcefully in both writing and public speaking; Humanities 1020 is a continuation of 1010, with emphasis on writing about literature and the fine arts.


4)Preliminary Plans for Assessment

·        Build on what is already occurring in Humanities 1010-1020; see syllabi, assignments and outlines under 8) below

·        Consult standard assessment sources, such as

The Art and Science of Classroom Assessment: the Missing Part of Pedagogy by Susan M. Brookhart

Assessing Learners in Higher Education by Sally Brown and Peter Knight

Practical Guide to Alternative Assessment by Joan L. Herman, et al.

          Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College             Teachers by Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross

          Assessing Student Performance: Exploring the Purpose and Limits  of Testing by Grant P. Wiggins

          Evaluating Library Instruction: Sample Questions, Forms, and Strategies For Practical Use by Diana D. Shonrock, Editor

·        Concentrate on “performance assessment” as defined by Brookhart, in which performance tasks are identified and a scoring scheme (rubric), which contains specific criteria matched to specific learning outcomes (e.g. ACRL IL Competency Standards), is developed

·        Utilize Brown’s and Knight’s “principles for sound assessment,” which include, among others, using several methods, assessing more than one activity and assessing the same competencies several times

·        Incorporate “authentic assessment” (real world performance tasks) as espoused by Wiggins, Herman and Brookhart

·        Define with clarity learning outcome expectations and share those with students in the course syllabi

·        Include pre-testing and post-testing of students in order to find out if their performances significantly changes as a result of information literacy instruction

·        Explore student self-assessment, classroom faculty assessment and library faculty assessment of the identified performance tasks using  common task-specific scoring rubric, and

·        Use student portfolios as a means to holistically assess the entire learning process


5)     Ideas on Assessment Instrument to Use

I am not sure of a specific existing instrument that I might use;  I am under the impression that our project task is to design our own instruments, but I am also very concerned about establishing validity and reliability for a locally developed instrument.

6)     Information Literacy Standards to be Assessed

·        Assess ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standard Three dealing with evaluation of sources

·        Use Evaluation as the framework for teaching many IL concepts and as the main theme in all assignments

·        Use the specific IS objectives found in the ACRL Instruction Section’s Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction:  A Model Statement for Academic Librarians as a guide for both instruction and assessment

7)     Integration of Information Literacy in the Selected Courses

·        Already thoroughly integrated into these courses (see attached syllabi)

·        Nearly all writing and speaking assignments require integration of sources, which opens door for information literacy instruction

·        Information literacy assignments dovetail as much as possible with the papers and speeches which students prepare

8)     Information Literacy Assignments and Instruction Outlines

See attached assignments and outlines, which will be revamped using evaluation (IL Competency Standard Three) as the framework.


9)     Other Anticipated Activities Related to This Project

·        Other courses will be further influenced by the information literacy instruction integrated in the Humanities 1010-1020 courses

·        IL Competency Standards and IS Objectives will impact other courses

·        IL assessment will more likely occur in other courses


10)      Faculty Collaboration on This Project to Date  

·        IL Initiative presentations, which involved Humanities 1010-1020 faculty as well as other campus faculty, occurred several times this semester

·        Informal conversations among various faculty involved in this project have been taking place this semester