Information Literacy Assessment Presentation


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15 minute presentation showing results of information literacy assessment in Freshman English classes at University of Connecticut's regional campuses fall semester 2011. April 6, 2012, UConn Dept. of Freshman English Conference, Storrs, CT

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  • Good afternoon. I’m Phil Poggiali, Undergraduate Education Librarian at UConn Stamford, and my colleague and co-presenter is Diane Mather, Undergraduate Education and Access Services Librarian at UConn Torrington. During the Fall 2011 semester, we -- along with our colleagues at other UConn regional campuses -- assessed the knowledge of information literacy inFreshman English classesbased on the results of a test administered before and after library orientation sessions.
  • The presentation will include a study of the ten-question survey administered to students; how questions were developed based on educational goals; and methods of data collection and analysis. Finally, we will indicate steps taken in collaboration with faculty to restructure library sessions and related assignments based on test results.
  • Our study was intended to measure the information literacy skills of students at the University. Information literacy has been defined as “the ability to know when there is a need for information, and to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand.”
  • There were a number of reasons for assessment of information literacy at the UConn campuses. The UConn Libraries Strategic Plan includes a goal for regular assessment of these skills.
  • Though we, the librarians, are expected to build information literacy into a curriculum, the one-shot library session may be the only time that students interact with us during the semester. At an average of one hour per session, we’re forced to teach an often overwhelming amount of material in a limited time. Because of the pressure to cover the most basic research needs of the student - and even uncertainty as to what those needs might be - we felt it necessary to determine the effectiveness of our library sessions with the assumption that our material would be modified according to the performance of students.
  • In developing the survey, we created a series of questions based on the information literacy standards defined by the ACRL and General Education Oversight Committee at the University of Connecticut.
  • Based on a pilot test that we conducted during the Spring 2011 semester, we created a ten question survey using aspects of information literacy: e.g., identifying research tools, developing search strategies, locating and evaluating information, and properly attributing sources. Here is a sample question, and the standard used as a basis for the question.
  • We presented this test to the students twice, before and after the library sessions. Depending on the campus, post-session tests were administered at different times (some librarians chose to test immediately following the session, others a week or two after). Questions were answered anonymously and test answers were recorded on an Excel spreadsheet.
  • The local Excel file held all the results from FE classes tested at all regional campuses. File set up with filters so that bef & aft results could be obtained across all 5 reg campuses, for a particular campus as well as individual classes. Across all reg campuses, post-library session scores improved for each question. Students remained weak on search strategies (8 & 9), primary vs secondary docs (7) and primary search box ( F’11) UConn WorldCat. Would like to see ave post score of at least 7.5 on each Q. Note the overall ave for all 10 Qs is close to 75. (max 10 pts each Q)
  • Overall 10 Q score improved over 10 pts, 10Q % change = 17%
  • Individ. Class results. Ave Score on Q 4 (citations) decreased post-library session. Note 3 fewer students completed the post than pre test even though this test was administered at beg & end of same class. Students forgot to click submit? One student left early. Tailor followup instruction, class assignments to focus on weaknesses of this particular class (still Q 7-9 primary docs & search strategies but gen database instead of UConn WorldCat. Differs from across all regional campuses results.
  • Large gain in understanding of peer-reviewed articles (Q 1) for this class. Also search strategies (Q 7 & 8) , but post lib session scores still fell short of 7.510 Q score improved over 20 points to 80.7 Did very well on some questions. Good we can identify weaknesses in understanding of certain concepts and work on those.
  • Based on results from the testing, we were able to restructure library sessions to focus on specific concepts that students seemed unable to retain. That involved meeting with faculty to modify the presentation of material and in-class assignments. I tried a completely new assignment with one instructor that had a greater focus on tasks involving search strategies and primary/secondary sources (based on what the instructor and I perceived from test results).
  • Information Literacy Assessment Presentation

    1. 1. Assessment of Information Literacyin Freshman English Courses at the University of Connecticut Regional Campuses Presented by: Diane G. Mather Undergraduate Education & Access Services Librarian UConn Torrington Phil Poggiali Undergraduate Education Librarian UConn Stamford
    2. 2. Presentation● Study of survey●Development ofquestions● Methods of analysis● Collaboration withfaculty
    3. 3. Information Literacy: The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand. (
    4. 4. “ Regularly assess undergraduates’ information literacy skills and adapt library Why assess? instruction accordingly to address changing needs and expectations. ”UConn Libraries Strategic Plan 2009-2014. Goal 1: Undergraduate Education. Strategy A (5)
    5. 5.  Limited time to cover basic research needs Why assess? Limited student-librarian interaction beyond classroom Helps to tailor session tasks to student needs Potential for faculty interest and involvement
    6. 6. The information-literate student:  Determines the nature and extent of the information needed  Accesses needed information effectively and efficiently  Evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his/her knowledge base and value systemFrom “Faculty Guidelines:  Uses information effectively toInformation Literacy accomplish a specific purposeStandards for HigherEducation”  Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use ofAssociation of College and information, and accesses andResearch Libraries (ACRL) uses information ethically and legally
    7. 7. Sample question Standard Three on%20Literacy9.29.2011.pdf1. Which of the following is true? A scholarly, peer-reviewed "The information-literate article… (choose one) student evaluates information and its sources Is written for a general critically and incorporates selected information into audience his/her knowledge base and Is written and reviewed by value system.“ experts in the field Is always available for free on “… [Students] learn to trace the Internet using Google or information to its original other online search engines source, establish which sources Usually does not contain a are most authoritative and bibliography suitable for scholarly discussion.”
    8. 8. • Distributed before and afterlibrary sessions• Post-test time varied• Testing anonymous• Survey completed on paperor online: How was the survey• Answers downloaded fromGoogle Forms Excel File to conducted?local Excel Data Analysis file
    9. 9. UConn Regional Campuses: Survey Results Analysis
    10. 10. Survey Results AnalysisPoint and % Change after Post-Test
    11. 11. Survey ResultsSample Class Analysis
    12. 12. Survey ResultsSample Class Analysis
    13. 13.  Mutual analysis of survey results and conclusions Collaboration Determining of areas for focus and improvement Librarian reworks presentation with instructor input Instructor and librarian develop class assignment(s) Instructor and librarian collaborate on integration of information literacy in curriculum
    14. 14. Diane G. MatherUndergraduate Education &Access Services LibrarianUConn Torrington860-626-6842diane.mather@uconn.eduPhil PoggialiUndergraduate Education LibrarianUConn Stamford203-251-0181philip.poggiali@lib.uconn.eduThank you for attending!