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Information Literacy

Definition and Learning Outcomes

An information literate person is a critical thinker who can locate, access, acquire, comprehend, and analyze information in various formats; synthesize relevant information according to the problem being investigated; use information legally and ethically to make sound decisions concerning intended outcomes; advocate ideas and create new knowledge; and become a lifelong, resolute learner capable of adapting to and contributing to a global and rapidly changing society.

To become competent in information literacy an NSU student must be able to:
- Access needed information effectively and efficiently,
- Evaluate information and its sources critically,
- Incorporate selected information into one's knowledge base,
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally including avoiding plagiarism, using appropriate citation formats, and demonstrating an understanding of copyright laws by legally obtaining and distributing information.

Assessment Methodology
1) NSU has selected the Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (SAILS) test developed at Kent State University. The SAILS test items are based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. SAILS is a selected response test that consists of a test bank of questions with a range of difficulty levels. Each student completing the SAILS will answer 45 questions, which are randomly pulled from the larger item bank. The SAILS instrument was found to be reliable with Cronbach's alpha over 0.80. External validation was conducted by comparing scores on the SAILS test with SAT/ACT scores. For more information on the characteristics of the SAILS, visit http://www.projectsails.org/abouttest. The SAILS instrument will be administered to at least 200 students as a pre-test in selected ENG 101 sections and as a post-test in selected ENG 102 sections. Both courses are general education requirements for all NSU students.
2) The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) is administered annually, with at least 300 seniors completing the survey. The NSSE data for seniors on items 1i and 1l (as used on the 2010 NSSE) will be reported.
3) The NSU Graduating Student Exit Survey (GSES) is administered to all NSU graduating students every semester. Annually, at least 600 students complete the survey. The data on the following GSES items will be reported to triangulate SAILS and NSSE data:
- In general, my education at Norfolk State developed or enhanced my ability to locate, gather, and document information through the library and other sources.
- In general, my education at Norfolk State developed or enhanced my ability to read and comprehend written and graphic information.
- In general, my education at Norfolk State developed or enhanced my ability to judge the consistency, adequacy and relevance of data, points of view or arguments.

1) Scores in the SAILS report are placed on a scale that ranges from 0 to 1000. Test takers scoring a 70% or better demonstrate proficient information literacy skills. 70% of NSU students will score 70% or better on the SAILS post-test.
2) Seniors will report levels of engagement/ perceived growth at the national average on items 1i and 1l on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).
3) 75% of NSU graduates will report on the Graduating Student Exit Survey (GSES) that their education at Norfolk State significantly developed or enhanced their ability to locate, gather and document information through the library and other sources; read and comprehend written and graphic information; and judge the consistency, adequacy and relevance of data, points of view or arguments (% 4+5 on a scale of 1-not at all to 5-a great deal).

Resource Box

Articles and Publications
Blevens, C.L. (2012). Catching up with information ltieracy assessment: Resources for program evaluation. College and Research Libraries News, 73(4), 202-206.
Diller, K.R., & Phelps, S.F. (2008). Learning outcomes, portfolios, and rubrics, oh my! authentic assessment of an information literacy program. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 8(1)., 75-89.
Everhard, N. (2007). Information literacy assessment: Putting the cart before the horse. Educators' Spotlight Digest, 2(1).
Kavanagh, A. (2011). The evolution of an embedded information literacy module: Using student feedback and the research literature to improve student performance. Journal of Information Literacy, 5(1), 5-22.
Manuel, K. (2002). Teaching information literacy to generation Y. Journal of Library Administration, 36(1/2), 195-217. doi: 10.1300/J111v36n01_12.
Mery, Y., Newby, J., & Peng, K. (2011). Assessing the reliability and validity of locally developed information literacy test items. Reference Services Review, 39(1), 98-122. doi: 10.1108/00907321111108141
Meyer, K.R., Hunt, S.K., Hopper, K.M., Thakkar, K.V., Tsoubakopoulos, V., & Van Hoose, K.J. (2008). Assessing information literacy instruction in the basic communication course. Communication Teacher, 22(1), 22-34. doi:10.1080/17404620801926925
Oakleaf, M. (2009). The information literacy instruction assessment cycle: A guide for increasing student learning and improving librarian instructional skills. Journal of Documentation, 65(4), 539-560. doi: 10.1108/00220410910970249
O'Hanlon, N. (2007). Information literacy in the university curriculum: Challenges for outcomes assessment. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 7(2), 169-189. doi: 10.1353/pla.2007.0021.
Rumble, J., & Noe, N. (2009). Project SAILS: Launching information literacy assessment across university waters. Technical Services Quarterly, 26(4), 287-298. doi: 10.1080/07317130802678936
Walsh, T.R. (2011). Evolution of an information competency requirement for undergraduates. Journal of Web Librarianship, 5(1), 3-23. doi: 10.1080/19322909.2011.546199
Williams, M.H., & Evans, J.J. (2008). Factors in information literacy. Journal of Political Science Education, 4(1), 116-130. doi: 10.1080/15512160701816234.

Websites of Interest
NSU Library Mini-Tutorials - The LBB Library offers mini tutorials on information literacy, database searching and evaluating information. The tutorials are also available for download from iTunes U.
Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education - The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) developed 5 standards and 22 performance indicators that denote information literacy competence.
Information Literacy in the Disciplines - A compilation of information literacy articles, standards and guidelines by discipline; assembled by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
Information Literacy and Accreditation - Accreditation agencies, including SACS, stress the importance of providing students with the skills and resources commonly associated with information literacy.
Information Literacy Assessment at WCU - A guide to information literacy assessment at West Chester University of Pennsylvania; includes examples of information literacy assessment tools.
Teach Information Literacy and Critical Thinking - A guide to teaching information literacy and critical thinking; includes exercises, handouts, slide shows, and more. Created by Esther Grassian, information literacy librarian at UCLA.
CPCC Library Instruction - Central Piedmont Community College's library instruction page includes videos and assignments on developing a research topic, identifying sources, evaluation sources, and using information ethically.
Metrolina Library Association - Includes presentation slides from the 6th Annual Information Literacy Conference.
LILi - Lifelong Information Literacy. Developed by a group of librarians in California to investigate information literacy instruction, standards, and definitions.