Are They There Yet? Determining Student Mastery of Learning Outcomes Based on the ACRL Framework

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Hendrigan, H., Mukunda, K., & Cukierman, D. (2020). Are They There Yet? Determining Student Mastery of Information Literacy Threshold Concepts. In H. Julien, M. Gross, & D. Latham (Eds.), The Information Literacy Framework: Case Studies of Successful Implementation (pp. 33–47). Rowman & Littlefield International.

Information Literacy Assessment
ACRL Framework
Academic Librarians
Computing Science Education

This chapter presents an approach for assessing information literacy skills based on the principles of the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Much has been written on how to teach the Framework but little research has been conducted on student assessment. The authors created an information literacy unit for third year Computing Science students that covered concepts from two Frames, Authority is Constructed and Contextual and Scholarship as Conversation. The unit included two workshops and a written assignment. Researchers qualitatively coded the written assignment responses, looking for written evidence of a student demonstrating a “knowledge practice” or “disposition” of a Frame. They then aggregated the codes into four learning outcomes.  Results indicate that 94% of students achieved LO1, identifying markers of authority; 70% achieved LO2, challenging authority; 37% achieved LO3, acknowledging scholarly conversations; 18% achieved LO4, demonstrating metacognition in their search behaviour. These results suggest that a higher proportion of students have difficulty understanding more complex information literacy concepts. This study emphasizes the need for information literacy instruction to undergraduate students as well as further research in effective assessment practices. 


This document is a preprint of the book chapter. 

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Book chapter
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