Below are several rubrics that have been developed under the ACRL Standards model for assessing Information Literacy:
The latter two rubrics were developed locally using the AAC&U VALUE rubric as a launching point. As a result, the assessed skills are similar, but the language is more specific to process-based inquiry, rather than a checklist of behaviors.
These rubrics will likely evolve somewhat under the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, but still provide valuable guidance in assessing IL in the classroom.
As with all skills, it is important to remember that new freshmen should be expected to perform lower on the rubric, while graduating/transferring students should perform higher as they have developed these skills and mindsets through practice. In all cases, however, it is unlikely that students at the community college level would perform at the Competent/Superior level —instead, we can realistically expect/aim for Sufficient/Satisfactory level.
Often in the past, the sole measure of whether students had learned “library skills” was whether they cited sources properly in their bibliography. In today’s information rich environment, competency in information literacy relates far more to critical thinking and reflective analysis than the nuts and bolts of searching a database or citing a source. Though these habits of mind are the most difficult to assess, the included rubrics applied to suggested assignments can provide useful benchmarks for determining a student’s level of understanding.
Additional meaningful assessment can be achieved by examining the final product of a research assignment (student artifacts) and assessing the level of competency of demonstrated skills. Again, this is a process on which librarians are happy to offer assistance or consultation, as these skills may express differently than what faculty members may usually look for in a completed assignment (for instance, proper grammar and sentence structure in a Writing class, or clear explanation of a medical condition in a Health Sciences class).
Librarians are happy to discuss these and other methods of assessment that may be appropriate to your course and your content, including polls, clicker “quizzes,” in-class activities, and in-library activities.
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