Rethinking Information Literacy Assessment: Relevance, Reliability, and Validity of Constructs and Measures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Information literacy assessment has traditionally approached student learning as the acquisition of declarative knowledge, which can be measured with easily-graded true/false and multiple-choice questions. Although such measures may prove highly reliable in test-retest situations, they are not valid measures of knowledge or learning, because they fail to test procedural and conditional knowledge, both of which are essential for students to reach the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. This omission can partially explain the disconnect between scores on tests of information literacy and students’ continued poor performance on research assignments. Furthermore, information literacy assessment has failed to address the social and emotional components of learning, which are critical for successful acquisition and application of information literacy skills. Self-efficacy, motivation, attitude, resilience, personality, and numerous other constructs impact students’ learning in and out of the classroom, and co-curricular activities are the ideal time for instructors to introduce their assessment. Students and instructors both have defined expectations for classroom activities and assessment, but the introduction of new structures and measures is natural in a new context. Broadening the focus of assessment to include social and emotional learning, as well as incorporating different types of knowledge, will result in the use of more relevant and valid measures, a better understanding of information literacy acquisition, and Librarians creating more engaging and effective instruction.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationLibrary Faculty and Staff Publications
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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