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Information Literacy / Fluency and Accreditation: Assessment Techniques

J.F. Mueller's List

Forced-choice Tests (e.g., multiple-choice, true/false)

Skills Assessment -- from Stanford University -- each of six modules includes 10 multiple-choice questions as a final skills assessment for the module

Information Literacy Skills Assessment -- from Millikin University -- 15 multiple-choice questions -- scroll down to Appendix A

Information Literacy Test -- from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey -- 25 true-false and multiple-choice questions -- scroll down to Appendix B

Information Literacy Assessment Survey -- from DeSales University -- 25 multiple-choice questions

Information Literacy Skills Inventory -- from Cabrini College -- 33 multiple-choice questions

Information Literacy Survey - from San Jose State University -- 11 multiple-choice questions -- scroll down to Appendix A to view assessment

Information Literacy Assessment - from University of La Verne Wilson Library -- 18 multiple-choice questions

Information Literacy Assessment -- from Carl Albert State College -- 10 multiple-choice questions

Information Literacy Questionnaire -- from the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities -- 16 multiple-choice questions -- starts on p. 79 of this long document -- a version in French follows the English version

Beile Test of Information Literacy -- developed by Penny Beile

Information Literacy Assessment -- from Madonna University Library, pre- and post-tests

Information Literacy Assessment -- from UW-Whitewater, University Library -- 9 multiple-choice questions

Information Literacy Quiz -- from Bellevue Community College -- 21 multiple-choice and true/false questions -- also find a variety of discipline-specific assessments and activities

TRAILS (Tools for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) -- from Kent State University -- "There are two general assessments (30 items each), as well as two 10-item assessments in each of the five categories (Develop Topic; Identify Potential Sources; Develop, Use, and Revise Search Strategies; Evaluate Sources and Information; Recognize How to Use Information Responsibly, Ethically, and Legally). The assessment pairs are parallel in terms of concepts addressed and may be used as pre- and post-tests." -- Free for use by library media specialists and teachers

SAILS (Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) -- also from Kent State University -- SAILS is a 45-item multiple-choice, college-level test aligned with the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. "Students are directed to the SAILS web site to take the web-based test. Each student may take the test once per administration. Responses are sent to a central database where data are analyzed and reports are generated and made available for download in PDF." "The SAILS test asks students questions about research strategies; selecting sources; understanding and using finding tools; developing and revising search strategies; evaluating results; retrieving materials; documenting sources; and legal and social issues related to ethical and effective use of information. The test identifies areas where students have strong information literacy skills and where skills need to be strengthened." There is a per-student fee for participation.

Information Competency Assessment Instrument -- from California State University, Dominguez Hills -- 27 multiple-choice questions

NetTrail Quiz -- from the University of California Santa Cruz -- 17 multiple-choice questions

Information Literacy Assessment -- from Ann Viles, Appalachian State University -- 28 multiple-choice questions



Authentic Assessments (see Authentic Assessment Toolbox)

Sample Assignments -- from University of Maryland University College

Portfolio Assessment -- from Teesside University -- description of portfolio assignments can be found in the appendix of this article, beginning on p. 32

Information Literacy Skills Survey -- from the Plano (Texas) Independent School District -- a series of fill-in-the-blank and short essay questions for the middle school level

LILO (Learning Information Literacy Online) Tutorial plus Rubrics -- from the University of Hawai'i Libraries -- The first link takes you to an online tutorial that can be used as part of a course or completed independently. A nice feature of the tutorial is that you can have students complete journal entries associated with specific information literacy skills in response to specific prompts. Those journal entries can then be evaluated with the rubrics found at the second link.

Information Literacy Quiz -- from November Learning, a company that provides a variety of development services -- includes 13 brief essay questions -- also includes answers to quiz and some possible follow-up activities

Information Literacy Assessment -- from Pasadena City College (adapted from following assessment by Topsy Smalley) -- contains nine constructed-response or short essay questions

Information Literacy Assessment -- from Topsy Smalley at Cabrillo College -- contains nine constructed-response or short essay questions

Information Literacy and Research Skills Course Assessments -- from Minneapolis Community and Technical College -- An excellent and extensive set of authentic assignments and tests that accompany this course on Information Literacy and Research Skills from the Library and Information Studies faculty. On this page you can find links to several information literacy assignments with their accompanying (and detailed) rubrics. Additionally, you can find take-home mid-term and final exams that require students to apply these skills. Finally, there is a link to a research portfolio and accompanying rubric that can be used across disciplines. Oh wait, there's more . . . but I'll let you explore.

Assessing Student Learning Outcomes -- from Dana Franks at Highline Community College -- scroll down page to find assessment which is a group activity in which students select a topic, complete a "Great Finds" task, and give a group presentation -- detailed rubrics are included

Alternative Research Assignments -- from Stauffer Library, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario -- a good list of authentic assessment tasks


Blended Assessments (some combination of forced-choice and constructed-response or performance items)

Information Literacy Assessment -- from the Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Community Colleges -- "The instrument consists of approximately 40 questions. There is a survey of library use attitudes, drawn (with the author’s permission) from Carol Kulthau’s book, Seeking Meaning. (See More Information Literacy Resources.) In addition to multiple choice questions, there are several open-ended questions. Several of these constructed-response questions are follow-ups to 'yes/no' questions. We found that these constructed responses, while not scored, provide valuable insight into how students seek, find and use information." You will have to login with the provided ID and password to view the assessment.

Bay Area Community Colleges Information Competency Assessment -- from -- includes 47 multiple-choice, matching, and short-answer items and 12 performance exercises -- see detailed rubrics


Compiled by Jon Mueller (, Professor of Psychology at North Central College, and author of the Authentic Assessment Toolbox.

Please let me know of any other assessments not listed above or of any changes in the above assessments or links. E-mail me at Thanks.

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