A Report on an Initial Assessment of Student Information Competency at Applalachian State University

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On September 9, the Appalachian State University Library will administer an information competency test to 100 freshmen as part of the University's Assessment Day activities. Designing, testing, and refining the assessment instrument is a collaborative effort involving librarians, faculty, and student support professionals on campus. The library adopted its "Information Literacy Goals for Appalachian State University Students," in August 1997. The freshmen assessment this fall will attempt to measure specific information competencies implied in these goals. The design of the survey instrument is expected to continue throughout the summer, and a pilot test with a small group of summer students is planned for early August. We propose to present the results of the assessment and describe the planning and activities preceding it.

The ASU campus fosters a climate of collaboration on many levels. One example of this is the Learning Communities Council, which serves as an advisory board for the Freshman Interest Group (FIG) program and promotes communication and collaboration among similar learning communities across the campus. The library is represented on the Learning Communities Council, and a librarian serves as a full team member in each Freshman Interest Group. Preliminary work on the assessment instrument will begin during the week of May 17 when one session of the training for FIG faculty and staff teams is being devoted to group exercises brainstorming ways to assess student information competency. An Information Competency Assessment Committee including faculty from a number of different departments will work throughout the summer to design the assessment instrument. The instrument will be tested in early August with students in the Freshman Summer Experience and administered to 100 freshman on September 9. A group of transfer students will be assessed on the next Assessment Day, January 20, and the first group of freshmen will be re-tested during spring semester 2001. We hope to learn a great deal about the assessment of information literacy during this project, and this presentation will recount the lessons we have learned as well as the results of the study.


Educating the University Community in a Dynamic Information Environment Synposium


Iowa City, IA