Module Nine: Library Resources


AssessmentRegardless of the form that library instruction takes, it is important that you and the librarians with whom you collaborate plan specific learning objectives for your students and evaluate the effectiveness of the instruction. Information is provided on the Project SAILS website concerning standardized, multiple choice information literacy assessment instruments developed by Kent State University for use in higher education settings. Information literacy assessment rubrics are the focus of the RAILS Project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Locally developed instruments also may be used to seek feedback on specific learning outcomes such as effective use of Boolean operators and wildcards and to solicit open-ended comments from students. However gathered, assessment data should then be used to guide continuous improvement of instructional efforts and activities.

Linked Resources

American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries (2012). Characteristics of programs of information literacy that illustrate best practices: A guideline. Retrieved from
Identifies characteristics of excellence for information literacy programs in two-year and four-year institutions of higher education, arranged by ten categories:  mission, goals and objectives, planning, administrative and institutional support, articulation (program sequence) within the curriculum, collaboration, pedagogy, staffing, outreach, and assessment/evaluation.

Ariew, S. (n.d.). University of South Florida library instruction assessment clearinghouse. Retrieved from
Identifies websites and resources on the improvement and assessment of library instruction. Includes professional resources, sample tools, recommended reading, and information on the use of teaching portfolios.

Gibson, D., & Oakleaf, M. (2012). An essential partner: The librarian’s role in student learning assessment (National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment Occasional Paper No. 14). Retrieved from
Provides an overview of various information literacy student learning outcomes and assessment strategies developed by academic libraries, both for general educational purposes and subject-specific outcomes. Discusses librarian-faculty and student-library interactions, the respective impacts of these interactions on student success, and challenges that libraries face when engaging in learning outcomes assessment.

Kapoun, J. (2004). Assessing library instruction assessment activities. Library Philosophy and Practice, 7(1). Retrieved from
Reports on a project at Memorial Library, University of Minnesota, Mankato, to collect information on library instruction assessment from peer institutions. Analysis of 57 respondents focuses on whether the libraries assessed instruction, whom they assessed, and method and format of assessment.

Kent State University. (2012). Project SAILS: Standardized assessment of information literacy skills. Retrieved from
SAILS is an assessment tool available for purchase by libraries; its test items are based on the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Tests for both individuals and cohorts of students are available; the cohort tests are compared to benchmarks developed by SAILS. SAILS groups ACRL objectives into various skill sets such as “developing a research strategy” and “documenting sources," among others. Project SAILS promises high validity and reliability of its tests.

Oakleaf, M. (2009). Writing information literacy assessment plans: A guide to best practice. Communications in Information Literacy, 3, 80-90. Retrieved from index.php?journal=cil
Argues for the use of information literacy assessment plans that contain a number of elements, including purposes, theory, tools/methods, goals/outcomes, explanations of the relationship of the assessment to institutional strategies, and reports of results.

RAILS: Rubric assessment of information literacy skills. (n.d.). Retrieved from
The goal of the three-year RAILS project is to make a set of assessment rubrics for informational literacy outcomes for use by academic libraries.  When the project is finished, libraries will be able to use the rubrics and share local adaptations.


Additional Resources

Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teachers (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Mackey, T. P., & Jacobson, T. E. (Eds.). (2010). Collaborative information literacy assessments: Strategies for evaluating teaching and learning. New York, NY: Neal-Schuman.

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