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Information Literacy

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Augustana librarians use a variety of methods to assess student learning. Students who receive any type of librarian-taught IL instruction in Augustana courses are asked to complete a questionnaire about their perceptions of the content and value of the session. The questionnaire also functions as a post-test, testing students' knowledge after the session.

When Augustana offered IL credit courses (2001-2015), Augustana's librarians used a multi-pronged approach to gain as much information as possible about the impact of the IL courses on student learning and on student attitudes toward library research. To assess student learning in the credit courses, Augustana implemented a number of what Lindauer (2004) terms “performance-based” assessment methods including pre-/post- tests, as well as course assignments and tests. The Augustana librarians were also evaluated by students in the IL credit courses.

Our research into the area of IL assessment is fueled by “institutional curiosity." In keeping with Maki’s (2002) definition, we are seeking “answers to questions about which students learn, what they learn, how well they learn, and when they learn […].”

The Augustana Library uses the online assessment tool WASSAIL for assessment.

Pre-tests and Post-Tests

Pre-tests and post-tests were administered as part of Augustana Library’s ongoing assessment examining the impact of our Information Literacy courses (2001-2015) on student learning. The objective of the pre- and post-testing was to measure students’ information literacy skills prior to the course and upon completion of the course in order to measure the impact of the course on the development of these skills.

During the first class of each course, students completed a multiple choice test. In addition to gathering demographic data, students were asked how they perceive the current success of their research (library, Web, catalogue, databases, etc.). An identical test was administered post-course. All test data was compiled into WASSAIL and reports were generated to analyze areas of strength and weakness prior to and after course instruction. 


Lindauer, B. G. “The Three Arenas of Information Literacy Assessment.” Reference & User Services Quarterly 44, no. 2 (2004): 122-129.
Maki, P. L. “Developing an Assessment Plan to Learn about Student Learning.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 28, nos. 1 and 2 (2002): 8-13.