Assessing The Assessment: Curriculum-Integrated Information Literacy Instruction - Brook Stowe

Assessing The Assessment: Curriculum-Integrated Information Literacy Instruction - Brook Stowe


This talk was presented as part of the 2nd Biennial Kathleen A Zar Symposium at the University of Chicago. For more about the symposium visit: As accreditation bodies have shifted their focus of evaluating the success of institutions of higher learning from input (e.g. volume and pedigree of faculty publications) to outcomes (e.g. measuring levels of student learning), so have academic libraries evolved from institutions tethered to the comfortable familiarity of their physical holdings to steadfast facilitators of an often overwhelming amount of information bombarding users from myriad external sources, with availability often trumping authority for the novice researcher. Central to the success of the academic library's standing in this ever-expanding information landscape vis--vis its pedagogical mission is the effectiveness of the design and delivery of information literacy skills through library instruction. By evaluating the pre- and post-outcomes assessment data of more than 2000 undergraduate students enrolled in freshman English composition and the subsequent multidisciplinary writing-intensive course it feeds into, this presentation will examine the peaks and valleys, hits and misses that one mid-sized, urban academic library experienced during its first-year implementing curriculum-integrated information literacy instruction. Working in partnership with English Department and other teaching faculty, the Library designed its linked outcomes assessment to measure the effectiveness of a heightened Library instruction presence aimed at increasing student information literacy skills at the introductory research level. Incorporating valuable lessons learned from this initial year, the Library will endeavor to increase both the level of integration in its institution's core curricula and the degree of effectiveness in helping students become information literate.

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