New tools for assessing information literacy

Knowing, feeling and doing




Information literacy, validity, test, measurement


There is a need for short and easily administered measures for assessing students’ levels of information literacy, as currently existing measures are long and cumbersome. We have therefore created a suite of tools, the “Tromsø Information Literacy Suite” (TROILS), for information literacy assessment. This suite of tools is freely available on an open platform for others to both use, adapt, and supplement. 

In this presentation, we introduce four TROILS assessment tools: 
1. a survey for assessing students’ knowledge of key aspects of information literacy 
2. a survey for measuring how interested students are in being/becoming information literate individuals 
3. an annotated bibliography for assessing students’ abilities to critically evaluate information sources 
4. a rubric for assessing students’ use of sources in their written work 

Together, these tools measure what students know, feel, and do regarding key facets of information literacy. We will discuss the tools’ development and present preliminary results of tests with students in higher education in Norway. 

Both surveys were developed using procedures intended to ensure acceptable psychometric measurement properties. These included expert consultation for content validity, student think-aloud-protocols for readability, item selection based on a pilot sample, exploratory factor analysis, estimates of reliability and criterion validity. The final surveys were deployed during the fall semester and will be used longitudinally to measure students’ progress over three years.  

Results from the annotated bibliography (source evaluation) and the rubric (source documentation) were compared with survey results to see whether what the students actually do in their coursework correlates with what they know, based on the survey.