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Information Literacy Assessment

This guide is to assist in the development of tools to assess information literacy

Mission Statement

The American Library Association broadly defines Information Literacy as a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." WASC has identified Information Literacy as a critical learning outcome and has included it among its five core competencies. The Leatherby Libraries view Information Literacy and effectively capturing assessment data as a partnership between Librarians and Faculty. The library’s Information Literacy assessment program exists to support faculty in the inclusion of Information Literacy learning outcomes in their programs and courses, the collection of assessment data, and the selection of the most appropriate assessment tool for their learning outcomes.

A one page description of Information Literacy Assessment at Chapman University is available here:


The library's Information Literacy Assessment Committee has established the following dates and milestones for 2018 and 2019. 


  • April: Psychology Department SAILS test
  • May: Liaison Librarians assist faculty with writing Information Literacy Program Learning Outcomes
  • July: Planning for Fall 2018 SAILS & TATIL programs (available to any interested campus departments)
  • Aug: Additonal TATIL modules available
  • Sep: SAILS & TATIL websites go live for on-demand testing
  • Oct.- Dec.: SAILS & TATIL tests collect assessment data on Chapman University Seniors; Planning for new assessment methods


  • Jan: SAILS & TATIL websites unavailable
  • Feb: SAILS & TATIL websites begin testing for Spring 2019
  • Mar: Based on faculty interest and needs, other information literacy assessment methods may become available

WASC Core Competencies

In 2013 the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) revised the Handbook of Accreditation to include an expectation that each institution assess student learning and achievement in relation to five core competencies. The core competencies, intended to capture the broad spirit of liberal education, are:

  • Written communication
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Oral communication
  • Information literacy
  • Critical thinking

WASC defines information literacy as “the ability to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use the needed information for a wide range of purposes” (WASC Handbook 2013, p 51). Undergraduate students today can access an amount and variety of information today that is unparalleled in human history. It is less clear if they know how best to access it, how to judge the relative quality of information from various sources, and fully understand when and how to bring evidence into a discussion. Information literacy, then, encompasses a variety of skills from making the judgment that more information is needed, to searching the academic literature and web for more information, and then documenting what information was used.

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship.

Copyright ACRL from