Applying Systems Design and Item Response Theory to the Problem of Measuring Information Literacy Skills

Lisa G. O’Connor, Carolyn J. Radcliff, Julie A. Gedeon

Abstract

This article reports on a project to develop an instrument for programmatic-level assessment of information literacy skills that is valid—and thus credible—to university administrators and other academic personnel. Using a systems approach for test development and an item response theory for data analysis, researchers have undertaken a rigorous and replicable process. Once validated, this instrument will be administered to students to assess entry skills upon admission to the university and longitudinally to ascertain whether there is significant change in skill levels from admission to graduation.

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