Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Course & Subject Guides

Information Literacy Fundamentals @ Pitt: Assessment

This guide defines information literacy and discusses strategies to incorporate information literacy into sessions for students.

Evaluation vs. Assessment

The difference between evaluation and assessment:

1. Evaluation

  • How well did you teach the class?

2. Assessment

  • What did the students learn?
  • How effective is an instruction program?
  • Student must demonstrate new knowledge
  • Tied to class learning objectives

Kirkpatrick 4 Levels of Evaluation

1. Reaction -- Did they like it?

2. Learning Evaluation -- Did they get it?

3. Behavioral Evaluation -- Did they apply it?

4. Results Evaluation -- Did it make a difference?

The three great questions about teaching

•  What do I want the students to learn?

•  How will I create an environment where they are most likely to learn that?

•  How will they and I know whether or not they have achieved it?

Assessment ideas

Examples of Assessment

Have participants respond questions like:

-What did you learn?

-What is unclear?

- Describe one or more takeaways from today's instruction  

- Describe changes you will make to your former approach to doing research

- If you were to attend another information literacy class, what would you like to learn?

PowerPoints and Documents

The information in this guide is based on information in a series of presentations and documents associated with an Information Literacy Workshop presented by the ULS Information Literacy and Assessment Working Group.


Why Assess?

There are 3 important purposes for assessment:

1. Ensure that students are learning what the institution or profession considers essential skills.

2. Provide a basis for improving learning.

3. Satisfy the need for accountability to institution or company by explaining clearly the institution's goals and accomplishments.

Assess a Single Class

Useful techniques for assessing a single class:

  • One minute assessment
    • Assessing as you go
    • Questions
    • Quick exercise
    • One minute writing summary
    • Open recap of class
  • Discussion
  • Active learning
  • Exercises and worksheets
  • Group work

Methods that can be used during or after class:

  • Faculty feedback
  • Pre/post testing
  • Student survey

Assess a Multi-Class Program

Useful techniques for assessing multiple classes (if you are invited for several sessions or are embedded in CourseWeb):

  • Student research log or journal
  • Student assignments
  • Pre/post testing
  • Online quizzes
  • Professional projects or performance
  • Rubrics [See Rubrics page]
    • Matrix of performance levels for a given task
    • Professional competencies or class outcomes
    • Breaks performance into levels
      • Beginning (lowest) level
      • Developing (second) level
      • Accomplished (third) level
      • Mastery (highest) level
    • Identifies performance characteristics for each level

Methods for assessing during or after class:

  • Assignments and papers
    • Check sources
    • Skills involved in completing assignment
  • Faculty feedback
  • Professional projects or performance
  • Student survey

Assess a Population

Useful ways to assess a large population:

  • Project SAILS
  • ETS: iSkills - Information and Communication Technology Literacy Test
  • LIBQual
  • Evaluation criteria or professional competencies to identify instructional goals and objectives