Appalachian State University Information Literacy Assessment,  Fall 1999
Executive summary
1,951 students in Appalachian's Freshman Class participated in an initial assessment of their information literacy skills, September 1999. This test establishes a benchmark, which will be used to determine change in their skills when they are tested again as second semester sophomores and as seniors. Appalachian's educational goals for baccalaureate students include "the ability to apply methods of inquiry" and "learning as a lifelong process." The Library's Information Literacy Goals were adopted in 1997.
Assessment instrument: HTML Document (.html)     Adobe Portable Document File (.pdf)

Key results

  • Three out of four students know that most components of a Web page are protected by copyright.
  • Most students (97%) recognized the title of a periodical article in a printed citation, but the majority (62%) did not recognize the title of a periodical such as Time.
  • Nearly all (95%) of the students would ask a librarian for assistance with finding, choosing and using information resources.
  • Most Freshmen could arrange books in Dewey call number order but not in the Library of Congress classification order.
  • The majority demonstrated  basic skills in identifying potential information sources (64% recognized several ways to choose the best articles from a long list of citations. 71% knew that encyclopedias were good sources for finding introductory materials. 82% knew how to identify information contained in a book. 94% knew that periodicals were more likely to have current information than books, encyclopedias or bibliographies.)
  • Students generally scored high on questions involving terminology, although one-third would look for books in biographical dictionaries, periodical indexes, or gazetteers rather than library catalogs.
  • The majority (54%) had difficulty identifying information about the author and/or producer of a Web page.
  • The percentages of correct answers for questions related to scholarly vs. popular sources were generally low, ranging from 57% to 73%.
  • Selected sources  November 9, 1999