The Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (RAILS) project is intended to help librarians create and use rubrics for information literacy assessment. To this end, RAILS serves as clearinghouse for information literacy rubrics. In addition to the rubrics themselves, other links provide reading recommendations about the use of rubrics for assessment, publications and presentations based on the RAILS project, and training materials.
Type of Material:
Librarians and classroom teacher can use this rubric as is, or adapt it to local situations, to assess students' information literacy skills as a whole or in reference to information literacy assignments, and then design instruction targeted knowledge/skills gaps in information literacy.
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Identify Major Learning Goals:
Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (RAILS) is an IMLS-funded research project designed to investigate an analytic rubric approach to information literacy assessment in higher education. The RAILS project is intended to help academic librarians and disciplinary faculty assess information literacy outcomes. Over three years, RAILS will yield a suite of rubrics that can be used by academic librarians and disciplinary faculty to assess information literacy outcomes;a transferable model for analyzing rubric scores; training materials for librarians, faculty, and LIS students who seek to use rubrics for information literacy assessment; indicators of rater expertise in rubric scoring; and a clearinghouse for librarians and faculty to share:
-local adaptations of IL rubrics,
-rubric assessment results,
-improvements to instructional strategies and services based on those results,
-examples of increased student learning resulting from instructional improvements.
Target Student Population:
RAILS may be used by academic librarians and disciplinary faculty to help assess the information literacy skills of college/university students. It can also inform pre-service librarians and classroom teachers
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer skills.
This website provides a broad collection of rubrics related to various aspects of information literacy, as well as supporting training and documentation. The rubric is based on the 2000 Association of College and Research Libraries information literacy standards, and has been validated in several research studies (cited on the website).
As is noted on the web site, rubrics are voluntarily submitted by participating institutions, so quality of the rubrics varies. It should be noted that the forum for updating is now closed so some information is dated.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The website, specifically its rubric, is based on the 2000 ACRL information literacy standards. The results of institutional results of rubric use have been compiled and synthesized. The rubrics are easy to administer, and are applicable across academic disciplines. Its content summarizes basic information literacy factors in a compact, efficient way. Training materials help assessors learn to use rubrics effectively, especially those who are just starting to use rubrics to assess information literacy.
The rubric is based on old information literacy standards.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The website is well-organized and easy to navigate; the technology is low tech. The website is largely ADA-compliant.
The website is textual and not interactive. No help feature exists.
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