Assessing information literacy and inquiry learning

TLs assess student learning to inform their own teaching, programs and services therefore evaluation and assessments are pivotal to enhancing student learning and the teaching role of the TL. Standard 2.4 of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the Australian School Library Association (ASLA) joint statement: Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians clearly articulates the indicators expected of an excellent TL in terms of measuring student learning and evaluating library programs and services. Working towards this standard enables TLs to provide evidence that what they are doing as individuals and as a profession makes a positive contribution to student learning. TLs who are able to provide such evidence will be more effective in their teaching. (Stripling 2007) It may also encourage teacher confidence in the value that the TL brings to the collaborative planning process. TLs can use this data to continue to contribute to student achievement through advocacy for best practice in whole school policy and increases in budgets and resources.

Evidence based practice is seen as an effective way of documenting exactly how a teacher influences student learning. (Todd 2003). Action research is an effective tool for examining teaching, programs and services to gather evidence of student achievement. It is usually approached as a collaborativeprocess based on case study methodology and is particularly well suited to the project based, inquiry learning cited earlier as best practice in developing 21st C skills in our students. (Harada 2004).  Student achievement in information literacy is best measured as an ongoing and integral part of the teaching learning cycle rather than as an isolated event. A mixture of diagnostic, formative and summative assessment tasks provide a snapshot of student learning at various points during this cycle. As part of the collaborative process excellent TL’s will provide leadership in setting explicit goals regarding the  information skills to be taught, learned or used within a unit of work.  They will assist in defining the criteria that will demonstrate the successful application of these skills. They will ensure that the teaching and application of these skills occurs as a natural and integral part of the program and assist students in the move towards independence in constructing meaning and knowledge. (Stripling 2007)


Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)/Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2006). Standards for professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved March 11, 2103 from

Harada, V. H. (2004). Action research : how teacher-librarians can build evidence of student learning. Scan, 23(1), 27-33

Stripling, B. (2007). Assessing information fluency : gathering evidence of student learning.

          School library media activities monthly, 23(8), 25-29.

Todd, R. J. (2003). Irrefutable Evidence. School Library Journal, 49(4), 52.





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