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Publication Title

41st Annual ARLIS/NA Conference


Information Literacy | Library and Information Science


Now that information literacy standards for higher education have been created and are commonly incorporated within university curricula, assessing student mastery of the objectives is the next step in creating a measurable information literacy program. In addition to responding to institutional needs for data on student learning, assessment data is a valuable resource for updating instruction programs based on student knowledge and performance. While many librarians have vast amounts of anecdotal knowledge about what students know, being able to gather hard data on what students learn from online and in-person instruction can quantify the strengths and needs of your instruction program, making it easier to report on the library’s role in student learning. Writing effective test questions is the foundation of any assessment endeavor. Assessing complex abilities, such as information literacy, requires a combination of creativity and formal methodology. This workshop will focus on the art and science of crafting test questions that assess student knowledge of specific objectives. Writing useful test questions draws on creativity as well as familiarity with standards. Using ACRL’s Information Competencies for Higher Education and ARLIS’ Information Competencies for Students in Design Disciplines, the workshop leaders will engage participants in identifying which objectives lend themselves to being assessed via multiple-choice formats. The essentials of writing multiple-choice items will be addressed via the Haladyna, Downing, and Rodriguez Revised Taxonomy of Multiple Choice Item Writing Guides. Presented information will include how to select objectives for assessment and elements of effective test questions. Aspects of test construction and administration will also be addressed. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to practice writing questions and review sample questions for reliability and validity.


This workshop was presented at the 41st Annual ARLIS/NA Conference, held April 25-29, 2013 in Pasadena, CA.

Kohn-ws_crafting-clarke_ARLISNA-2013-1.pdf (530 kB)
Part 1: Assessment Craft

Kohn-ws_crafting-clarke-ppt2_ARLISNA-2013-2.pdf (229 kB)
Part 2: Writing Multiple Choice Items

Kohn-ws_crafting-clarke-ppt3_ARLISNA-2013-3.pdf (982 kB)
Part 3: Test Options - Platforms

Kohn-ws_crafting-clarke-handout_ARLISNA-2013.pdf (166 kB)