In a terrific article on assessment that appeared in the March, 2010 issue of College and Research Libraries (vol. 71, number 2, pgs 139 - 158) entitled "What Are They Learning? Pre- and Post-Assessement Surveys for LIBR 1100, Introduction to Library Research," the author, Jon R. Hufford, a librarian at Texas Tech, reproduces the survey questions he used to assess whether or not students learned basic competetencies in information literacy in a course devoted to it. The pre and post survey method might serve you as well, in your class. I've used Hufford's questions as a guide for the following. This is a rather long list of questions. They serve merely as guides to extract particularly kinds of information. Obviously, you would want to pick and choose from them, and change the exact question in pre and post form to reflect the type of knowledge rather than the specific knowledge.
1. Name the three main Boolean operators used to form a search.
2. Which one or ones broaden a search? Which narrow a search?
3. What might you look for on a website to determine whether or not the information has authority?
4. Give two examples of primary sources for a paper on the American Civil War.
5. How does one determine whether or not a particular article citation is from what's called a scholarly source?
6. Which of the following kinds of information can be found in the library's online catalog:
a – Journal articles on a certain topic
b – Journals the library owns
c – Books on a certain topic
d – Book reviews
e – Sound recordings the library owns
7. Which database might you turn to for a full-text New York Times Article from five years ago?
8. What is an annotated bibliography?
a – A picture of a book in a database
b – A list of books with detailed citation information
c– A list of books and/or articles with brief descriptions of what information they contain
d–A list of books and articles appearing in the notes section of a book or article
9. What information is contained in a bibliographic citation?
10. One needs to attribute (cite) information in a student paper only if one has used someone's exact words. True or False?
Here is a link to ACRL's VALUE Rubic (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education). Once you register on that page, you can view a PDF of the document. See pages 9 - 10 for Information Literacy criteria.