Assessing information literacy programmes using information search tasks

Nikolas Leichner, Johannes Peter, Anne-Kathrin Mayer, Günter Krampen
2014, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 3-20


The aim of this article is to present information search tasks as an alternative to standardized tests for the assessment of scholarly information literacy (IL). The article describes how a task taxonomy and scoring rubrics were developed as a basis for the construction of standardized search tasks. Based on this taxonomy, sample tasks were created and used in an evaluation study in which an IL instruction programme was scrutinised. In this study, the tasks were applied alongside with a standardized IL test to determine their convergent validity. The results show that IL can be assessed using information search tasks in a reliable and conceptually as well as ecologically valid way. To our knowledge, this is the first publication using information search tasks for the assessment of IL with this degree of standardisation. The task taxonomy, sample tasks, and scoring rubrics are included and can be used by practitioners to create information search tasks tailored to their needs.


Information literacy assessment; information seeking behaviour; undergraduate students, Germany.

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