Knowing and doing The development of information literacy measures to assess knowledge and practice

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Ellen Nierenberg Torstein Låg Tove Irene Dahl


This study touches upon three major themes in the field of information literacy (IL): the assessment of IL, the association between IL knowledge and skills, and the dimensionality of the IL construct. Three quantitative measures were developed and tested with several samples of university students to assess knowledge and skills for core facets of IL. These measures are freely available, applicable across disciplines, and easy to administer. Results indicate they are likely to be reliable and support valid interpretations. By measuring both knowledge and practice, the tools indicated low to moderate correlations between what students know about IL, and what they actually do when evaluating and using sources in authentic, graded assignments. The study is unique in using actual coursework to compare knowing and doing regarding students’ evaluation and use of sources. It provides one of the most thorough documentations of the development and testing of IL assessment measures to date. Results also urge us to ask whether the source-focused components of IL – information seeking, source evaluation and source use – can be considered unidimensional constructs or sets of disparate and more loosely related components, and findings support their heterogeneity.

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How to Cite
NIERENBERG, Ellen; LÅG, Torstein; DAHL, Tove Irene. Knowing and doing. Journal of Information Literacy, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 2, p. 78-123, june 2021. ISSN 1750-5968. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 03 feb. 2023. doi:
Research articles (peer-reviewed articles)