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Key skill assessment unit: information literacy
Key skill assessment unit: information literacy

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8 Part B: Evidencing your information literacy skills

This Part requires you to present a portfolio of your work to demonstrate that you have used and integrated your information literacy skills within your study or work activities to achieve the standard required. For example, you might include learning about new search tools and user interfaces; using databases, catalogues and other resources more effectively; organising and presenting citations and bibliographies; reviewing critically the coverage, authenticity and authority of your sources.

The work you select for your portfolio must meet the assessment criteria in Table 1 and show that you can:

  • explore different information sources, developing alternative lines of enquiry where appropriate;

  • use a variety of search strategies and tools effectively;

  • record and critically evaluate the results of your search;

  • interpret results and identify the main findings from your work;

  • organise and clearly present information to suit your purpose and your audience, ensuring that the information is accurate.

Your portfolio might contain one or more items based on your assignments, or from a project report or other work that includes activities where you have taken responsibility for developing your information literacy skills to meet your purposes.

In choosing work for your portfolio, it is your responsibility to be selective and concise. If at all possible, choose just one or two pieces of work. Each item you include must be annotated clearly to show how it is relevant to the assessment criteria in Table 1. You may not need to include all your assignments, notes or a complete project report. Including material that is not relevant, or which is not closely related to the assessment criteria, will not strengthen the assessment of your skills. Remember that you are not being assessed on technical content but on the relevance of your evidence to the assessment criteria and the reflective commentary you provide.

Table 1 Criteria for assessment of your information literacy skills portfolio and a checklist to help you select the evidence you need
Criteria for assessment: the evidence you present must show you can:Checklist: check that your evidence shows what you have done to:
Develop a strategy for using skills in information literacy over an extended period of time.
Establish opportunities for using information literacy skills and clearly identify the outcomes you hope to achieve.Identify where you can use and improve your information literacy skills (e.g. learning about new methods or techniques, seeking and using feedback) within your study or work activities.
Recognise a knowledge gap and define the information needed to fill it.
Identify your targets and goals, explaining why you have chosen them.
Establish the criteria you will use to judge your progress and performance, and in seeking feedback from others.
Identify relevant sources and research the information you need for planning purposes.
List reference sources and resources that you might use (e.g. librarians, tutors, reference books, the internet, catalogues and databases).
Plan your use of information literacy skills and make a reasoned selection of methods for achieving the quality of outcomes required.Draw up a plan for achieving your goal(s) that:
• divides the work into stages;
• identifies interim targets;
• gives a time schedule and deadline for each stage.
Keep notes and/or a log to record changes to your plans, and reasons for them.
Take into account factors that may affect your plans (e.g. access to information, work patterns, copyright, intellectual property rights, other commitments).
Select, giving reasons, the methods you are going to use to achieve your goals and targets.
Monitor progress and adapt your strategy, as necessary, to achieve the quality of outcomes required.
Explore different information sources, developing alternative lines of enquiry where appropriate.List information sources you have used.
Identify the type of information you are seeking, the questions you have formulated and the appropriateness of different sources.
Use different search strategies and tools effectively and critically evaluate information to meet your purpose.List your search strategies, identifying what worked well and what did not.
Identify which tools you found most effective in helping you track down information.
Establish and apply criteria you used to assess the quality of your results.
Monitor and critically reflect on your use of information literacy skills, adapting your strategy as necessary to produce the quality of outcomes required.Establish and use criteria to help you monitor your progress and critically evaluate your results to check that they are meeting your requirements.
Use feedback and your own self-assessment to check your skills development.
Describe any changes you had to make to your plans along the way.
Identify any modifications you have made to your strategy.
‘Stand back’ at intervals to reflect on your progress and performance.
Evaluate your overall strategy and present outcomes from your work, including citations and a bibliography.
Interpret results and identify the main findings from your work, including evidence to support your conclusions.Identify where you have interpreted the results of your information searches (e.g. analysed data, examined generalisations, assessed coverage of searches and the authority and authenticity of sources).
Assess the quality of your main findings against criteria.
Organise and clearly present information to suit your purpose and audience, ensuring that the information is accurate.Identify the audience(s) for your work and make judgements about how best to present your information.
Explain why the format you have chosen is appropriate for your purpose and your audience.
Identify where you have used your information literacy skills in your work (e.g. in citations, lists of references, bibliographies).
Use criteria to judge the quality of your presentation.
Assess the effectiveness of your strategy, including factors that had an impact on the outcomes, and identify ways of further developing your information literacy skills.Reflect on and assess the quality of your information literacy work by making connections between criteria you have set, feedback you have received and your own judgement of your performance.
Reflect on and assess the effectiveness of your strategy for developing your skills. What worked well and what worked less well?
Identify those factors that affected the production and presentation of your work (e.g. availability and quality of resources, working environment, level of your expertise).
Relate your original goals, targets and criteria to your progress so far and to possibilities for future development.