iSkills™ Assessment Content

The iSkills™ assessment measures students' ability to navigate, critically evaluate and make sense of the wealth of information available through digital technology — so you can make the necessary changes to narrow skill gaps.

The assessment measures information literacy through seven task types — Define, Access, Evaluate, Manage, Integrate, Create and Communicate — representing a range of ways that students handle information through digital technology.

Task Types

Definitions of the seven task types follow along with some example questions:

  • Define — Understand and articulate the scope of an information problem in order to facilitate the electronic search for information by:
    • Distinguishing a clear, concise and topical research question from poorly framed questions, such as ones that are overly broad or do not otherwise fulfill the information need
    • Asking questions of a "professor" that help disambiguate a vague research assignment
    • Conducting effective preliminary information searches to help frame a research statement
  • Access — Collect and/or retrieve information in digital environments. Information sources might be web pages, databases, discussion groups, emails or online descriptions of print media. Tasks include:
    • Generating and combining search terms (keywords) to satisfy the requirements of a particular research task
    • Efficiently browsing one or more resources to locate pertinent information
    • Deciding what types of resources might yield the most useful information for a particular need
    View examples of Access task types: Example 1 (Flash) Example 2 (Flash)
  • Evaluate — Judge whether information satisfies an information problem by determining authority, bias, timeliness, relevance and other aspects of materials. Tasks include:
    • Judging the relative usefulness of provided web pages and online journal articles
    • Evaluating whether a database contains appropriately current and pertinent information
    • Deciding the extent to which a collection of resources sufficiently covers a research area
  • Manage — Organize information to help you or others find it later by:
    • Categorizing emails into appropriate folders based on a critical view of the emails’ contents
    • Arranging personnel information into an organizational chart
    • Sorting files, emails or database returns to clarify clusters of related information
    View an example of a Manage task type (Flash).
  • Integrate — Interpret and represent information using digital tools to synthesize, summarize, compare and contrast information from multiple sources. Tasks include:
    • Comparing advertisements, emails or websites from competing vendors by summarizing information into a table
    • Incorporating information from different sources to conduct a scientific experiment and report the results
    • Placing results from an academic or sports tournament into a spreadsheet to clarify standings and decide the need for playoffs
    View an example of an Integrate task type (Flash).
  • Create — Adapt, apply, design or construct information in digital environments by:
    • Editing and formatting a document according to a set of editorial specifications
    • Creating a presentation slide to support a position on a controversial topic
    • Creating a data display to clarify the relationship between academic and economic variables
    View an example of a Create task type (Flash).
  • Communicate — Disseminate information tailored to a particular audience in an effective digital format by:
    • Formatting a document to make it more useful to a particular group
    • Transforming an email into a succinct presentation to meet an audience's needs
    • Selecting and organizing slides for distinct presentations to different audiences
    • Designing a flyer to advertise to a distinct group of users
    View an example of a Communicate task type (Flash).

Content Areas

The content areas measured are:

Content Topics:

  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Practical Affairs
  • Popular Culture
  • Natural Sciences

Technology Topics:

  • Web Use — Email, instant messaging, bulletin board postings, browser use, search engines
  • Database Management — Data searches, file management
  • Software — Word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, graphics