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Assessing Digital Information Literacy in Higher Education: A Review of Existing Frameworks and Assessments With Recommendations for Next-Generation Assessment

Sparks, Jesse R.; Katz, Irvin R.; Beile, Penny
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ETS Research Report
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Accessibility Digital Information Literacy (DIL) Information Literacy Problem Solving Higher Education iSkills Assessment Student Learning Outcomes Workforce Assessment


Digital information literacy (DIL)—generally defined as the ability to obtain, understand, evaluate, and use information in a variety of digital technology contexts—is a critically important skill deemed necessary for success in higher education as well as in the global networked economy. To determine whether college graduates possess the requisite knowledge and skills in DIL, higher education institutions must be able to administer and use results from valid assessments of DIL. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive review of existing definitions of this construct in major frameworks from higher education and the workforce and propose an operational definition of DIL. Next, we provide a review of existing assessments of information literacy and related constructs, including features of the assessments, construct alignment, and psychometric properties (i.e., reliability and validity evidence). Finally, we discuss challenges and considerations surrounding the design, implementation, and use of next-generation assessments of DIL. We offer this review as a resource for higher education institutions in selecting among existing assessments or in designing their own measures.

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