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What is the iSkills Assessment?

The iSkills assessment is a simulation-based test designed to measure information and communication technology (ICT) literacy, that is, a student’s ability to navigate, critically evaluate and communicate information using digital technology, communication tools and networks. During the 60-minute assessment, college and high school students are asked to perform several information problem-solving tasks—such as researching a topic from a database, identifying authoritative and unbiased web sites, or composing an e-mail summary of research findings.

Why is the library doing this?

To measure information and communication technology literacy skills of LMU students.  Are they prepared for upper division studies and the workforce?  The library tested 55 seniors during spring 2008 and 54 freshmen fall semester 2008, and then compared the scores.  The seniors took the advanced version and freshmen took the Core assessment.  The library would like to prove to WASC that we are serious about creating a culture of evidence related to student learning.

iSkills Results

The freshmen scored below average in accessing information (Access).  However the Seniors scored above average in accessing information.

Access = Collect and/or retrieve information in digital environments.  Information sources might be web pages, databases, discussion groups, e-mail, or on-line descriptions of print media.

The largest gains between freshmen and seniors were in accessing information, managing information and creating information (Access, Manage, Create).  LMU Seniors as a group scored well above average in all 5 categories but the highest score was in creating information.

Create = Adapt, apply, design or construct information in digital environments, such as by editing/formatting documents, presentation sides, data displays.


Institutional Skill Area Reports

Information Literacy

How well did LMU students score?

In general LMU seniors did very well.  According to the National ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Literacy Policy Council, the intermediate foundational level of ICT literacy skill is 575 (on a scale of 400-700).   LMU seniors scored between 515-620 on the iSkills with 19 seniors scoring below 575 and 36 seniors scoring at 575 or higher. 

“Considering the juniors and seniors who have taken the Advanced iSkills Assessment since 2006, this cut score results in approximately 27% of these students meeting or exceeding the intermediate foundational level of ICT skill.”

Setting Standards on the Core and Advanced iSkills Assessments

At LMU, 65% of our seniors met or exceeded the intermediate level of ICT skill.  Not bad when compared to other schools!

On the Institutional Skill Area Report LMU students scored (in general) 10 - 25 points above the median score of the reference group (4 year colleges).


Areas that Need Improvement

There were 5 tasks where the percentage of LMU students (highest scoring response) was lower than the reference group.  Areas that need improvement:

Access:  You selected the most appropriate category for searching

Access:  You chose the best search expression for the category selected

Create:  You observed ethical or legal considerations                

Communicate:  You included all key points necessary for effective communication

Communicate:  You included no points irrelevant to the audience's needs

Nine additional questions added by LMU

Aggregate Task Performance Feedback Report

Intermediate Foundational ICT Literacy Skills

Define: Articulate a need for information that defines a hypothesis in operational terms.

Access: Develop and apply a systematic strategy for ethically and legally finding, retrieving, and sorting information from variety of relevant sources, representing a wide spectrum of perspectives, acknowledging sources appropriately.

Evaluate: Judge veracity, bias, primacy, persuasiveness, and completeness of information and information sources for a specific purpose.

Manage: Develop and apply a comprehensive system to classify and prioritize information in order to identify and clarify interrelationships.

Integrate: Synthesize information from a variety of sources and perspectives, compare and contrast arguments, identify trends and patterns, and infer conclusions.

Create: Generate information new to the learner through critical review and revision of assimilated information. Develop supported arguments and warranted conclusions to address the task at hand.

Communicate: Communicate information persuasively to meet needs of various audiences through the use of appropriate medium.