Monday, February 06, 2006

Exam measures students' 'information literacy'

Exam measures students' 'information literacy'. The Educational Testing Service is set to release an information literacy test this spring to test the skills of high school students. ETS is the same company that distributes the SAT.

I would be interested in taking this test. I have worked on several information literacy tests including SAILS at Kent State University and our own in-house test at Central Michigan University. Creating good questions is tough and I have found that the answers to the questions do not always translate into the actual information literacy skill levels of the students.

Anyway, I hope this is a successful test. More awareness of information literacy skills is a good thing. And if the test catches on, and universities start requiring students to submit their information literacy scores right along with their SAT scores, I see a lucrative job in the future for me consulting. I am sure many upper class parents would be thrilled to pay me money to teach the test to their children to give them an edge on getting into the college of their choice.

From the site:

When it comes to downloading music and instant messaging, today's students are plenty tech-savvy. But that doesn't mean they know how to make good use of the endless stream of information that computers put at their fingertips.

Educators and employers call those skills "technology literacy," and while everyone agrees it's important to have, it also is difficult to measure.

Now a test that some high school students will begin taking this year could help.

The ICT Literacy Assessment touches on traditional skills, such as analytical reading and math, but with a technological twist. Test-takers, for instance, may be asked to query a database, compose an e-mail based on their research, or seek information on the Internet and decide how reliable it is.

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