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Information Literacy Testing

The Educational Testing Service has released the preliminary results of their first ICT (Information Communication Technology) Test. The ICT test is designed to find out where the information literacy benchline is today for college and university students. From their site: “The ICT Literacy Assessment is a comprehensive test of Information and Communication Technology proficiency that uses scenario-based tasks to measure both cognitive and technical skills. The assessment provides support for institutional ICT literacy initiatives, guides curricula innovations, informs articulation and progress standings, and assesses individual student proficiency.”
You can find the early results on this slideshow.
Inside Higher Ed reported it poorly, at least in the headline (Nothing like hinting at a touch of disrespcet for your market!):
“Are College Students Techno Idiots?”
ETS REPORT SAYS STUDENTS NOT INFORMATION LITERATE A new study by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) suggests that although college students appear fluent with technology, many are unable to effectively use computers to solve information problems.
Students are comfortable using technology for leisure and social activities, but the study indicates that they have much more trouble evaluating online material and using technology effectively to find needed information. In the study, which surveyed more than 6,300 college students and high school seniors, fewer than half correctly identified from several choices the Web site that was objective, authoritative, and timely. Irvin Katz, a researcher at ETS, said, “It’s not only in academics but also in the workplace that people don’t have the necessary critical skills to access information.”
Inside Higher Ed, 15 November 2006
Anyway, this is a great start on understanding how our students are behaving and moving beyond the simple qualitative and obvservational evidience (that is often too laden in prejudice to be useful). I am sure this test will improve and deliver more good data in the future for those institutions who choose to implement it.

Posted on: November 26, 2006, 12:36 pm Category: Uncategorized

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