CCE Theses and Dissertations

The Development of an Information Literacy Indicator for Incoming College freshmen

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences


Steven D. Zink

Committee Member

Getrude W. Abramson

Committee Member

Gregory A Wiens


This study developed a comprehensive information literacy instrument based on the ACRL (2000) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Instrument items were composed for the initial instrument (version 1). Three experts in the field of information literacy examined Instrument version I to determine content validity. The instrument was then administered to 78 college freshmen at Warner Southern College. Scale reliability was determined for the items of instrument version I by calculating Cronbach alpha values for each construct. The results were positive and described the study instrument as a reliable indicator of information literacy skills. The major scales for ACRL standards two, three, and five all achieved an alpha value above .90. The reliability of the major scale for ACRL standard one was near the upper end of the moderate-to-high range with an alpha value of .89. The major scale for ACRL standard four achieved an alpha value of .75. This value was within the statistical range of a reliable scale. To triangulate the data, interviews were conducted with 14 randomly selected freshmen volunteers. The interviews also confirmed the reliability of the instrument.

Instrument version 1 items not as consistent as others in the scale were eliminated to produce the final instrument (version 2). As a confirmatory test, instrument version 2 was administered to a second group of 81 college students from Warner Southern College. The instrument analysis again resulted in Cronbach alpha values indicating a reliable instrument. All major scales were comparable between the two trials except for major scale 5-yet the result for major scale 5 was within the statistical range of reliability. The conclusion of the study was that the development and testing of the information literacy indicator proved to be valid and reliable for indicating information literacy skills across all five ACRL information literacy standards.

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