Cover Page: Information Literacy Initiative Proposal




Title of Proposal:

Project “Baseline”: Information Literacy Study and Assessment of California State University, Sacramento Freshman Programs






Submitted by: Co-PI’s Lynn M. Tashiro and Linda J. Goff


Lynn M. Tashiro

Coordinator of Freshman Seminar and University Learning Communities

Professor of Physics

Academic Affairs Sacramento Hall 234

California State University Sacramento

6000 J Street

Sacramento CA. 95819-6016


Phone: 916 278-5344 Freshman Programs/Academic Affairs

Phone: 916 278 6518 Department of Physics and Astronomy


Linda J. Goff

Head of Instructional Services

University Library 2021

2000 State University Drive, East

Sacramento CA 95826-6039


Phone: 278 5981




Amount of funds requested: $37,903

Date of Submission: May 10, 2006



2. Project Abstract:

In every academic discipline it is important to document and build baseline information competence early in a students experience at the university.  This project proposes to use the Information and Communication Technology Literacy (ICT) Assessment as a formative and summative assessment tool to evaluate diverse components of the students in their first year of college.  First year programs are consolidated on this campus into the “Freshman Programs,”  These programs involve faculty from each of the colleges on campus and combined these programs reflect the cultural and socioeconomic diversity of first time freshman students at CSUS. 


The data gathered from this assessment tool will be used to develop and test best practice in information literacy teaching modules and tutorials in:

1) Freshman Seminar courses

2) University Learning Communities

3) Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Learning Communities

4) General Education Honors Communities 


The project will support the administration of the ICT Assessment as a pre-test and post- test to 250 CSUS freshman, development and publication of best practice modules via a project Website, and faculty professional development for freshman program faculty.  The project proposed will be conducted over two academic years, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.  The assessment data collected during the project will be evidence of both student needs and student learning. The goal of this project is to examine the practical use of the ICT to inform program and lesson effectiveness.  The data will be analyzed from the perspective of program improvement and as basic research in the emerging field if information literacy instruction.  Results of this study will be disseminated locally on campus through the Center for Teaching and Learning and nationally at conferences such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and American Library Association (ALA).


3. Project Activities

A. Administration of the ICT Literacy Assessment tool to 250 CSUS freshmen in the Fall 2006/Fall2007 semesters.

The ICT Literacy Assessment will be administered through our Freshman Program faculty as a pre-test in the first week of instruction and as a post-test between week 13-15 of the semester.  The courses in the freshman program selected to participate in this project are as follows:


3 sections of “stand alone” Freshman Seminar – These Freshman Seminar courses are not in learning communities

3 sections of Freshman Seminar that are part of a University Learning Community

3 sections of Freshman Seminar that are part of an EOP Learning Community

1 section of Honors1 (Honors equivalent to the Freshman Seminar)


10 sections will be participating in the project (10 sec. x 25 students per section = 250 students)


The Freshman Seminar courses have syllabi with a common core which state as a learning goal “The student will begin to develop information competence and computer literacy”.  The “model calendar” for the course schedules the information literacy module in week 3 and 4.

Week 3 and 4 ASSIGNMENT:         Introduce information competence/computer literacy materials. Information competence is the ability to find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in all of its various formats.


Faculty will administer and proctor the pre test during class hours as a part of the course. However, because of the length of the ICT (75 minutes which is more then half a week of instruction time) the post test will be administered outside of class time and proctored by Library personnel.  Students will be compensated with a $50 bookstore gift certificate for completion of the post test.  Ten faculty have already expressed an interest in administering this test and a formal call for participants will be conducted at the start of this project


Co-PI Linda Goff has had experience scheduling and proctoring this exam using library and university wide facilities.  We are confident that over the two year grant period meaningful data from each of the targeted freshman programs can be obtained.


B. Development and publication of best practice modules via a project Website

Each of the programs, Freshman Seminar, Learning Communities, EOP Learning Communities and the honors program will collaboratively produce one example of a “best practice” lesson or module on information literacy that fits the specific needs of their program.  The “best practice” lesson and method of designing these lessons will be different and is briefly described below:


Freshman Seminar Group:

Three Freshman Seminar instructors will select a set of Information Literacy Standards from the CSUS Information Policy document which is in alignment with the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. They will design or modify an existing lesson to target the selected standards.  A “Lesson Study” model will be used to test the lesson.  “Lesson Study” is a highly structured process that is currently used in math and science education to facilitate self reflective teaching and objective lesson assessment and consists of the following basic steps:


1.      The group of instructors collaboratively design a lesson to meet predetermined standards and agree on what will be collected as evidence of student learning

2.      The lesson is delivered by one instructor and the others observe the lesson. 

3.      The lesson is debriefed – observations are shared, modifications proposed and evidence of student learning is analyzed

4.      The lesson with its modifications is then delivered by a second instructor with the other instructors serving as observers.

5.      A second set of lesson modification may be made and the participants reflect on the process of collaborative lesson design.


A critical factor in this process is the presence of an external facilitator and a content expert.  These roles will played by the two Co-PI’s of this project, Linda Goff and Lynn Tashiro.  This process will produce a tested best practice lesson or module for publication on the project website.



University Learning Community Group

This group will contain 3 learning communities and may consist of up to 9 faculty members.  Each learning community consists of a cluster of 2 to 3 courses (one of which is a Freshman Seminar). Each community will work as a team to identify information literacy standard(s) that integrate with an academic discipline in the community, ex. biology, theater arts, or child development.  The community will work together to design, test, and collect evidence of student learning for the selected standard(s).  The Co-PI’s will serve as facilitators of the lesson design process and observers of the lesson.


EOP Learning Community Group:

This group will contain 3 EOP Learning Communities and may also consist of up to 9 faculty members.  Each community will select standards and design lessons that enable differentiated instruction that responds to student differences in readiness, interests, and learning needs.  Marcellene Watson, coordinator of the EOP program, has agreed to facilitate this work.  The product will be 3 lessons and student work that illustrate the diversity of approaches that can be taken to introduce information literacy.


GE Honors Group:

This group will consist of 3 faculty members teaching the first cohort of GE Honors Freshmen.  This community will select information literacy standards to address in the integrated honors curriculum.  One information literacy lesson will be designed and tested with this group of accelerated learners. Roberto Pomo, the director of the honors program has agreed to facilitate this work.


Each of the Freshman Program Groups will provide the following deliverables:

• pre and post ICT Literacy Assessment for each student.

• ICT Literacy Assessment for each faculty.

• Course syllabus.

• Lesson plan, student assignment sheet, and student performance scores on the “best practice” ICT literacy lesson.

• List of specific ICT literacy standards addressed in the “best practice” lesson.

• The “best practice” lessons will have the following focus for each of the groups:


Freshman Seminar

Univ. Learning Community

EOP Learning community

Honors Community

General instruction for Information literacy

Discipline specific integration of information literacy

differentiated instruction for diverse learners

instruction for accelerated learners



4. Timeline: Note the same timeline will be used for each academic year.


Summer 2006 and Summer 2007:

• Recruitment of Participating Faculty from Freshman Seminar, Univ. Learning Community, EOP learning Community, and Honors Community.

• First meeting of participating faculty to outline expectations, describe project deliverables, and take the online ICT Literacy Assessment.

• Work with University Computing Services to construct project Website and WebCT tool to enable the electronic submission of deliverables from participating faculty.

• Construct a project data base to enable the analysis of data collected from the project.

Fall 2006 and Fall 2007

• Administer the ICT Literacy Assessment in week 1 of instruction.

• Collect general and content specific lesson plans, syllabi, and ICT related student learning goals from each participating faculty.  (electronically submitted)

• Facilitate cooperative faculty work groups, implementing the “Lesson Study” model of curriculum design and assessment.

• Administer the ICT Literacy Assessment in week13 of instruction.

• Collect student scores on the ICT related lesson. (electronically submitted)

• Post project resources on the Web and prepare data for analysis.

Spring 2007 and Spring 2008

• Analyze data to look for correlations between and emerging patterns in lesson design components, ICT test student/instructor test performance and student demographics.

• Literature search to support or inform project findings.

• Prepare results and proposals for local dissemination through the Center for Teaching and Learning, ex. proposals to present at the “Brown Bag Series”.

• Prepare results and proposals for poster and or paper presentation at the 2008 AERA Conference in New York.

• Post project results on project Web page.

Spring 2008 and/or Spring 2009

• Presentation of project results at a National Conference, AERA March 2008 in New York, New York or ALA in June of 2008 or June 2009


5. Population:

This project focuses on CSUS freshman enrolled in Freshman Seminars, University Learning Communities, EOP Learning Communities, and the Honors Community.  These programs represent the complete range of First Year programs at CSUS and capture the diversity of our student population.  This project will collect data on 250 freshmen and have an impact on the 1700 students annually enrolled in these programs. This project will allow us to compare and contrast students’ baseline information competence when they arrive at the university and exit competence after our freshman programs.  The findings of this project will benefit the CSUS freshman program and provide a baseline snapshot of students entering into a variety of majors.  The findings of this project will be distributed to department chairs to inform their discipline specific information competence curriculum. Because most CSU’s have one or more of these First Year programs the results of this project will be relevant system wide.


6. Budget: 

Table of Project Expenses



1. Test fee ($18.75 x 25 students x 10 sections x2 (pre/post)) for students


2. Test fee for participating faculty $18.75 x 24


3. Compensation for Students to take the post test $50 x 250 students


4. Faculty stipend for preparation work and deliverables (24 x 500)


5. Project Coordinator Assigned time (8 units 2 per semester) 1666 x 8


6. Travel


    Total Project Cost:



Budget justification

1.      The pre and post tests are needed to assess the baseline entrance and lesson exit competency of the students in this project.

2.      Participating faculty need to take the test to understand the assessment instrument and assess their own information competence

3.      Compensation for students to take the post test is needed to ensure completeness of data collection.  Because of time constraints the post test must be scheduled outside of normal class hours.  Students will be given $50 gift certificate to the campus bookstore for the completion of the post test.

4.      Faculty will be required to attend summer and intersession meetings, do preparatory work during the summer and collaborate on lessons and assessment tools.  $500 is reasonable compensation for work done outside of the academic calendar and the deliverables required.

5.      8 units of release time will release Co-PI Lynn Tashiro from teaching a physics laboratory class each semester (2 units per semester).  The freshman program coordination position is not fulltime and an additional 6 units of teaching is required during each semester.  The release time is needed to meet with faculty, attend the participating courses during the semester, facilitate lesson study teams and testing logistics, collect and analyze data, and prepare proposals for dissemination of project results.

6.      Travel funds are requested for one presenter to attend a National Conference to present the project results. 


In kind contributions from the university:

Linda Goff will serve as co-PI of this project facilitating lesson design and testing logistics as part of her assigned position as Head of Instructional Services in the University Library.  Clerical support will be provided by Academic Affairs and technical assistance in constructing the Web page will be provided by University Computing Services Consultants.


7. Qualifications

Dr. Lynn Tashiro: Coordinator of Freshman Seminars and University Learning Communities 

Lynn Tashiro has been coordinating the Freshman Program for the past 3 years during which time she has established excellent working relationships with faculty proposed to participate in this grant.  She has been awarded and managed external (National Science Foundation) and internal (CSU System) interdisciplinary project grants totaling over 500K. Currently she is implementing a 75K mobile technology grant from Hewlett Packard.  One component of this grant focuses on discipline specific information competence of future K-8 teachers in science and education research.  Lynn Tashiro has both the resources and experience to implement, assess, and disseminate the results of the proposed project.


Linda Goff: Head of Library Instructional Services

Linda J. Goff holds a Master in Instructional Media and Technology and a Masters in Library Science.  Ms. Goff has been a leader in the Information Competence movement within the state, and has been funded for two IC grant projects. She was recently awarded the very first Outstanding Teaching Award for Library Faculty at Sacramento.  Currently she coordinates the Information Competency Assignment project for Communication Studies, which delivers a WebCT tutorial to approximately 120 sections and 3,000 students annually.  Visit her personal web page at:


8. Letter of support from the Deans: Because of the comprehensive nature of this project a letter of support from our Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ric Brown, is provided rather than individual letters from the Deans of participating departments.