This quantitative measure is designed to assess students’ abilities to critically evaluate their information sources in practice. It is used in authentic course assignments where students are required to evaluate sources.

Note (August 2022): When I used this measure in my doctoral research, I saw that total source-evaluation scores did not correlate significantly with the score on the IL knowledge measure. This indicates that it may not sufficiently discriminate among students with different IL knowledge levels, and might therefore not be an effective method for measuring a student’s ability to evaluate sources. In other words, use with caution.

This measure is part of an assignment where students must find relevant, academic sources for a paper. Students write annotations for three of the sources in a bibliography, with reasons for why they believe that the sources are reliable and relevant for their paper. The sources are then rated for quality by the teacher or librarian. Scores for the variety and frequency of students’ evaluation criteria, and the quality of the source, are then added together. This final score represents the student’s ability to critically evaluate information sources.

For more information about this measure, and how it can be used together with the Information literacy knowledge test and the Source use measure, please see the following article:

Nierenberg, E., Låg, T., & Dahl, T. I. (2021). Knowing and doing: The development of information literacy measures to assess knowledge and practice. Journal of Information Literacy, 15(2), 78–123.

Feel free to use or modify the Source evaluation measure for your own purposes. Click on the link below.

TROILS Source evaluation measure