The University of California, San Diego is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), and was undergoing review to reaffirm accreditation during the library’s rubric project. Since the university’s previous review in 2010, WSCUC has introduced information literacy as a core competency to be included in “an integrated course of study of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare…[students] for work, citizenship, and life-long learning” (WSCUC, 2013). Additionally, “for each core competency, the institution may set a specific level of performance expected at graduation and gather evidence of the achievement of that level of performance (which can be based on sampling) using the assessment methods of its choice” (WSCUC, 2013). Information literacy instruction and assessment has long been at the core of academic library services, so it made sense for the library to partner with campus to help set the standard of performance expected of undergraduate students for information literacy.
Within the same 2010-2020 timeframe, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) replaced their long-standing Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) with the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016). However, the WSCUC’s 2013 handbook mentions the use of Association of Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) VALUE rubrics, and the Information Literacy VALUE Rubric (n.d.) is based on the now-outdated ACRL Standards. Therefore, UC San Diego librarians needed to find a way to align the new accreditation core competencies with their new professional standards. To do so, a library task force combined the two documents by mapping the ACRL Framework onto the existing structure of the AAC&U rubric. However, there were several aspects of the ACRL Framework that did not directly relate to the AAC&U rubric, so the task force made two significant additions: 1) when the knowledge practices or dispositions described in the ACRL Framework were more basic or foundational than the “Benchmark” (i.e., scoring a 1) category on the rubric, the task force included the additional column of “Foundation” (i.e., scoring a 0) to indicate that without this fundamental knowledge, a learner would have difficulty reaching the “Benchmark,” and 2) when the knowledge practices or dispositions described in the ACRL Framework did not fit into the pre-existing rubric rows (i.e., labelled with the ACRL Standards), the task force found that adding the row “Understand How Information is Organized” would encapsulate the remaining, uncategorized knowledge practices and dispositions of the ACRL Framework.
The UC San Diego Library’s ultimate goal for this combined rubric is to provide the foundation for creating an in-house online database that instruction librarians can use to create appropriate information literacy learning outcomes for their workshops or courses, paving the way for designing deep learning and creating appropriate formative and summative assessments.