Work in Progress: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy: Assessing Student Performance

Ruth E.H. Wertz, Michael Fosmire, Senay Purzer, Austin Iglesias Saragih, Amy S. Van Epps, Megan R.Sapp Nelson, Brian G. Dillman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Critical thinking and information literacy share many common goals. Fundamentally, critical thinking involves the systematic and appropriate exploration and evaluation of ideas for the purpose of making a decision or forming an opinion on a topic or problem. Information literacy competencies are tightly intertwined with critical thinking, as information literacy requires students develop an appropriate research question, locate relevant information, evaluate it, apply it to their question, and communicate the results. In this paper, the authors seek to further explore the relationship between information literacy and critical thinking through a correlational analysis of an information literacy skill assessment developed by the authors and a critical thinking assessment developed at Tennessee Technological University. The two instruments, the Critical Engineering Literacy Test (CELT) and the Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT), were disseminated to a population of first-year engineering students. Preliminary analysis showed that the total scores for CELT and CAT instruments were positively associated (r = 0.47, p <0.01, N = 44). By broadening the discussion of information literacy to encompass critical thinking, additional avenues of collaboration between librarians and engineering educators can be opened toward the shared goal of producing not only better lifelong learners, but higher quality problem solvers of the open-ended, complex tasks students will face in their careers after graduation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 26 2013


Other120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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