Rails on Track Logo

About Us

Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (RAILS) is an IMLS-funded research project designed to investigate an analytic rubric approach to information literacy assessment in higher education. The RAILS project is intended to help academic librarians and disciplinary faculty assess information literacy outcomes. Over three years, RAILS will yield a suite of rubrics that can be used by academic librarians and disciplinary faculty to assess information literacy outcomes;a transferable model for analyzing rubric scores; training materials for librarians, faculty, and LIS students who seek to use rubrics for information literacy assessment; indicators of rater expertise in rubric scoring; and a clearinghouse for librarians and faculty to share:

  • local adaptations of IL rubrics
  • rubric assessment results
  • improvements to instructional strategies and services made on the basis of those results, and
  • examples of increased student learning resulting from instructional improvements.

Although RAILS is intended to address practical assessment issues, it also will explore the answers to several research questions:

  • Can librarians & disciplinary faculty use IL rubrics to provide valid & reliable scores of student learning?
  • What skills/characteristics do librarians & faculty need to produce valid & reliable scores using IL rubrics?
  • What training materials do librarians & faculty need to acquire these skills/characteristics?
  • How can rubric assessment be used to improve IL instruction and services?
  • How can rubric assessment increase student learning of IL skills?

RAILS is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. RAILS operates in partnership with the ACRL Assessment Immersion Program, is augmented by Waypoint Outcomes, and is located at Syracuse University's iSchool.

Grant abstract is available here.

RAILS common questions and answers are available here.