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Meeting the needs of different information consumers

Research Readiness Self-Assessment (RRSA) is an online information literacy tool.It can be adapted to the needs of different disciplines, academic institutions, and audiences. This page explains the most popular versions of RRSA.

You may also be interested in reviewing RRSA publications, presentations and grants, the RRSA description and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If you have more questions that are not addressed in our FAQ, refer them to Dr. Lana Ivanitskaya at ivani1sv [the @ sign] cmich.edu.

RRSA-Library: Interdisciplinary versions of Research Readiness Self-Assessment

  • For students enrolled in high schools, colleges and universities, in a variety of disciplines.
  • Can be generic or institution specific--adapted to the needs of an academic institution, for example, search questions are tailored to the library catalog for that institution.
  • Objectives for students: (1) help students become aware of their skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic resources, (2) motivate students to improve their skills, and (3) explain the value of using libraries.
  • Objectives for librarians: Use RRSA as a tool to (1) assess student skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic resources, before library instruction or before&after instruction as in pre-test and post-test, (2) motivate students to participate in library instruction, and (3) motivate students to use libraries.
  • Objectives for course instructors: Use RRSA as a tool to (1) help students become aware of their skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic resources, (2) motivate students to improve their skills, (3) explain the limitations of only using open-access internet when completing research assignments, and (4) explain the value of using libraries.
  • Measures: Obtaining information (an objective measure of skill and knowledge); Evaluating information (an objective measure of skill and knowledge); Understanding of plagiarism and copyright issues (an objective measure of skill and knowledge); Overall score (a sum of scores for all objective measures); Browsing the Internet (beliefs that open-access internet and search engines are always the best source of information); Research and library experience (past behaviors related to doing research and using libraries); and Perceived research skills (subjective beliefs about one's own skills, a self-report).
  • Competency model: Available from Dr. Lana Ivanitskaya at ivani1sv [the @ sign] cmich.edu.
  • Main page example: http://rrsa.cmich.edu/cgi-bin/rrsalib.cgi, RRSA-Library for Central Michigan University

RRSA-Health: Research Readiness Self-Assessment for students in health-related disciplines

  • For students enrolled in health-related disciplines, such as nursing, health education, nutrition, pre-med, health administration, etc.
  • Can be generic or institution specific--adapted to the needs of an academic institution, for example, search questions are tailored to the library catalog for that institution.
  • Objectives for students: (1) help students become aware of their skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic health information, (2) motivate students to improve their skills, (3) explain the value of using libraries, 4) inform about major, open-access gateways to credible health information for consumers, and (5) offer ideas about what kinds of health-related questions one can answer by using the internet and libraries.
  • Objectives for course instructors and program administrators: Use RRSA as a tool to (1) help students become aware of their skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic health information, (2) motivate students to improve their own skills and to help other information consumers, who are not health professionals, make better use of online information, (3) show ways of applying critical judgment to health information found online, and (4) explain the value of using libraries.
  • Objectives for librarians: Use RRSA as a tool to (1) assess student skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic health information, before library instruction or before&after instruction as in pre-test and post-test, (2) motivate students to participate in library instruction, and (3) motivate students to use libraries.
  • Measures: Finding health information (an objective measure of skill and knowledge); Evaluating health information (an objective measure of skill and knowledge); Overall score (a sum of scores for all objective measures); Beliefs about browsing the internet (beliefs that open-access internet and search engines are always the best source of information); Research & library experience (past behaviors related to doing research and using libraries); and Perceived research skills (subjective beliefs about one's own skills, a self-report).
  • This version was recently updated based on validation studies and literature reviews. Feedback was re-written to reflect recent findings of eHealth literacy research. The new feedback makes a stronger emphasis on students’ use of library resources.
  • RRSA-Health fits two broad domains, (1) Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) and (2) Health Literacy. RRSA-Health measures some skills that are prerequisite to EBP. In addition, it measures eHealth Literacy skills, related to the use of health information from the internet and other electronic sources. Here is a definition of Health Literacy.
  • Competency model: See below.
  • Main page example: http://rrsa.cmich.edu/cgi-bin/rrsah.cgi, RRSA-Health for Central Michigan University. It's undergoing a major evaluation and revision, funded by NIH. Abstract: http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/portfolio/sc/detail.cfm?appl_id=7559405

eHealth Competencies: For any health information consumer

  • For any health information consumer who goes online to find answers to health-related questions.
  • Objectives for consumers: (1) help people become aware of their skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic health information, (2) motivate people to improve their skills, (3) explain the value of using a variety of information sources, 4) inform about major, open-access gateways to credible health information for consumers, and (5) offer ideas about what kinds of health-related questions one can answer by using the open-access internet.
  • Objectives for health educators: Use RRSA as a tool to (1) help internet users become aware of their skills in finding, evaluating and using electronic health information, (2) motivate them to improve their own skills and make better use of online information, and (3) show ways of applying critical judgment to health information found online.
  • Measures: Finding health information (an objective measure of skill and knowledge); Evaluating health information (an objective measure of skill and knowledge); Overall score (a sum of scores for all objective measures);Beliefs about browsing the internet (beliefs that open-access internet and search engines are always the best source of information); Research & library experience (past behaviors related to doing research and using libraries); and Perceived research skills (subjective beliefs about one's own skills, a self-report). It also includes several experimental measures, such as using eHealth information (in decision making), computer literacy, and acting as an information mediary. No feedback is currently given on items included in these experimental measures.
  • This is a self-assessment of eHealth Literacy skills, related to the use of health information from the internet and other electronic sources. Here is a definition of Health Literacy.
  • Competency model: See below.
  • Main page: http://rrsa.cmich.edu/cgi-bin/ehil.cgi

Competency Model for Library Versions (RRSA-Library)

Here is a brief working model that helps explain the basic building blocks of our assessment.

1. What to assume:
.......1a. Capability & limitations of media
2. Where to go:
.......2a. Knowledge of channels & sources: electronic, analog, and human
.......2b. Knowledge of entry points (gateways)
.......2c. Knowledge of access barriers
3. How to use:
.......3a. Needs assessment (define task, set goal, plan strategy)
.......3b. Navigation (seek, find, refine, narrow) and critical judgment (verify, check) of content, features, and sources of multimedia (text, video, audio, graphics)
.......3c. Manipulation of database search applications to get useful outputs
.......3d. Assessment of relevance (check context)
.......3e. Application of outputs (ethically use, recommend)
4. How to get better:
.......4a. Checking assumptions (question) and skill gaps (learn)
.......4b. Getting help

Competency Model for Health Versions (RRSA-Health & eHealth Competencies)

Here is a brief working model that helps explain the basic building blocks of our assessment.

1. What to assume:
.......1a. Capability & limitations of media
2. Where to go:
.......2a. Knowledge of channels & sources: electronic, analog, and human
.......2b. Knowledge of entry points (gateways)
.......2c. Knowledge of access barriers
3. How to use:
.......3a. Needs assessment (define task, set goal, plan strategy)
.......3b. Navigation (seek, find, refine, narrow) and critical judgment (verify, check) of content, features, and sources of eHealth multimedia (text, video, audio, graphics)
.......3c. Manipulation of eHealth tools and database search applications to get useful outputs
.......3d. Assessment of relevance (check context)
.......3e. Application of outputs (ethically use, recommend)
4. How to get better:
.......4a. Checking assumptions (question) and skill gaps (learn)
.......4b. Getting help

Publications, presentations and grants related to the RRSA: http://rrsa.cmich.edu/twiki/bin/view/RRSA/Publications

Link to the RRSA Home.

-- LanaVIvanitskaya - 2009-11-02

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