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A guide to using i>clickers in the library classrooms.

Sample Questions for Information Literacy Classes

These questions have been assembled from various articles on the subject of student response systems. When using them, please attribute the questions to the original source, which is listed at the bottom of each tab.

1. Where do you like to get your information?

A. The Web
C. People
D. Other

2. How do you search?

A. Google
B. The library
C. Bing
D. Other

3. How do you share information?

A. Email it
B. Print it
C. Texting
D. Facebook
E. Talk about it

4.  How many library skills classes have you had at SJSU?

A. None
B. One
C. Two
D. Three or more

5. Do you have a library card?

A. Yes
B. No

6. Searching for articles in a database:

A. I've never heard of it
B. It sounds familiar, but I don’t quite remember what it is.
C. I sort of know it.  
D. I know it well and could explain it to someone else.  


Questions from Burkhardt A, Cohen S. TURN YOUR CELL PHONES ON. Communications In Information Literacy [serial online]. September 2012;6(2):191-201. Available from: Library Literature & Information Science Full Text (H.W. Wilson), Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 8, 2016.

1. You are researching the health effects of herbal weight loss supplements. Which of the following resources is most likely to provide you with credible, objective information? 
A. A study completed by a manufacturer of herbal supplements
B. A report published by the National Institute of Health
C. An article from the Website, a prominent retailer of vitamins
D. A personal story of weight loss using herbal supplements

2. Biased information is completely worthless.
A. True
B. False

3. For a paper on the health effects of herbal weight loss supplements, which of the following authors is most likely to offer accurate and authoritative information? 
A. An individual with a PhD in marketing
B. A medical doctor with an advanced degree in biochemistry
C. A user of herbal weight loss supplements
D. The CFO of a company that is offering a new weight loss product

4. Which of the following helps you determine if a site has accurate information?
A. Other reputable site confirms the site’s information
B. The sources for the site’s information are cited
C. It was third on the list of sites found in a Google search
D. A and B

5. When deciding if an online article is up to date, which of the following should you check?
A. The date the article was published
B. The dates of any sources cited in the article
C. The publication dates of articles/pages the site links to
D. A and C
E. A, B, and C

6. You have been assigned to write a 5-page research paper on the possible health benefits of drinking red wine. Which of the following resources is the most relevant? 
A. Time magazine article on wine preferences among millennials
B. “Alcohol: A Women’s Health Issue” (article posted by the National Institute of Health)
C. “Red Wine and Resveratrol: Good for Your Heart” (article posted by, a well-known medical hospital)
D. The book Pairing Wine and Cheese: Easy Solutions

7. You have been asked to do a presentation on treatments for cancer before an audience of healthcare professionals and to use a single authoritative source. Which of the following would be your best choice? 
A. A cancer patient
B. Someone who has recovered from cancer
C. An article written by an oncologist (medical doctor who specializes in cancer treatment)
D. A Time magazine article on cancer treatments
E. B and C

8. What are the five most important criteria when evaluating a Website for the usefulness of its information?
A. detail, currency, accuracy, relevance
B. search functionality, contact information, page design, objectivity
C. relevance, authority, accuracy, currency, search functionality
D. currency, accuracy, objectivity, authority, relevance
E. currency, relevance, page design, links

9. You have come across an article entitled “Genetic Modifiers in Hemoglobinopathies” in a journal entitled Current Molecular Medicine. The language in the article is extraordinarily difficult to read with many technical terms but seems to highlight groundbreaking research underway. The intended audience for this article is most likely which of the

A. people with sickle cell anemia
B. people with hemoglobin problems
C. medical doctors conducting research into genetic diseases
D. college undergraduates majoring in science

10. If an article is published in the current year it is guaranteed to have the most current information.
A. True
B. False

These questions are from:  Moniz, Richard J. Jr.; Eshleman, Joe; Mooney, Brian; Tran, Christine; and Jewell, David, "The Impact of Information Literacy-Related Instruction in the Science Classroom: Clickers Versus Nonclickers" (2010). Library Staff Publications. Paper 5.


1. When searching for assignment information, I’d start by searching
A. Wikipedia
B. Google
D. Google Scholar
E. A Library Catalog
F. A Database (for journal articles)

2. If yes (I have used a database before), indicate the one statement you most agree with.
A. The databases were easy to find 
B. Searching was comparable to Google (ease of use, quality of results) 
C. Searching was difficult 
D. The information retrieved was useful 
E. I noticed the information was of higher quality and relevance than Google 

3. I have used Wikipedia to support assignment work before today.
A. Yes
B. No

4. Often, I’m not sure if the information I find is trustworthy (but use it anyway)
A. Strongly Agree 
B. Agree 
C. Neutral 
D. Disagree
E. Strongly Disagree

5. In this reference: Keizer, G 2009, ‘Microsoft faces new EC charges’, Computerworld. vol 43, iss 4, p. 9. What is the article title?
A. Microsoft faces new EC charges 
B. Computerworld 
C. Vol 43, iss4 
D. The article title is not provided in this reference.

6. Which one of these information uses requires a reference?
A. A direct quote from your textbook
B. Information from a website from which you created a table. 
C. An encyclopedia entry 
D. An idea (in your own words) from a journal article. 
E. All of the above 

Questions from Stagg, A., & Lane, M. (2010). Using clickers to support information literacy skills development and instruction in first-year business students. Journal of Information Technology Education, 9. 197-215. Retrieved from

1. Adding the word “AND” in between two keywords will:
A. Increase the number of results (broaden)
B. Decrease the number of results (narrow)
C. Neither

2. Which of the following is a characteristic of a scholarly article?
A. Written for the average reader
B. Written by an expert
C. Generally very brief (no longer than two pages)
D. Written by a reporter or journalist

3. If the full text of an article is not available:
A. You should search the Internet
B. You should use GetText
C. Try to get it by using Google Scholar
D. Pick a new topic

Assessment Questions

1. If you have trouble finding articles in a database you should first:

A. Try the Internet
B. Change your keywords
C. Try a different database
D. Use Wikipedia       
2. An article citation usually includes which of the following information?

A. Your account information
B. The library call number for that particular article
C. The author, title, and date
D. A list of better sources    

3. Relevance ranking in library databases allows you to do which of the following:

A. Sort the articles by importance
B. Sort the articles by date published
C. Sort the articles by length
D. All of the above    
4. True or False – Multiple databases on different subjects can be searched at the same time.

A. True
B. False
C. It depends

5. The purpose of Journal Finder is:

A. To locate a book in the library
B. To locate an article when the full text is not available
C. To locate a credible website on your topic
D. None of the above        
6. Once you find an article that you would like to use, you may:

A. Locate a shorter version
B. Pay for it from your account
C. Try to find it on the Internet
D. E-mail, save, or put it in a folder

7. The research paper topic you are given is “Do teen magazines contribute to eating disorders among teenagers?” If you were searching a database for articles on this topic, which of the following  keyword combinations would be the best search strategy?

A. magazines and eating disorders
B. teenagers and magazines and eating disorders
C. eating disorders and teenagers
D. teenagers and weight loss        
8. A journal article is more likely to have been written by:

A. A reporter
B. A professor
C. A military officer
D. A stock broker

9. The summary of a journal article is also known as:

A. A citation
B. A reference  
C. An abstract
D. None of the above             
10. You are interested in purchasing a hybrid automobile from a foreign manufacturer. You searched for Honda and got 17 hits. Which of the following searches would help you retrieve more than 17 hits?

A. Honda OR Toyota
B. Honda AND Toyota    

Questions from: Using Clickers to Increase Information Literacy Outcomes in the Classroom
Michael C. Alewine & Anthony Holderied, Library Instruction at the Point of Need NCLA Conference Thomasville, NC October 29, 2010. Retrieved from


1. Imagine you have an assignment to write a paper based on scholarly information. Which would be the most appropriate source to use?

A. Magazine
B. Journal
C. Newspaper
D. Web site
E. Not sure

2. How can you tell you are reading a popular magazine?

A. There are few, if any, advertisements.
B. Articles are in-depth and often have a bibliography.
C. Articles are written for the general public.
D. Issues are usually published quarterly (4 times a year)
E. Not Sure

3. What is the name of the linking tool found in SJSU databases that may lead you to the full text of an article?

A. Cite Text
B. Full Text
C. Get Text
D. RefText
E. Not sure

4. In considering the following article citation, what does 64(20) represent?

Kors, A. C. (1998). Morality on today's college campuses: The assault upon liberty and dignity. Vital Speeches of the Day, 64(20), 633-637.

A. The volume and the number of pages in the article
B. The volume and issue number of the article
C. The year and issue of the article
D. The volume and starting page number of the article
E. Not sure

5. In an online database which combination of keywords below would retrieve the greatest number of records?

A. cognition and emotion
B. cognition or emotion
C. cognition not emotion
D. cognition and emotion not feelings
E. Not Sure

6. If you find a very good article on your topic, what is the most efficient source for finding related articles?

A. An Academic Search Premier database search
B. Bibliography from the article
C. Library Catalog search
D. Other issues / volumes of the journal
E. Not Sure

7. What is an empirical study?

A. A survey of previously published literature on a particular topic to define and clarify a particular problem
B. A study based on facts and systematic observation rather than theory or principle
C. Statistical analysis of previously published data
D. A survey of previously published literature that comprehensively identifies, appraises and synthesizes all relevant literature to address a specific question
E. Not Sure

8. Which area of the web site provides a list of core databases for different student majors?

A. The Academic Gateway
B. Online Tutorials
C. E-journals
D. SJSU Research Topics
E. Not Sure

9. What does the following citation represent:

Erzen, J. N. (2007). Islamic aesthetics: An alternative way to knowledge. Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 65(1), 69-75.

A. Book review
B. Journal article
C. Literature review
D. Periodical
E. Not Sure

10. If you are searching for a book or article your library does not own, you can get a free copy through:

A. Google Scholar
B. Article Express
C. Interlibrary Services (ILLiad)
D. Webloan
E. Not Sure

11. How would you locate the hard-copy material for this citation?

Erzen, J. N. (2007). Islamic aesthetics: An alternative way to knowledge. Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 65(1), 69-75.

A. Search the library catalog for the name of the journal
B. Search the library catalog for the author of the article
C. Search Academic Search Premier
D. Search RefWorks
E. Not sure

Staley, S. M., Branch, N. A., & Hewitt, T. L. (2010). Standardised library instruction assessment: an institution-specific approach. Information Research, 15(3), 4.

Clicker Question Collections from the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia.
A comprehensive collection of science-related questions. (You will need to scroll down to find the collections.)

1.  Which of the following statements BEST defines empirical data?

A. Evidence based on reasoning and logic
B. Evidence based on strong beliefs or intuition
C. Information derived from reviews of the journal literature.
D. Information derived from experiments, experience, or observation.
E. Information related to an emperor or tyrant.

2.  From the following, choose the abstract for a journal article that includes EMPIRICAL DATA:

A. "In two experiments, we investigated wheater different mood states activate specific types of implicit alcohol cognition among undergraduates classified as enhancement motivated (EM) or coping motivated (CM) drinkers. Participants completed a Stroop task in Experiment 1 (N=81), and an Extrinsic Affective Simon Task in Experiment 2 (N=79) following random assignment to listen to positive or negative musical mood induction procedures (MMIP)."
B. "The author reflects on the appropriate terminology in scientific discourse that need to take into account not only the recalcitrant nature of popular usage. The semnatic meaning of our terms can be measured by psychological rating tools, such as the semantic differential and attitude scales. Scome research suggests that the term alcoholism, for example, has both moral and disease connotations, which can be endorsed simultaneously by the same individuals in different cultures."
C. Both A and B.
D. Neither A nor B.

3.  From the following list, choose the item that is NOT a journal article:

A. Impact of outdoor winter sports on the abundance of a key indicator species of alpine ecosystems, Patthey, Patrick. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2008-12-01. Vol. 45, Iss. 6; p. 1704-1711.
B. Statistical runout modeling of snow avalanches using GIS in Glacier National Park, Canada. Delparte, D. Cold Regions Science & Technology. 11/1/2008. Vol. 54, Iss. 3; p. 183-192.
C. Snowboarding. Rob Reichenfeld, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Publishers, 1995.

4.  Which of these students is plagiarizing? 

Original sourceIf the existence of a signing ape was unsettling for linguists, it was also startling news for animal behaviorists.

Student #1: The existence of a signing ape unsettled linguists and startled animal behaviorists (Davis 261).

Student #2: If the presence of a sign-language-using chimp was disturbing for scientists studying language, it was also surprising to scientists studying animal behavior (Davis 261).

Student #3: According to Flora Davis, linguists and animal behaviorists were unprepared for the news that a chimp can communicate with its trainers through sign language (261).

A. Plagiarism -- the first two students
B. Plagiarism -- all of these students
C. Plagiarism -- none of these students


The questions above are from:  Connor, E. (2011) Using cases and clickers in library instruction: Designed for science undergraduates. Science & Technology Libraries, 30 (3). doi:10.1080/0194262X.2011.592787

Demonstration Question

You searched for articles using the words Guantanamo Bay AND Cuba. If you did a new search using the words Guantanamo Bay AND Cuba AND Castro you would:

A. Get the same results
B. Get more results

Recall Question

You would use GetText to:

A.  Log into the library’s databases
B.  Link to the full-text of an article
C.  Renew your books
D.  Access Electronic Reserves

Research Question 

How would you create a search for the following topic?: "Violence in the media negatively affects children."

A.  violence, children
B.  violence, media
C.  violence
D.  violence, media, children


Questions from Ivy, K., & Renfrow, D. (2007) Clickers go to the library [PowerPoint presentation], San Diego State University. From