From Input, to Information Literacy, to Impact: Assessing Library-based Learning

If you are looking for the page of resources about library assessment, please click HERE or click on the tab at the top of the page.

 

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She Had A Pleasant Elevation

She’s moving out in all directions …

Like this Talking Heads song, this is how my summer has been – moving out in all directions. Though to be clear –  I am NOT taking LSD in a field next to a Yoo-hoo beverage factory in Baltimore, Maryland (thanks for this information Wikipedia), nor am I lying in any grass. I have been working with my colleagues on lots and lots of assessment projects, all simultaneously. And it’s fun and exciting and draining and cool. (And busy.)

Let me do a brief inventory:

  • Assessment of Learning in the Academic Library
  • Student Affairs Assessment
  • Academic Department Assessment Reports – 2010-2011
  • Academic Department Assessment Plans – 2011-2012
  • Preparing for rolling out Department Review- Chapter 2: Student Learning
  • Liberal Arts Core Revision (and supporting myriad assessment projects associated with the current LAC outcomes)
  • NWCCU Accreditation – Standard One
  • Hiring and welcoming our new Assessment Research Coordinator
  • Hiring and welcoming our new Service Program Coordinator
  • Teaching LRN 305
  • And, and, and … let me just say it’s been a busy summer.

And oh yeah, I almost forgot! I have been working on  my own learning in the Assessment Leadership Academy — all in context of these various projects and my day-to-day work.

I have to say that in moving in all of these directions, I am, in fact,  having a pleasant elevation. Wanna know why? Because when I am engaged in this work, I am learning. And why? Because assessment is about learning. (Not to be redundant – but have I said that before? Like HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE?)

Megan Oakleaf, in a recent article about assessing value in academic libraries, said it too in regard to why assessment in libraries is important:

Value research means hard work: hard work conducting research, hard work reflecting on results, hard work fine-tuning existing services and resources, and hard work developing new ones. However, it is certain that not engaging in the value conversation puts academic libraries in  an untenable situation. It is also certain that investigating and demonstrating library value is the right thing to do. Why? Because as librarians explore the value of library services and resources they provide, they learn. When librarians learn, they proactively deliver top-notch services and resources where they’re needed—to students completing their academic work; to faculty preparing publications, grant proposals, or tenure packages; to administrators seeking decision-making evidence. And when librarians deliver excellent services and resources, they make a difference for their users—they are valuable.

This summer has been all about learning — student learning, my learning, my colleagues’ learning, my institution’s learning — and making a difference (or at least trying to). And learning and making a difference are valuable. And *that’s* been my pleasant elevation for this summer (which has got to be way better than taking LSD in a field next to a Yoo-hoo beverage factory any old day).

(Not that I would know.)

Assessment of Learning in Academic Libraries – References

As part of my project for the Assessment Leadership Academy, I am writing a review of the relevant literature. My project is titled Developing an Academic Library Learning Assessment Plan, and these are some of the most helpful references I have come across so far. Megan Oakleaf’s work, specifically, is really great.

REFERENCES

Allen, M.J. (2004). Assessing academic programs in higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

American Association of Colleges and Universities VALUE Project. Information literacy rubric. Retrieved from http://www.aacu.org/value/abouttherubrics.cfm

American Association for Higher Education. Principles of Good Practice for Assessing Student Learning. Retrieved from http://condor.depaul.edu/acafflpc/aahe.htm

Banta, T. & Associates. (2002). Building a scholarship of assessment. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Driscoll, Amy & Wood, S. (2007). Developing outcomes-based assessment for learner-centered education: A faculty introduction. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Dugan, R.E. & Hernon, P. (2002). Outcomes assessment: Not synonymous with inputs and outputs. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 28, 376-380.

Hernon, P. (2002). Editorial: The practice of outcomes assessment. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 28, 1-2.

Hernon, P. & Dugan, R.E. (2002). An action plan for outcomes assessment in your library. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Hurlbert, J. (2008). Defining relevancy: Managing the new academic library. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Nichols, K. W., & Nichols, J. O. (2000). The department head’s guide to assessment implementation in administrative and educational support units. New York: Agathon Press.

Nitecki, D.A. & Bach, C.N. (2011, March). Assessment and accreditation: Libraries enter stage left. Paper presented at the Association of College and Research Libraries conference. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/events/national/2011/papers/assessment_accredita.pdf

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (2010). Standard 2 – Resources & Capacity. Retrieved from http://www.nwccu.org/Standards%20and%20Policies/Standard%202/Standard%20Two.htm

Oakleaf, M. (2008). The information literacy instruction assessment cycle: A guide for increasing student learning and improving librarian instructional skills. Journal of Documentation, 65(4), 539-560.

Oakleaf, M. (2009). Writing information literacy assessment plans: A guide to best practice. Communications in Information Literacy, 3(2), 80-89.

Oakleaf, M. (2010). The value of academic libraries: A comprehensive research review and report. Association of College & Research Libraries. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/value/val_report.pdf

Oakleaf, M. (2011). Are they learning? Are we? Learning outcomes and the academic library. The Library Quarterly, 81(1), 61-82.

Oakleaf, M. & Kaske, N. (2009). Guiding questions for assessing information literacy in higher education. Libraries in the Academy, 9(2), 273-286.

Portmann, C.A. & Roush A.J. (2004). Assessing the effects of library instruction. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 30, 461-465.

Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing student learning: A commonsense guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

White, L.N. (2008). From slide rules to scorecards: service environment factors affecting the future of assessment in academic libraries. In J.M. Hurlbert (Ed.), Defining relevancy: Managing the new academic library (pp. 178-185). Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited.

Wood, E.J., Miller, R., & Knapp, A. (2007). Beyond survival: Managing academic libraries in transition. Westport, CN: Libraries Unlimited.

Wright, S. & White, L. (2007). SPEC Kit 303: Library Assessment. Association of Research Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/spec303web.pdf