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Strategies for implementing successful IL action plans. Barbie E. Keiser UNESCO IL TTT Workshop Wuhan University October 2008. What we’ll cover during this session. Strategic planning for IL Environmental scanning SWOT/TOWS analysis Critical Success Factors (CSFs) The team

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strategies for implementing successful il action plans

Strategies for implementing successful IL action plans

Barbie E. Keiser


Wuhan University

October 2008

what we ll cover during this session
What we’ll cover during this session
  • Strategic planning for IL
    • Environmental scanning
    • SWOT/TOWS analysis
    • Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
    • The team
  • Needs assessment
    • Methods for conducting
and what we won t
And what we won’t
  • Organizational structure and programmes within UNESCO
    • Education
    • Communication & information (IFAP)
    • Bangkok (
  • Differentiating among education, training, and guidance
  • ACRL Information Literacy IQ (Institutional Quotient) Test (
what do we know about strategic planning
Concerns the relationship of an organization to its environment

Involves wide-range scanning of external and environmental factors

Flexible, dynamic and continually reworked plans maximize results


Shorter and longer-range plans are interwoven into a continuous strategy

Forward-looking; future-oriented

Iterative, ongoing effort

Proactive; seek opportunities

Bottom-up decision process

Environment considered ever-changing and dynamic

Integrated focus

Requires creativity to deal with new opportunities and choices

Incentives given for overall performance of the organization

What do we know about strategic planning?
key planning issues
Key planning issues
  • Review past performance
    • Understand reasons for past failures
  • Identify opportunities
  • Determine client/customer and learner preferences
  • Understand the impact of IL training on existing operations and staff function
  • Marketing
potential planning pitfalls
Potential planning pitfalls
  • Inability to get management and/or staff involved
  • Lack of clear objectives
  • Not relating IL goals and objectives directly to those of our organization/ institution
  • Other?
what strategies can we use to assure that we do not fall into these traps
Establish strong partnerships (Jamaica)

Early, strong, consistent, and growing

Be careful in selecting your champion (Quebec)


Be responsive

Learn how to say “no”

Appreciate the art of persuasion

Tell stories (Quebec)

Storytelling trumps statistics

Demonstrate value to all stakeholder groups (WIIFM and ROI)

Share the information expertise of your staff with other knowledge workers

Added benefits?

Employ the vocabularies of target stakeholder groups (i.e., no library jargon)

Changing the message and the focus

Demonstrate the need

Place IL skills in context

Identify where IL skills are already being taught/in use

An added bonus: A focus for our advocacy efforts

“New” product(s) to “market”

Reinvented service

A case for proactivity in a way we haven’t seen before

Opportunity to market

What strategies can we use to assure that we do not fall into these traps?

Sources: Caroline Stern

where are we in the strategic planning process for il
Where are we in the strategic planning process for IL?
  • Perform an environmental scan
  • Conduct a SWOT/TOWS analysis
  • Initial assumptions (and their bases in fact)
    • Never assume!
    • Extant data (collected and reviewed)
  • Identify Critical Success Factors (CSFs)
    • Indicators Measures
  • Develop vision, mission, and values statements
      • Envisioning your IL programme
environmental scanning
Environmental scanning
  • Detects trends and events important to the project (IL training programmes)
  • Provides early warning of changing external conditions
  • Defines potential threats, opportunities, changes implied by trends and events
  • Promotes a future orientation in the thinking of stakeholders
  • Enables decision-makers to understand current (and potential) changes to determine organizational strategies
  • What are the triggers in your institutions/ organizations/communities (i.e., indicators that IL training is needed that will resonate with your community)?
performing a comprehensive environmental scan
Performing a comprehensive environmental scan
  • IL models and standards
    • Methods? (MyBookmarks)
  • Your institution/organization/community
    • Methods?
  • Previous IL (and other training) efforts
    • Understanding reasons for success/failure
    • What kind of extant data do you collect (and review)?
il models and standards guidelines
Country models

National Information Literacy Framework (Scotland)

Information Literacy Framework for Schools (Hong Kong)

Australian and New Zealand IL Framework: Principles, Standards, and Practice (ANZIL)

US School Library Media Center Questionnaire (

Big6 Information Problem-Solving Process (

Task definition

Information seeking strategies

Location and access

Use of information



AASL ( and CASL (

ACRL (higher education) guidelines (competencies) -, toolkit and

Five standards

Performance indicators (and outcomes for each)

Seven Pillars (

Information Inquiry, Problem-Solving and Research Process

IL models and standards guidelines
conducting a swot analysis
Conducting a SWOT analysis
  • Useful when you need to understand your own competitive advantages
  • Provides information helpful in matching your organization’s resources and capabilities to the environment in which it operates
  • Scan of the internal and external environment, beginning externally
  • Environmental factors internal to the institution/organization/library/community = Strengths or Weaknesses
  • Environmental factors external to the institution/organization/library/community = Opportunities or Threats
  • Sometimes can be too inward
  • An extension of the SWOT analysis
  • Analyze the external environment (threats and opportunities) and your internal environment (weaknesses and strengths) to help you think about the strategy of your organization
    • Useful for marketing campaigns
  • Threats and opportunities
    • External environmental factors over which you do not have control (changing demographics)
  • Weaknesses and strengths
    • Internal factors (poor location; bad reputation)
balanced business scorecard

Financial/ stakeholder






Balanced Business Scorecard

Source: Dr. Sheila Corrall, University of Sheffield

key questions
Is your community ready?

What to do if it is not

Is your institution/ organization’s culture a barrier?

How to deal with that

Where did the idea for IL training originate?

You or others


What do you want learners to be able to do?

What do learners need to know in order to do this well?

What type of instruction will best enable the learning?

How will the student demonstrate the learning?

How will you know that the learner has learned?

Key questions

Source: Ruth Pagell, SMU

scope of your il training
Scope of your IL training
  • Comprehensive or narrow(er)?
    • Pilot project approach
      • One subject, that can then be extended to others
      • One tool, that can then be extended to similar tools
    • Our responsibility is to help learners make those connections!
  • Focus on what the learner needs to know, teaching them how to ask the right question (if they want to get the right answer)
  • Begin by asking what the learner already knows about the subject, and then….
questions for the learner framework for il scotland
Questions for the learner (Framework for IL – Scotland)
  • What’s the most likely place you will find the answer?: Was this choice “the best”?
  • What words can you use to search effectively to improve on your existing knowledge?: Was the strategy “the best”?
  • How do you know when you’re finished?: Did learner assess correctly?
  • Have you learned something new?
  • Who else should know this (and how should this be shared - ethically)?
  • How will you apply this now?
  • What have you learned from this experience that you can apply elsewhere?
overview of the process
Overview of the process
  • Goals and objectives
    • Strategies and tactics
  • Target population
  • Type of training
    • Alternatives
  • Project planning
team approach
Team approach
  • Who should be included on the team?
  • Who is responsible?
  • When is it due?
  • Consider what’s needed to gain institutional commitment and stakeholder “buy-in”
needs assessment knowing your market
Definition: a planned, systematic approach to determining the information needs of each distinct customer group

Purpose: Help you develop training targeted specifically to each group and need

Diverse set of learners, each with distinct set of needs

Understand your targets

Why they need to improve their IL skills (direct impact)

What would persuade them that IL is important to their success

Identify groups with related needs

Needs assessment: Knowing your “market”

Usability-lite testing

Easter egg hunt



Focus Groups



questions to pose concerning facts
Questions to pose concerning facts
  • Why should I believe it?
  • Does the claim need evidence to support it?
  • If there is evidence provided, how good is the evidence?
  • Other plausible interpretations?
  • What reasonable alternative conclusions are possible?
what we ll cover during this session1
What we’ll cover during this session
  • Moving from goals and objectives to who will do what (and when)
  • Plus a bit on….
    • How the training should be delivered
      • Options available
    • Monitoring performance and measuring success
    • Student assessments
    • Overall programme, including cost/benefit (ROI) and value analysis
the overall goal is information fluency and developing the lifelong learner
The overall goal is information fluency and developing the lifelong learner


Establish specific

objectives for your IL

training program







Develop IL training



Evaluate IL training


BI, ITC, and more

One-time or semester?

Required or optional?

Grade level; undergrad/grad/ researcher/




Implement IL training


Credit/other reward/incentive?

the plan



Positioning statement

Key message(s)

Target audiences


Evaluation measures

The Plan
1a establish objectives
What (specific) competencies must your “audience” possess?

Focus on the ends, not the means

From four perspectives



Condition under which performance will be observed

Criteria for success

What gaps must be addressed?

Identify required and desired proficiencies

Identify deficiencies (and their causes)

Identify non-training (e.g., availability equipment) and training (e.g., skills of trainers) issues

What innovative approaches can be used?

Benefits of blended learning

Social networks for viral spreading knowledge gained

Web 2.0 to reinforce over time

1a. Establish objectives
the plan1
Positioning statement: How do you want the project to be perceived?

Key message(s): What is the most important message that you wish to deliver?

The Plan
creating priorities within competencies sought isd
Creating priorities within competencies sought (ISD)
  • Based on the importance of knowing what your target learners need to DO
    • How frequently is the task performed?
    • How critical is the task to performance?
    • How difficult or complex is the task?
      • If a subset of collective tasks, what is the relationship among tasks?
    • To what extent will training for this task be encountered elsewhere? Ability to apply knowledge
    • What prerequisite skills, knowledge, and abilities are required to perform the task?
    • What is the current/desired criteria for acceptable performance?
    • What behaviors distinguish good performers from poor?
    • What behaviors are critical to the performance of the task?
people learn differently



Seeing is believing vs. auditory (Wharton study)

Importance of reinforcement

Storyboarding, scenario building, case studies/examples

People learn differently!
1b establish objectives
1b. Establish objectives
  • How does each contribute to the overall strategic goal for information fluency?
  • What approach(es) will you take?
    • What has been successful for you in the past (and why)?
  • What specific results (outcomes) must be accomplished so that you can get closer to your goal of information fluency?
    • How those results will be achieved is explained in Step 2
  • How will you “market” this effort?
2a develop il training strategies
2a. Develop IL training strategies
  • What training (content) could address IL competence gaps?
  • What format should that training take?
    • How do you make those decisions?
      • Staff competencies and time available
      • Generate alternative training strategies for addressing (specific) IL gaps
      • List all trainings considered/selected (and rationale)
        • What innovative approaches can be used?
2b develop il training strategies
2b. Develop IL training strategies
  • What are the projected (life-cycle) costs for (developing and implementing) each type of training to be offered?
    • Specific benefits anticipated, both tangible and non-tangible?
  • What are the consequences to the organization and library strategic goals of not offering IL training?
3 implement il training programme s
3. Implement IL training programme(s)
  • Write your IL training goals and make them known
    • Collaboration, teamwork, marketing/pr
  • Identify performance measures and indicators (outcomes and impact)
    • How will you benchmark performance prior to taking the training (e.g., pre-testing)?
      • Mechanisms for assessing IL post-training
        • Immediate and longer-term
      • Continuous improvement process
      • Measuring self-sufficiency achievements
      • Understanding Top Box scores
  • Develop an action plan
action plans
Action plans
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Evaluation and control
  • Results
develop an action plan
Develop an action plan
  • What will be done?
    • Key tactics to support the strategies
    • Identify specific tasks to be completed
  • By whom?
    • For whom?
  • By when?
    • Timelines for each objective
  • What resources are required (including financial)?
  • Who should know/be involved?
    • Collaborators and stakeholders
  • How will you “market” the effort?
4 evaluate il training goal accomplishments isd
4. Evaluate IL training goal accomplishments (ISD)
  • Did you achieve the training goal?
  • How much did it cost?
  • Did accomplishing your IL training goal help the organization/institution achieve larger goals?
  • What modifications should be made to the plan, based on the evaluation findings?
training costs
Training costs
  • Development costs (personnel and equipment)
  • Direct implementation costs (e.g., training materials, instructor travel/per diem, facilities)
  • Indirect implementation costs (overhead, G&A)
  • Compensation for participants
  • Lost productivity or costs of “backfilling” positions during training
    • Developer
    • Instructor
    • Faculty
training benefits
Training benefits
  • Time/resource savings
  • Improved quality
  • Error reduction
  • Allow the learner to do something not possible before
your business case
Your business case
  • Are the projected benefits (to the individual, library, faculty, school, organization, community) consistent with strategic performance goals?
  • What are the consequences if IL training did not occur (or did not occur here)?
  • Do the potential benefits outweigh the costs?
  • What is the value added from closing IL competency gaps?
best practices for implementing training programmes
Best practices for implementing training programmes
  • Demonstrate results: Performance measures should tell each target group how well it’s achieved its goals (individual, faculty, library, school)
  • Limited to the vital few: Measures should cover key performance dimensions – Too much data may obscure rather than clarify (expensive)
  • Link to departments: Performance measures should be linked directly to offices responsible for making training work (library and faculty)
how can we assess learning and training goal achievement
How can we assess learning and training goal achievement?
  • Pre- and post-testing
    • Delayed post-tests
    • Anonymity
  • Interviews (in-person, phone)
  • Survey
  • Work samples/co-grading reports
  • Existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms (extant data)
  • Each data collecting method has advantages and disadvantages
moving from teacher centered to learning and learner centered training
Moving from teacher-centered to learning and learner-centered training

Source: Cox and Lindsay

types and quality of assessments acrl examples



Traditional (test)

Authentic (real life task)





Self-Assessment (pre-and post)







Assess the thinking process

Include critical thinking elements


Types and quality of assessments (ACRL)/Examples
creating your assessments
Creating your assessments
  • Create a list of KSAs: What should learners know and be able to do?
  • Identify standards that the learners need to meet
  • Design some tasks that will illustrate whether learners have grasped concepts
  • Determine what signifies “good” performance
  • Develop rubrics to be used in grading and course redesign
assessment models and samples
Assessment models and samples
  • TRAILS: Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (
  • iSkills from ETS
  • Additional assessment resources (
monitoring your performance as well
Monitoring your performance as well
  • Establish a tracking system to monitor both plan execution and impact
  • For each scheduled milestone, compare the actual performance with the anticipated, and report results
  • For all variances in scheduled performance…
ask the following
Ask the following:
  • How does the reported performance compare with the previous performance?
    • Benchmark the starting line
  • Is the performance/schedule variance likely to prevent goal achievement?
    • Particularly when the “stepped approach” has been used
  • Are external factors affecting performance? Which?
  • Is the variance due to unrealistic expectations (from planning stage)? What adjustments should be made?
  • What modifications should be made to the action plan?
  • What performance information should be collected now?
establishing the worth
Establishing the worth
  • Of training
  • Subjective method for establishing the worth of improved performance (as a result of IL training)
  • Comparing costs and benefits by calculating total Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Assessing results
what you should have at the end of this session
What you should have at the end of this session
  • Model worksheets for creating action plans
  • Ideas to use as the starting points for your IL training efforts
  • Resources to consult
    • My bookmarks
    • How you can share yours
comments questions suggestions
Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

Thank you!

Barbie E. Keiser