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Assignments as Assessment Michelle S. Millet Information Literacy Coordinator Trinity University UTSA Symposium 2006
Today’s Objectives • Attendees will discover ways to create assignments within the context of library instruction to use as assessment tools; • Attendees will learn about the theory behind assessment in higher education; and • Attendees will practice creating an assignment to ensure that I practice what I preach.
Question 1: Who, on your campus, is responsible for assessing student learning?
Today’s Focus • Out of the library classroom • Can be used in addition to instruction
Today, we’re talking about… • Assignments • Create a sense of value • Build relationship with faculty • Build relationship with students • Two Birds • Continuing or introducing the concepts of information literacy
When…. • to add an assessment? • Before class (pre-assess knowledge/comfort levels) • After class (what did students retain? How does this relate to learning?) • During class • Directly tied to your objectives
Bibliography Analysis • Work with faculty to define rubrics. • Make sure you comment on the bibliographies. • Often begins with the “signed” bibliography.
Tiered Instruction • Goes back to more time…. • What if students had to complete a reference assignment before your class? • What if students had to complete an information literacy self assessment?
Example Background Information Assignment Examine and annotate the following three sources. Annotations should begin with a correctly formatted citation and run 3-5 sentences in length. Please provide a brief description followed by an evaluative summary. Consider the following questions: Will it be useful in your research? Why or why not? What are the author’s credentials? Is there a bibliography? Does it include primary sources? Use your judgment.
Example Self-Assessment • I am comfortable using the library and doing research. • I usually have no problems finding information I need. • I can effectively search library catalogs and databases. • Once I have a list of the sources I need to consult, I can easily locate and obtain them. • I am familiar with the different kinds of information sources available. • I know the best reference books, indexes, and other general resources to use to get background information on my topic.
Why? “Teaching without learning is just talking.” Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1993, 3.
The Theory of Assessment • Higher Education • A Nation at Risk (1983) • Libraries • Parallel programmatic assessment • Library Instruction • ACRL Standards (1989)
Assessment vs. Evaluation • Evaluation of Teaching • How did we do? • Assessment of Learning • What did you learn?
How? • Measurable Goals/Objectives • Start with three and make one measurable • Tie these to course goals
The Creative Process • Begin with your measurable objective • Consult Bloom’s for guidance • Remember the nuts and bolts: • Vary the assignment for the class if necessary • Be firm about deadlines if you can • Take the time to add comments
Is this going to be graded? • Yes! • Remember to keep your promises to students.
Take Your Own Advice • Don’t assume • Allow enough time • Collaborate • Try it yourself
Let’s Try one! • Class: Latin American Cultures. Common Curriculum Course, all levels, all majors. • Students are assigned three primary sources and they have to decide if violence in conquest of Mexico is justified. • Objective? • What kind of assignment could we tie to this course?
Group Work • Work in pairs to finish worksheet.
Thanks! www.trinity.edu/mmillet Presentation and stuff will be there!