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Covering Assessment in LIS Education and in the Profession. Megan Oakleaf Peter Hernon Karin De Jager Library Assessment Conference August 2008. Panel Overview. Introduction Some examples of what LIS education is doing Assessment Student outcomes Student learning outcomes

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covering assessment in lis education and in the profession

Covering Assessment in LIS Education and in the Profession

Megan Oakleaf

Peter Hernon

Karin De Jager

Library Assessment Conference

August 2008

panel overview
Panel Overview
  • Introduction
    • Some examples of what LIS education is doing
    • Assessment
      • Student outcomes
      • Student learning outcomes
  • The Assessment Toolkit
  • Assessment in Context
  • A view from South Africa

Library Assessment Conference 2008


lis education
LIS Education
  • Status of using student learning outcomes should guide programs
  • Role of research at master’s level
    • Research—Application of inquiry process
    • Evaluation—Library centric
      • Examination of program/service for summative/formative evaluation
    • Assessment—Connects libraries and broader organizations to stakeholder expectations and requirements

Library Assessment Conference 2008


key stakeholders behind assessment
Key Stakeholders behind Assessment
  • Government
    • Federal
    • State
  • Accreditation
    • Regional Accrediting Organizations
    • Program “Accreditors”

Library Assessment Conference 2008


critical issues
Critical Issues
  • How do we build “research” as a most essential activity within LIS education?
  • How do we build research as a more essential activity among libraries and librarians?

Library Assessment Conference 2008



LIS schools/programs


An institution

Campus IR

Cross-disciplinary partners

Library Assessment Conference 2008


other partnerships
Other Partnerships

Libraries within the US





LIS Education

Key professional associations

ISSUES: How to address research and assessment?

Library Assessment Conference 2008


aggregate statistics on groups of students graduation rates, retention rates transfer rates employment rates for a graduating class


1. Accountability: Meeting institutional mission—effectiveness and institutional fiscal efficiency

Library Assessment Conference 2008


assessment cycle for student learning outcomes
Assessment Cycle for Student Learning Outcomes

Planning (Assessment Plan)

Identify outcomes Interpret evidence

Gather “evidence”





Review outcomes

Use the results

LibQUAL+ is irrelevant

Library Assessment Conference 2008


student learning outcomes examples
Student Learning Outcomes--Examples


Oral/written communication

Foreign language communication

Technological sophistication

Quantitative reasoning ability




Critical thinking

Problem solving

Information literacy

Global citizen

Values (moral, etc.)

Library Assessment Conference 2008



What should students learn (in a program)? How well are they learning it (in that program)? What measures and procedures does the institution USE to determine that it is effective?To what extent does the institution offer evidence that demonstrates its Effectiveness to the public?What does the institution plan to do with this evidence to improve outcomes?


2. Educational quality and improvement (e.g., student learning)

Library Assessment Conference 2008


student learning outcomes exist at the following levels
Student learning outcomes exist at the following levels



Use of rubrics


direct methods
Embedded course assessment (performance on assignments, etc.; minute paper)

Portfolio assessment

Performance (internships, practicum, student teaching)

Professional jurors or evaluators

Capstone course/experience

Experimental research designs), with pre- and post-testing

Use of standardized tests

Think-aloud protocol

Directed conversation

Videotape/audiotape evaluation

Analysis of theses/dissertations/

senior papers (content analysis, interviews, or oral defense)

Direct Methods
indirect methods
Surveys (self-reporting) and self-assessments

Curriculum and syllabus evaluation

Exit interviews



Indirect Methods
simmons mlip leadership model
Simmons’ MLIP Leadership Model

The curriculum and assessment activities are guided by a leadership model, which was adapted from a model developed by the National Center for Healthcare Leadership. The model consists of twenty-five distinct leadership competencies in three broad areas: Transformation, Accomplishment, and People.

assessment in context
Assessment in Context
  • Learning in context is authentic & meaningful.
    • Students apply skills as they would in the real world.
  • Learning in context is active.
    • “Students construct meaning and knowledge: they do not have meaning or knowledge handed to them in a book or lecture. Learning, then, is a process of students ‘making sense’ of how things fit together; factual and procedural knowledge is built along the way” (Shavelson & Baxter, 1996).
  • Learning in context is open-ended & acknowledges more that one right approach/answer (Shepard, 1996).

Library Assessment Conference 2008


example lis assignment
Example LIS Assignment

Planning, Marketing, & Assessing Library Services

Assignment Tasks:

  • Locate a new or recently revised library service & a host librarian
  • For the service, develop:
    • Project Management Plan
    • Marketing Plan
    • Assessment Plan
  • Present final plans to class & host librarian

Library Assessment Conference 2008


library service examples
Library Service Examples
  • Virtual/IM reference
  • Downloadable audio
  • Gaming programs
  • Single service points
  • Information commons
  • Portals/blogs/wikis
  • LibGuides
  • Digitization
  • Orientations & outreach
  • Book clubs & summer reading programs
  • Cafes/coffee bars

Library Assessment Conference 2008


assessment plan outline
Assessment Plan Outline

Service goals & link to strategic plan

Literature review

Service outcomes

Target audience

Methods & tools for evidence collection Recommendations for pilot assessment

Analysis of evidence (data plan)

How assessors will know the outcome has been met

Result scenarios & decision making indicators

Recommendations for reporting

Responsible parties


Library Assessment Conference 2008


libraries impacted 2007 2008
Libraries Impacted (2007-2008)

Onondaga County Public Libraries (NY)

University of Rochester Libraries

Mott Road Elementary School Library (NY)

Vogelson Public Library (NJ)

LeMoyne Elementary School Library (NY)

Groton Elementary School Library (NY)

Paine Memorial Library (NY)

Drew University Libraries

Broome County Public Library

New York University Libraries

Green Mountain Library Consortium

Oneida-Herkimer BOCES School Library System

Schoharie Free Public Library (??)

University of Virginia Libraries

Boston College Libraries

Oneida Castle Elementary School Library

Andrew J. Lanza Library (??)

George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

Syracuse University Libraries

Lemoyne College Libraries

SUNY ESF Libraries

SUNY Cortland Libraries

SUNY Brockport Libraries

SUNY Binghamton Libraries

SUNY Upstate Medical University Libraries

Mid-York Library System (NY)

Cazenovia Public Library (NY)

Roanoke City Libraries (VA)

Loyola University Libraries

Cornell University Libraries

University of Utah Libraries

Enoch Pratt Free Library (MD)

Northwestern University Libraries

Supreme Court Library (NV)

Rockefeller University Libraries

UT – San Antonio Libraries

Brandeis University Libraries

26 NYC-area public school libraries

Wantagh Public Library (NY)

Brooklyn Public Library (NY)

Jervis Public Library (NY)

Fayetteville Free Library (NY)

Cazenovia Public Library (NY)

Cicero-North Syracuse HS Library

Fletcher Free Library (VT)

RIT Libraries

US Military Academy Library

Celebration School Library (FL)

Deschutes Public Libraries (OR)

Middlebury College Libraries (??)

University of New Hampshire Libraries

Regent University Libraries

Wake County Public Libraries (NC)

Whitesboro High School Library

Norwood-Norfolk Central HS Library

New England Law Library Consortium

YouthBuild Charter School Library (PA)

Wellesley College Libraries

Library Assessment Conference 2008


assessment impact examples
Assessment Impact Examples
  • Librarians move forward on projects.
    • Nearly all librarians say they’ll enact student plans, in part or in whole.
    • “We have paid thousands to ‘consultants’ who have produced reports that don’t come anywhere near the level of detail and professionalism that these students provided for us gratis. If we were to move on this we could have a family-centered program at the [children’s hospital] that would become a national model.”

–to hospital president and others from chair of pediatrics

    • “If you were wondering if your project was ever touched – most certainly! Your project has been the backbone of my knowledge and launching point for inquiry. Hopefully in 2-3 months you will see these items [downloadable audio] in the catalog and in our marketing.”

--to student from Wake Public Libraries (NC)

Library Assessment Conference 2008


assessment impact examples22
Assessment Impact Examples
  • Students gain professional positions.
  • Student named Federal Library Technician of the Year.
  • Student recommended as chair of assessment committee at New England Law Library Consortium.

Library Assessment Conference 2008


courses at selected lis programs
Courses at selected LIS Programs

UIUC “Evaluating Programs and Services”

Michigan “Evaluation of Systems and Services”

“Outcome Based Evaluation of Programs and Services”

Rutgers “Evaluation of Library and Information Services & Systems”

Indiana “Evaluation of Resources and Services”

Texas “Administration”

Wisconsin “Information Services Management”

Hawaii “Teaching Information Technology Literacy”

Florida State “Planning, Evaluation & Financial Management”

ECU Theme & component throughout program

Library Assessment Conference 2008


from sa point of view 2 implicit assumptions
From SA point of view - 2 implicit assumptions:

The workplace requires evaluation & assessment activities from librarians

Library schools are teaching some of the competencies required for these activities

Little evidence of either in local practice

Library Assessment Conference 2008


No standardized data collection required from libraries

Inevitable result: not a strong culture of assessment evident on the SA library scene

If evaluation & assessment not a high priority in libraries - almost self-evidently not high priority in library schools either

Library Assessment Conference 2008

library education in sa
Library education in SA

Schools/Departments generally small & threatened with closure

Reduced in number during the last 10 years from 18 to 12; also more closures in sight

Some that remain have merged with other disciplines in order to survive;

Or evolved other survival strategies; e.g. diversifying into adjacent areas like knowledge or records management, media studies & publishing

Library Assessment Conference 2008

two kinds of qualifications
Two kinds of qualifications

English speaking universities: mainly post-graduate Diploma after Bachelor’s degree

To ensure that students have some subject specialization

Other universities: first degree in librarianship with somewhat less emphasis on subject specialization

2 qualifications initially envisaged as equal (both took 4 years to complete); but

Gradual emergence of 3 year qualification in information studies - much less subject specialization required

Library Assessment Conference 2008


Librarians rather technicist in orientation

Focus on the practicalities of obtaining, managing & provision of resources

Frequently not enough subject expertise to be regarded as equals by faculty

Tend to concentrate on undergraduate needs & information literacy of very diverse & frequently underprepared student body.

Library performance measurement may be regarded with suspicion

Fear that own institution ‘might be shown up’ - of lesser quality than others

Library Assessment Conference 2008

university of cape town
University of Cape Town

Postgraduate diploma: small course on performance measurement & evaluation

6 teaching periods:

objectives of performance evaluation,

approaches to measuring

few informal case studies & examples of processes & procedures

Eventual need for evaluation skills in workplaces emphasized

Self-study projects on e.g. measuring in ILL depts, assessment of infolit competencies & information needs; statistics for electronic resources & web usability studies

Library Assessment Conference 2008

yet growing demand for evidence of quality
Yet growing demand for evidence of quality

SA Council for HE mandates national institutional quality audits

Libraries to provide evidence of quality & impact of services on teaching & research

Some assistance from CHELSA

Considerable interest in PM7 in 2007

Ca 70 librarians from SA (total of nearly 200)

Influence of LibQUAL+

Though language & structure very difficult at institutions where English not first language of student body

Library Assessment Conference 2008

also problem with research in sa
Also problem with research in SA

SA research output declined since 1990s

Respected researchers generally pale & male & about to retire

Results of our LibQual evaluation (2005)

Loud & clear; postgraduates & researchers not happy with Library resources & services

Both faculty & postgraduates (i.e. both current and future researchers) rated all of Information Control below minimum expectations

Serious & sustained interventions required to support & enhance the research enterprise

Library Assessment Conference 2008

novel intervention sa library education
Novel intervention SA library education

Ambitious Library project to support researchers in the Library

Consortium of 3 large academic libraries funded by Carnegie

Intended to catch up with what was not learnt in library school

Program for librarians: ‘total immersion’ into research enterprise

Monitoring & measuring ALL activities essential for improvement

Library Assessment Conference 2008

no research support without evaluation measurement
No research support without evaluation & measurement

Two-week “Academy” for 6 mid-career librarians from each institution for 2 (or 3) years

Best possible researchers talking about their own research

Wide range of disciplines & from very different epistemologies

Each participant also to produce potentially publishable research paper: with data collection, measurement or assessment component

Research involves finding out & counting & measuring to understand what is really going on –

Whether in libraries or elsewhere in the research enterprise

Library Assessment Conference 2008


Shavelson, Richard J., and Gail P. Baxter. "Linking Assessment with Instruction." A Handbook for Student Performance in an Era of Restructuring. Eds. Robert E. Blum and Judith A. Arter. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1996. IV-7:1 - IV-7:6.

Shepard, Lorrie A. "Why We Need Better Assessments." A Handbook for Student Performance Assessment in an Era of Restructuring. Eds. Robert E. Blum and Judith A. Arter. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1996. I-2:2 - I-2:7.

Library Assessment Conference 2008