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Subject Librarians

Identifies who we are and what we do

Overview of Direct Assessment Techniques

The Woodruff librarians are using three methods of direct assessment to measure student learning of information literacy skills:

  1. Pre-assessment (what do they already know?)
  2. Formative assessment (what are they learning?)
  3. Summative assessment (what have they learned?).

These methodologies are used as needed in collaboration with faculty.

Pre-Assessment Examples

Pre-Assessment Examples

Woodruff Librarians use pre-assessment techniques both to gage what the students already know and/or as a way of flipping the classroom and getting some instruction in before the instruction session. This helps the librarians make the best use of in-class time.

  • Students were asked to search both an online reference tool and some subject-specific databases before class. The students emailed their information to both the librarian and the professor who were able to better understand the level of the students’ research skills and then gear the library instruction session accordingly.
     
  • Prior to the library instruction session, the students watched a video on using a subject-specific database and then answered questions about what they learned. They received 5 course points for completing the activity.
     
  • The librarian gives a pre-test to first year graduate students that assesses students’ grasp of the nine skills that they need to succeed in grad school. He collects the completed handouts and makes charts to show results; he also shows students how their results compare with those of previous classes.
     
  • The librarian creates a LibWizard tutorial on searching the library catalog, and the professor assigns the tutorial to the students. The tutorial primes the students for the instruction session and enables the librarian to spend less time on demonstration and more on answering questions and having the students do their own searches.

Formative Assessment Examples

Formative Assessment Examples

  • The librarian creates a poll in Libguides and links the poll questions to articles. The students must identify the article as a news article, scholarly article, book, book review, etc. They then discuss the results in class and the librarian asks the students questions about these types of sources.
     
  • The librarian does an exercise on finding primary sources using various tools. Students are asked to find 2-3 primary source documents during class and to develop descriptions of what they found as well as what they would like to find.
     
  • The librarian discusses  the characteristics of the article types, then students work in groups to find examples of the article types that they provide links to in a Google doc.
     
  • During the lab session, students are divided into groups or “stations” and use a handout that guides them in how to use specific tools provided by the LibGuide to locate and write down several acceptable psychological tests that are relevant to their studies. Students report on their process of finding tests and the specific tests that they located to the whole lab group at the end of the session.
     
  • The librarian has the students do a LibWizard tutorial on the library catalog prior to the instruction session. During class, the students search for a book on their topic that is related to the class and their topics, and then fill out a Google form listing their topics, the search terms they used, and a citation to the book.

Summative Assessment Examples

Summative Assessment Examples

  • One librarian is working with classes from the Writing Program to evaluate the quality of the resources that students are using for their research projects. She visits the classes according to the instructors’ preferences (some once, some multiple times, some not at all). The instructors have established Writing Program learning outcomes and have given the librarian access to students’ end of semester portfolios, where they write about the process of research, writing, revision, and the theme of the course. She is conducting analysis on the portfolios of three of the classes -- 18 students are in each class, for a total of 54 students.
     
  • For a bibliographic exercise designed by the professor, the librarian distributed two questions and students did a reflective paper regarding what they thought about searching and what they thought about scholarship in general. The librarian reported that students demonstrated a good grasp of the concepts in their reflective papers.
     
  • For a graduate class, students write a three page proposal/background  for their dissertation and include references. The librarian reviews these.
     
  • The librarian grades the assigned annotated bibliographies on the quality of research using a rubric; then the professor grades the bibliographies based on how well they covered the topic.
     
  • Two librarians collaborated on an instruction session for a senior level course. After the session, the students had to submit a research proposal to their professor who shared these with the librarians. The librarians were able to look at the students research proposals and gather info on their understanding of the research process. They also checked to see if the two concepts they were teaching (Searching as strategic exploration and Scholarship is a conversation) were reflected in the proposals. Additionally they checked the quality of the bibliography in the proposals.
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