Using the right tool

Source: Turnbow & Karpinski, Communications in Information Literacy

DON’T USE A HAMMER WHEN YOU NEED A SCREWDRIVER: HOW TO USE THE RIGHT TOOLS TO CREATE ASSESSMENT THAT MATTERS

Dominique Turnbow, Annie Zeidman-Karpinski

ABSTRACT

Instruction librarians want clear data showing the effectiveness of our workshops as a way of demonstrating our value in education. This article uses instructional design approaches to show how to make specific changes when writing and measuring our learning outcomes to capture what we are doing in our sessions. Unlike classes that develop over the course of several months, we are faced with unique challenges when conducting one-shot instruction sessions. By focusing our attention on student satisfaction and learning, we see ways to improve those sessions for everyone involved. In this essay, we provide examples and discuss how to write effective learning outcomes to answer specific questions about learner satisfaction and what the participants learned. In addition, we suggest ways to reform the evaluation and assessment questions that we use to reinforce our lessons. These methods can be used in both online and face-to-face environments.
Full Text: PDF

This article provides some useful advice for assessing “one-shot” workshops.  While most librarians would prefer not to conduct these very limited training sessions, they are continue to be a staple of library instruction, if only because the faculty resist more in-depth instruction.  So, faced with “one-shots” or nothing, librarians accept these invitations.

I like how the authors, themselves, accept the limitations of one-shots, and how they can be assessed.  Students will only get so much out of these sessions, so they advise not to try to assess more.  They also provide examples of assessment measures that librarians can put to use – both good examples and bad ones, so you can differentiate.

Finally, I like how they ground the assessments in theoretical foundations, including Bloom’s Taxonomy, the ABCD model, and Kirkpatrick Model.  I’m not sure how much the latter two have been tested and validated, but at least there is some evidence of their use

Oh, and one more thing…the journal is OA.  Sharing is good.

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