Biomedical Libraries Web

Better Teaching Through Assessment

Thursday, October 23, 2003
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM

"Education" is an increasingly primary role for academic libraries. We devote considerable effort to teaching students (and faculty) to be information literate; to know how to find, evaluate, and use information; and to understand the processes of research and scholarship. We expect our librarians to be effective teachers partnering with faculty.

But how well are we doing as "teachers"? Do we know if our teaching is effective? If our students are learning? If we're not being as successful as we could be - what do we need to do differently? How can we create for ourselves an encouraging environment for assessment?

The 2003 October Conference explored the first step in teaching improvement for librarians: assessing teaching skills and effectiveness.


8:30-9:00 - Registration and Coffee

9:00-12:00pm - Primary Speaker

Looking "Out" for Change
Debra Gilchrist
ACRL's Institute for Information Literacy Immersion program faculty AND
Director of Library/Media Services
Pierce Colleges, Pierce County, Washington

Assessment is a critical component of our instruction programs. What is happening in our libraries when we are doing it well? How can outcomes assist us in setting direction, in increasing our effectiveness and creating change? We'll look at the principles that make for good assessment; how we can apply them in our libraries; and write outcomes for students, for us as teachers, and for our instruction programs.

12:00-1:00 - Lunch (included)

1:00-3:30 - Other Speakers

How Am I Doing? Librarians Learning to Teach
Laurel Bliss
Librarian for Art and Architecture
Yale University Arts Library

(Note: After September 1, 2003, Laurel will be the Assistant Librarian, Marquand Library of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University.)
Diane Kaplan
Head of Public Services, Manuscripts and Archives Department
Yale University Library
Emily J. Horning
Librarian for Philosophy, Religious Studies and Anthropology
Coordinator of Humanities Instruction
Yale University Library
The Yale University Library's Instruction Group provides a "Train the Trainer" program to support librarians who provide instruction. Our most recent program was a three-part workshop on working with faculty to develop library classes that really work. Led by Bill Rando, Director of Yale's McDougal Graduate Teaching Center, the workshop focused on methods to get students actively involved in what they are learning and to assess where students "are", what they need, and what they take away from a library class. Our presentation will review what we learned concerning in-class, post-class, and peer assessment strategies, which help evaluate the effectiveness of the instructor.

Creating an Assessment Portfolio for Your Instruction Program
Jennifer Nutefall
Instruction Coordinator
Melvin Gelman Library
George Washington University
Over the past year, instruction librarians at GW have struggled to incorporate assessment into their classes. The goal during the fall 2002 semester was to use assessment in three - five instruction classes, and several options were presented for librarians to try. After the fall semester the librarians discussed their experiences and all five librarians had used the one-minute paper. It was clear to us that part of the reason we chose this option was because it was easy to use and did not require a lot of preplanning. In order to get a variety of assessment, easy-to-use forms were created and implemented during spring 2003. After reading the article "The portfolio: an instruction program assessment tool" (Reference Services Review, 29(4), 294-300), we decided to put the assessment results into a portfolio.
Presentation (PowerPoint)
Handout#1 Author: Avril Cunningham (PDF)
Handout#2 (PDF)
Handout#3 (PDF)
Handout#4 (PDF)

A Practical Approach to Pre and Post Testing:
Probing for Learning Outcomes While Avoiding the Pitfalls
Annie Donahue
Assistant Professor/Library Director
UNH-Manchester Library
This session will focus on developing pre- and post-test instruments to assess student learning in library instruction. Examples of effective and not-so-effective tools and applications will be shared with a focus on strategies for designing questions, applying the instrument, and integrating the assessment findings to improve student learning opportunities.
Presentation (PowerPoint)
Handout#1 (Word)
Handout#2 (Word)

Peer Coaching in Instruction: Librarians Teaching and Learning Together
Lori S. Mestre
Coordinator of Instructional and Curriculum Support Services
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Education
University of Massachusetts
Peer coaching/mentoring can be used in your instruction program as a nonthreatening evaluative method to improve individual teaching techniques, presentation styles, content, and student connection to your topic. This presentation will describe the peer coaching/mentoring process at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, including examples, benefits, considerations and how to get a program started.
Presentation (PowerPoint)
Handout (Word)

Last update 3-November-2003 by Biomedical Libraries Web Group
©2003 Trustees of Dartmouth College
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755 USA