Tuesday, August 15, 2006


During Immersion, Debra Gilchrist presented 3 workshops on assessment, 2 general sessions on assessment-as-learning and 1 on program assessment. My notes from the first 2 sessions are below. I will post my notes from the session on program assessment later.

Assessment as Learning Pt. 1 July 29, 2006
Faculty Lead: Debra Gilchrist
Deb’s 2 rules for assessment: 1) Work backwards from what you students to be able to do and 2) Assessment is about student learning.
Deb’s “5 questions for assessment design:
  1. “What do you want students to be able to do?” (Outcome)
  2. “What does the student need to know in order to do this well?” (Curriculum)
  3. “What activity will facilitate learning?” (Pedagogy)
  4. “How will the student demonstrate the learning?” (Assessment)
  5. “How will I know the student has done this well?” (Criteria)
Deb’s outcome writing formula: Verb phrase + “in order to” + impact phrase
An example from Deb: "Develop topic relevant vocabulary in order to search databases with maximum flexibility and effectiveness."

Bloom’s Taxonomy is helpful in writing the verb phrase that describes what you want the student to be able to do. The impact phrase explains why you want the student to be able to do it.

Assessment-as-Learning Pt. 2 July 30, 2006
Faculty Lead: Debra Gilchrist
This session began with a brief review of the outcome formula. In the formula, the verb phrase is the skill and the “in order to” statement is the application or impact. Deb believes outcomes are fully measurable. Recall from the “good learning outcomes” slide that they are measurable/“judgeable.” Measurable outcomes are quantitative and judgment outcomes are qualitative. A judgeable outcome is where the instructor can see that the student has improved (I am thinking this means behavior wise). Assessment test like SAILS and ETS can provide a benchmark. The best assessments include a critical thinking element. Debra than shared some documents demonstrating IL assignments and outcomes that librarians have helped faculty develop and self-assessment students utilize in library workshops.

At Pierce College, the library provided a faculty workshop where they analyzed assignments with faculty. The faculty submitted assignments in advance and the librarians identified what IL concepts students needed to know in order to complete the assignment. They then worked with faculty to revise outcomes.

At Pierce College they assess only one out of five outcomes each year so that each out come will be assessed at least once over an eight year period. More important outcomes may be assessed more often than less important ones. At first they only assessed 1 in 10 sessions (10%), now they assess 1 in 4 (25%).

PS. Be sure to check out Pierce College's Library Instruction Program. Notice that Information Competency is on of the college's 5 core abilities. Pretty cool, huh?

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