Shared Outcomes, Shared Practice: Evaluating an Instruction Program with One Assessment Technique
Purpose: When it comes to instruction program assessment, we often define “program” as those common curricular experiences that students encounter during their academic careers, such as first-year seminars, composition courses, or general education requirements. Discipline-specific library instruction and assessment often falls to subject liaison librarians in different library departments or housed outside the library altogether. At East Carolina University, the Research and Instructional Services department teaches instruction sessions encompassing this entire range of student experiences, from introductory composition to graduate-level classes. While our composition classes were relatively uniform and straightforward to assess as a “program,” would it be practical to expand our definition and assess student learning throughout this range of instruction with the same assessment technique? This poster will describe our attempt to assess students’ learning throughout an instructional program based on shared learning outcomes and assessment instrument. Design/methodology: The library instruction team recorded the learning outcomes taught and assessed across all library instruction sessions during fall semester 2017. At the end of the semester, the coordinator of instructional assessment analyzed the data and discovered two outcomes that were taught and assessed most often. These outcomes were used to design a new summative assessment instrument that could be used in any library instruction class and flexible enough to accommodate assignment-specific instruction scenarios. Piloted in spring semester 2018, the instrument was tweaked and is being used again in fall 2018 instruction sessions. The shared assessment includes closed- and open-ended questions that ask students to demonstrate learning taught in the session. Open-ended questions will be coded for common themes related to dispositions from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in order to determine whether our instructional program results in learning at intended beginning, developing, and advanced levels. Findings: This poster will present the results gleaned from the shared summative assessment, included insights into teaching practices for individual library instructors, what research experience our students have, and whether our assumptions of student progression align with our teaching program. Implications: Assessing student learning is about discovering evidence for whether a student has achieved a specific learning outcome. If instruction sessions for a variety of levels and contexts share a similar learning outcome, it may possible that students’ learning in those sessions could be assessed through a similar tool. This poster presents one library’s attempt to use a shared instrument to assess student learning across an instruction program encompassing introductory composition through upper division classes.