Friday, June 19, 2009

Interesting article on assessment

Our Assistant Vice President (library director) forwarded me this article recently: What Are They Learning? Pre- and Post-Assessment Surveys for Libr 1100, Introduction to Library Research" by Jon Robert Hufford. It's from College and Research Libraries preprint articles page, which incidentally has a feed.

It's an article about the experience of a group of Texas Tech librarians who administered a pre- and post-test to their library research course. Although our situation is a bit different in several significant ways, I found it very helpful, and very much wish I might have had a chance to read it before we got started in our assessment efforts.

  • Elapsed time--from what I understand, they tested their students at the beginning and at the end of a semester. In our assessment, we pre- and post-test one shot classes at the beginning and the end of class. Although ours is different, its very illuminating to compare results of a semester-long class as opposed to a 50 minute session.

  • There is a useful literature review in the beginning, though elsewhere the author laments the fact that there are not many articles written in the literature on this particular subject, and near the end of the article encourages other people to contribute with their experiences.

They included an analysis of their questions and the responses, which was also highly useful.