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ACRL Online Seminar – Assessing Student Learning Outcomes

In April I had the opportunity to take a 3 week online seminar sponsored by ACRL on Instructional Assessment. The course was geared more towards instruction in an academic setting, however, I was able to use the points and resources talked about and have it relate to instruction with librarians. The course was divided into 3 sections, one for each week: planning for assessment; developing learning objectives; and developing a design for assessment.

In the first week we looked at an overview of the assessment process and began an assessment plan for an instructional course. We looked at instruments and methodology that would be used for our assessment plans. I found Bloom’s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain, http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/cogsys/bloom.html, to be extremely useful for this piece.

In week two we looked at objectives for information literacy instruction and worked on developing learning objectives and learning outcomes that were part of the assessment plan. For week three we looked at developing assessment measures, choosing the right instrument, designing and using the instrument, how to analyze data, and how to evaluate results.

Throughout the process we met in groups each week to discuss how our assignments were going, any questions we had, and to talk about the readings and discuss how best the ideas and methodology might be used in different instructional settings. This online chat with the instructors and other participants helped to see what questions others had and how each week’s assignments were going. It also helped me stay on target with the readings and course objectives. This was the first ongoing online seminar I had taken and was pleasantly surprised at the structure and design for the online environment. I have started to use the information I learned from the seminar and well as the resources provided in helping design my webinars and in-person training sessions and workshops and found this assessment process to help stay on focus with the agenda and tasks I want people to walk away with. I would highly suggest taking a look at the online seminars available through ACRL’s E-Learning website: http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlproftools/elearning.htm.

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