Using the READ (Reference Effort Assessment Data) Scale ©  to Assess Reference Work Michigan Academy for Science, Arts & L...
Reference <ul><li>Changing – fewer questions </li></ul><ul><li>Need better data </li></ul><ul><li>Various assessment techn...
Carnegie Mellon project <ul><li>Bella Karr Gerlich  [email_address]  & Lynn Berard  [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Deve...
READ Scale <ul><li>R eference </li></ul><ul><li>E ffort </li></ul><ul><li>A ssessment </li></ul><ul><li>D ata </li></ul><u...
READ Scale #1 <ul><li>Answers require least effort </li></ul><ul><li>No special knowledge or skills </li></ul><ul><li>No c...
READ Scale #2 & 3 <ul><li>Require some effort & time </li></ul><ul><li>Some knowledge needed </li></ul><ul><li>May use som...
READ Scale #4 & 5 <ul><li>Require substantial effort & time </li></ul><ul><li>Research knowledge needed </li></ul><ul><li>...
READ Scale #6 <ul><li>The most time and effort – maybe over days </li></ul><ul><li>In depth faculty & grad research </li><...
WMU READ Scale <ul><li>Piloted in Central Reference  </li></ul><ul><li>Modified & simplified scale </li></ul><ul><li>Gave ...
Preparation for READ Scale <ul><li>Gerlich & Beard – training and calibration of questions to scale </li></ul><ul><li>WMU ...
Immediate satisfaction <ul><li>Hard questions now getting recognized </li></ul><ul><li>Takes a little getting used to, but...
Reporting <ul><li>Started by counting number of questions under each READ scale number </li></ul><ul><li>October 2008 </li...
Reporting <ul><li>Need online recording system for sophisticated analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Desk Tracker, Library Stats, e...
Uses of READ Scale <ul><li>Scheduling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One library added librarian on Saturdays </li></ul></ul><ul><u...
Possible issues <ul><li>Potential to be inconsistently applied </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties with compiling reports if no...
Conclusion <ul><li>For now, we like this system and will most likely introduce it to the rest of the reference points at W...
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Using the READ Scale to Assess Reference Work

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Author: Maira Bundza
Western Michigan University

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Using the READ Scale to Assess Reference Work

  1. 1. Using the READ (Reference Effort Assessment Data) Scale © to Assess Reference Work Michigan Academy for Science, Arts & Letters Library and Information Science Section March 20, 2009 Maira Bundza Western Michigan University
  2. 2. Reference <ul><li>Changing – fewer questions </li></ul><ul><li>Need better data </li></ul><ul><li>Various assessment techniques </li></ul><ul><li>For daily work – still using hash marks </li></ul>
  3. 3. Carnegie Mellon project <ul><li>Bella Karr Gerlich [email_address] & Lynn Berard [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Developed READ scale 2003-04 </li></ul><ul><li>Assign value to hash marks </li></ul><ul><li>Study with 14 institutions 2007 </li></ul>
  4. 4. READ Scale <ul><li>R eference </li></ul><ul><li>E ffort </li></ul><ul><li>A ssessment </li></ul><ul><li>D ata </li></ul><ul><li>Six point scale </li></ul><ul><li>Effort required for each reference question </li></ul>
  5. 5. READ Scale #1 <ul><li>Answers require least effort </li></ul><ul><li>No special knowledge or skills </li></ul><ul><li>No consultation of sources </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 5 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Directional, hours, service points </li></ul>
  6. 6. READ Scale #2 & 3 <ul><li>Require some effort & time </li></ul><ul><li>Some knowledge needed </li></ul><ul><li>May use some resources </li></ul><ul><li>Call number locations </li></ul><ul><li>Using the online catalog </li></ul>
  7. 7. READ Scale #4 & 5 <ul><li>Require substantial effort & time </li></ul><ul><li>Research knowledge needed </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple sources consulted </li></ul><ul><li>Complex search techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate research </li></ul>
  8. 8. READ Scale #6 <ul><li>The most time and effort – maybe over days </li></ul><ul><li>In depth faculty & grad research </li></ul><ul><li>May involve primary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration on research </li></ul>
  9. 9. WMU READ Scale <ul><li>Piloted in Central Reference </li></ul><ul><li>Modified & simplified scale </li></ul><ul><li>Gave apx. times for each level </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly modified desk stats form </li></ul><ul><li>Created off desk stats form </li></ul>
  10. 10. Preparation for READ Scale <ul><li>Gerlich & Beard – training and calibration of questions to scale </li></ul><ul><li>WMU – discussed at reference meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Trained students </li></ul>
  11. 11. Immediate satisfaction <ul><li>Hard questions now getting recognized </li></ul><ul><li>Takes a little getting used to, but then easy </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps track of off desk questions </li></ul>
  12. 12. Reporting <ul><li>Started by counting number of questions under each READ scale number </li></ul><ul><li>October 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>955 #1’s – 41% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>760 #2’s – 33% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>436 #3’s – 19% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>154 #4’s – 7% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>21 #5’s – 1% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>7 # 6’s - .3% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Average 1.95 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fridays & Saturdays harder questions </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Reporting <ul><li>Need online recording system for sophisticated analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Desk Tracker, Library Stats, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>One week in late October we record actual questions asked </li></ul><ul><li>This year on SurveyMonkey – easy to track and analyze </li></ul>
  14. 14. Uses of READ Scale <ul><li>Scheduling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One library added librarian on Saturdays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One reduced librarian hours in evenings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Providing evidence for need for in-depth knowledge at reference desks </li></ul><ul><li>Training tool </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment tool </li></ul><ul><li>Combine with question analyses </li></ul>
  15. 15. Possible issues <ul><li>Potential to be inconsistently applied </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulties with compiling reports if not automated </li></ul><ul><li>Done all the time or occasionally? </li></ul><ul><li>At all service points? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Conclusion <ul><li>For now, we like this system and will most likely introduce it to the rest of the reference points at WMU, along with one of the automated reference statistics programs </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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