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Navigating the assessment of distance education library services: an overview, strategic analysis and future solutions or "Measuring icebergs with slide rules"

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Distance education (DE) is the iceberg in the sea of assessment for libraries of all types. What small part of the iceberg we can see (DE’s immediate and direct impacts on library service provision) ...

Distance education (DE) is the iceberg in the sea of assessment for libraries of all types. What small part of the iceberg we can see (DE’s immediate and direct impacts on library service provision) is made more uncertain by the majority of the iceberg still under the sea water (DE impacts on library and information service assessment and accountability) as libraries and their parent organizations navigate the choppy seas of assessment and accountability in order to develop effective assessment processes for DE library services to address stakeholder questions of accountability. Therefore, this presentation highlights some of the issues of navigating DE library service assessment for academic and public libraries, the impacts of DE library service assessment on the organization’s and the overall assessment process, and offers suggestions for aligning and implementing DE library service assessment processes for libraries of various sizes and types.

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    Navigating the assessment of distance education library services: an overview, strategic analysis and future solutions or "Measuring icebergs with slide rules" Navigating the assessment of distance education library services: an overview, strategic analysis and future solutions or "Measuring icebergs with slide rules" Presentation Transcript

    • NAVIGATING THE ASSESSMENT OF DISTANCE EDUCATION LIBRARY SERVICES: AN OVERVIEW, STRATEGIC ANALYSIS AND FUTURE SOLUTIONS OR MEASURING ICEBERGS WITH SLIDE RULES Presented by Dr. Larry Nash White Indiana Online Users Group Conference April 27, 2012 Copyright 2012 by Larry Nash White. All rights reserved.
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARYDistance education (DE) is the iceberg in the sea of assessment for libraries of all types.What small part of the iceberg we can see (DE’s immediate and direct impacts on libraryservice provision) is made more uncertain by the majority of the iceberg still under the seawater (DE impacts on library and information service assessment and accountability) aslibraries and their parent organizations navigate the choppy seas of assessment andaccountability in order to develop effective assessment processes for DE library services toaddress stakeholder questions of accountability. Therefore, this presentation highlightssome of the issues of navigating DE library service assessment for academic and publiclibraries, the impacts of DE library service assessment on the organization’s and the overallassessment process, and offers suggestions for aligning and implementing DE library serviceassessment processes for libraries of various sizes and types.
    • Today’s Presentation• Presentation Outline • Intended Audience • Icebergs off the bow! • DE library services • Academic librarians • Trends in DE affecting assessment • Education and library • DE library service administrators Assessment • Aligning assessment • Public librarians • How will we assess? • Q & A Time!
    • First, a thought breaker… or twoTime for someaudienceparticipation…(Dr. White will lead exercisesillustrating assessmentcomplexity, alignment and theeffects of dispersed effort /input on assessment.)
    • To the Titanic Captain:“Iceberg off thebow, Captain!” • Can only see 1/9 of the total size / potential impact • + Looks deceivingly peaceful and simple • + Dynamic location and configuration • + Reflects / hides its core • + Can’t see the hidden portion until you are immersed into the cold, murky waters • + Old measurement tools & processes (i.e. using a slide rule in person) ____________________ Hard to measure!
    • In the library service environment,our iceberg has a name… And what did we say about icebergs being hard to measure and why?
    • We said…Can only see 1/9 of the totalsize / potential impact+ Looks deceivingly peacefuland simple+ Dynamic location andconfiguration+ Reflects / hides its core+ Can’t see the hiddenportion until you areimmersed into the cold,murky waters+ Old measurement tools &processes (i.e. using a sliderule in person)____________________ Hard to measure!
    • OVERVIEW OF DISTANCE EDUCATION LIBRARY SERVICES What do we do and where is it going?
    • In assessing the value of things in Another this room, what is the most strategically valuable / critical thought object in this room? breaker… Need a hint - it is the biggest thing in the room (and it is not Dr. White.) Time for some Answer: The air!more audienceparticipation… A-ha! Even the most important and biggest items of value go unnoticed, un-assessed and therefore unmanaged.
    • DE Library DE Lib Academic Public Use Expense Services Service Library Library Trends TrendsWhich services does your Types Service Servicelibrary provide? (by strategic Examples Examples functions) * * # $Is your business in any ofthese types going up? Community ? ? ↑↑ ↑↑ BuildingAre costs to provide these Cont. / Rem. ? ? ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑types of services going up? Educ. Employment ? ? ↑↑ ↑↑Are requests foraccountability information Leisure ? ? ↑↑ ↑↑going up? Research ? ? ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑Is assessing these servicesgetting easier? Resource ? ? ↑↑ ↑↑ Service ? ? ↑↑ ↑↑* = Audience suggestions of services that they Teaching ? ? ↑↑ ↑↑↑do in each type grouping and consensus /commonality demonstrations using show ofhands. Tech Access ? ? ↑↑↑ ↑↑
    • Current issue impacts Future / Trend impacts Trends in DE C 1. Limited direct view point of information service processes and environment. F 1. Almost no direct view point of information service processes and Affecting C 2. Hard to clearly see full impact and environment over wider service environment. F 2. Almost never see full impact and Assessment interaction between processes, customers and environment after service interaction. interaction between processes, customers and environment during and after service interaction.Remember our current C 3. Constant change in delivery methods, F 3. Customer initiated and co-developed on-issues with DE: resources and interaction points by traditional demand delivery methods, resources and service providers. interaction points by non-traditional service providers.1. Can only see 1/9 of the totalsize / potential impact C 4. Invisible, un-integrated strategic drivers. F 4. Camouflaged, integrated tactical and strategic drivers.2. Looks deceivingly peaceful C 5. Organizationally and strategically out of F 5. Organizationally, strategically andand simple place to see / document full direct / indirect environmentally out of place to see / impacts. document full direct / indirect impacts.3. Dynamic location andconfiguration C 6. Old tools -> Old assessment processes -> F 6. New tools -> New assessment processes - Old answers -> No innovation and little new > New answers -> Innovation and lots4. Reflects / hides its core learned! learned!5. Can’t see the hidden C 7. Alignment challenges. F 7. Alignment imperatives integratedportion until you are immersed throughout all strategic process.into the cold, murky waters C 8. Lack of strategic function inclusion into F 8. Strategic function inclusion and some operations planning, resourcing and integration into total operations planning,6. Old measurement tools & processes. resourcing and processes.processes (i.e. using a slide rulein person) C 9. Increasing importance on intangible F 9. Nearly total dependence / criticality of services and impacts in some accountability intangible qualities, services and impacts in all inquiries. accountability inquiries.
    • ASSESSING DISTANCE EDUCATION LIBRARY SERVICESWhat are we doing and where are we going?
    • WARNING: Paradigm shift without a clutch! Another thought I need a volunteer. It will not hurt… breaker… for long!Time for some There is chocolate involvedmore audienceparticipation… Dr. White conducts a paradigm shifting exercise with volunteer.
    • Challenges in Current issue impacts Future / Trend impacts DE Library C 1. Limited direct view point of information service processes and environment. F 1. Almost no direct view point of information service processes and environment over wider service environment. Service C 2. Hard to clearly see full impact and F 2. Almost never see full impact and Assessment interaction between processes, customers and environment after service interaction. interaction between processes, customers and environment during and after service interaction.• Old / antiquated definitions C 3. Constant change in delivery methods, F 3. Customer initiated and co-developed on- of success and value. resources and interaction points by traditional demand delivery methods, resources and• Assessment focus is being service providers. interaction points by non-traditional service transitioned from internal providers. to external stakeholders.• Size, scope and complexity C 4. Invisible, un-integrated strategic drivers. F 4. Camouflaged, integrated tactical and of service environment to strategic drivers. assess is increasing. C 5. Organizationally and strategically out of F 5. Organizationally, strategically and• Technology as assessor and place to see / document full direct / indirect environmentally out of place to see / / or the assessed. impacts. document full direct / indirect impacts.• Direct causality linkage C 6. Old tools -> Old assessment processes -> F 6. New tools -> New assessment processes - between service and Old answers -> No innovation and little new > New answers -> Innovation and lots impacts hard to prove. learned! learned!• Aligning assessment to service environment and C 7. Alignment challenges. F 7. Alignment imperatives integrated stakeholders. throughout all strategic process.• Timing / resourcing of C 8. Lack of strategic function inclusion into F 8. Strategic function inclusion and assessment processes to some operations planning, resourcing and integration into total operations planning, strategic / decision making processes. resourcing and processes. information needs. C 9. Increasing importance on intangible F 9. Nearly total dependence / criticality of services and impacts in some accountability intangible qualities, services and impacts in all inquiries. accountability inquiries.
    • AligningAssessment How do we externally align our assessment to the service environment?
    • AligningAssessment How do we align our internal assessment processes to decision making information needs?
    • So how will Predictionswe assess in • Assessment processes and definitions of success / valuethe future? will be a joint ventures between the library and stakeholders. Reminder of challenges in DE library service • Assessment processes will move from an internal, assessment: tangible-focused, tactical process focusing on efficiency • Old / antiquated definitions of success and to external, intangible-focused, strategic process focusing value. on value creation. • Assessment focus is being transitioned from internal • Assessment tools and processes will be scalable in size, to external stakeholders. • Size, scope and complexity scope and complexity to align to the decision making of service environment to assess is increasing. information needs of the organization. • Technology as assessor and / or the assessed. • Automated technology will be the primary assessment • Direct causality linkage between service and interaction point for library stakeholders and done in real impacts hard to prove. time unobtrusively. • Aligning assessment to service environment and • Organizational performance assessment will move from stakeholders. • Timing / resourcing of passive, irregular performance measurement describing assessment processes to strategic / decision making what happened to proactive, real time analytics information needs. predicting future behaviors / needs.
    • Q&A Contact Information Larry Nash White, PhDTime! Assistant Professor Department of Library and InformationThank you for Studiesyour time andparticipation. University at Buffalo 716-645-1473 | lnwhite@buffalo.eduI am happy toanswer your For a copy of this presentation,questions. please send a request via email to Dr. White at lnwhite@buffalo.edu or visit Dr. White on Slideshare.