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Assessments in the Library: Understanding and Developing Assessments to Show Student Progress

Assessments in the Library: Understanding and Developing Assessments to Show Student Progress

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  • Thanks Julianne, for the nice introduction and getting us started with the poll.
  • Based on these polling numbers, I hope these objectives will have you thinking about how your answer could change by the time this hour is finished.
  • Ask before showing answers.Type your answers in the chat box below, and we will see how your answers compare to my CCPS librarians and those who attended my session at the York Regional.
  • Notice that assessment involves very high order thinking not only for you, but also for your students. Remember, an AASL standard is to have our students self-assess and reflect on their learning, not only the product but the process as well. No matter what research model you or your district uses, all of them have some type of assessment tied to them. Many times this step gets left out or behind because of time. That is why it is important to do assessment all throughout the learning experience. And that also is what makes this different from evaluation. When you evaluate, you to determine or set the value or amount of; you appraise or judge  the significance, worth, or quality of something. And when do we do that (if we get to do that?) At the end. What assessment is doing is gauging the progress of a student at specific times within the experience, so that if a student is not “getting it” intervention can be applied at the time of need, not after the fact.
  • Three specific types of assessments:Diagnostic or pre assessment- what do they know or do not know; ideally should e done before the learning experience begins to aid in the designing of the learning experiences.Formative – goes along with the learning experience at key points you and the collaborating teacher decide to monitor progress, do intervention at the point of need and move the student forwards towards the ultimate goal of the learning experience. Summative- end result of product and process; students should also be a part of a summative assessment not only on their work, but also the learning experience- what worked best for them; where did they struggle?
  • Notice the preposition FOR instead OF; this again takes out of the evaluation angle. Key points here are:Ongoing and reflectivePartnersPre-assessment
  • Gives some control over to the students to monitor their progress as well. Gives them ownership of their learning.
  • ResponsibilityFor not OfEffective teaching and effective learning!
  • If we want to be seen as partners in the learning process this is very important to consider ourselves into the learning environment and take on the responsibility that comes with assessment.
  • “Nice but not necessary”. Think about what is happening to many of our colleagues across the country- they are being replaced by clerical or volunteer help or, even much worse, being closed all together. We need to show we are nice AND necessary!
  • This is an important mind shift we all need to make. It is too critical not to bring this to the forefront, and not just for us librarians, but for our teachers as well.
  • 1. Data collection for learning- this is new to us; we collect data all the time, but have we collected data that shows our students have learned what we wanted them to learn? 2. We saw this this year with Performance Standard 7 and the SMART goal.3. I refuse to believe that not one person will work with you; go find the newest teacher in your building and sell yourself. Tell him or her, “Look what I can take off your plate if you collaborate with me.” How often have you heard people explain why something can’t work rather than trying to figure out how it can? We need to focus on possibilities rather than improbabilities. (Toy Box Leadership: Leadership Lessons from the Toys You Loved as a Child 27-28)4. In Chesterfield we have adopted the Understanding by Design ( also know as the backwards design model) with our district’s comprehensive plan. By starting with the end in mind and going backwards, it allows for serious introspection in designing and creating learning experiences. It is not about you and your teaching; it is about your students and their learning. This model is very student-centric. So how do we begin to do this? One way is to consider the Understanding by Design model…
  • The Understanding by Design®framework ( from this point on I will refer to is as UbD™ framework) offers a planning process and structure to guide curriculum, assessment, and instruction. Its two key ideas are contained in the title: 1) focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer, and 2) design curriculum “backward” from those ends.The UbD framework offers a three-stage backward design process for curriculum planning, and includes a template and set of design tools that embody the process. A key concept in UbD framework is alignment (meaning all three stages must clearly align not only to standards, but also to one another). In other words, the Stage 1 content and understanding must be what is assessed in Stage 2 and taught in Stage 3.
  • In the first stage of backward design, we consider our goals, examine established content standards (national, state, and district), and review curriculum expectations. Because there is typically more content than can reasonably be addressed within the available time, you are obliged to make choices. This first stage in the design process calls for clarity about priorities.
  • One of National Board for Professional Teaching Standards stresses is knowing your students and the school and district culture well so you advance student achievement. These are things also to consider as you design your student’s learning experiences.
  • When you start your collaboration journey, like any other journey, it helps when you have a map to follow- your own GPS for designing learning experiences, let’s say.One way to do this is to have a joint planning/collaboration sheet. Here are examples of collaboration sheets. The one on the left is from Carl Harvey. He has shared it with LMC, and it is available for you to use. I have enclosed it in the resources link at the end of this PowerPoint. The second is one that my former library partner, Kathy Lehman, and I developed using the Assessing Learning book as well as the UbD model.
  • Remember the AASL standards in addition to curricular (SOL) standards.
  • In Stage 2 of UbD, we distinguish between two broad types of assessment—performance tasks and other evidence. The performance tasks ask students to apply their learning to a new and authentic situation as means of assessing their understanding and ability to transfer their learning. In the UbD framework, they have identified six facets of understanding for assessment purposes. When someone truly understands, they:• Can explain concepts, principles, and processes by putting it their own words, teaching it to others, justifying their answers, and showing their reasoning.• Can interpret by making sense of data, text, and experience through images, analogies, stories, and models. • Can apply by effectively using and adapting what they know in new and complex contexts.• Demonstrate perspective by seeing the big picture and recognizing different points of view.• Display empathy by perceiving sensitivity and walking in someone else’s shoes.• Have self-knowledge by showing meta-cognitive awareness, using productive habits of mind, and reflecting on the meaning of the learning and experience.In Stage 3 of UbD, you plan the most appropriate lessons and learning activities to address the three different types of goals identified in Stage 1: transfer, meaning making, and acquisition (T, M, and A). UbD suggests that you code the various events in your learning plan with the letters T, M, and A to ensure that all three goals are addressed in instruction. Too often, teaching focuses primarily on presenting information or modeling basic skills for acquisition without extending the lessons to help students make meaning or transfer the learning.
  • Here are some ways to begin with diagnostic assessments:TRAILS is a knowledge assessment with multiple-choice questions targeting a variety of information literacy skills based on 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th grade standards. This Web-based system was developed to provide an easily accessible and flexible tool for school librarians and teachers to identify strengths and weaknesses in the information-seeking skills of their students. Plus, there is no charge for using TRAILS.I, personally, find this assessment a bit text heavy, so be aware of your learners abilities to tackle text before deciding to use this.
  • Surveys collect data from a targeted group of people about their opinions, behavior or knowledge. Common types of surveys are written questionnaires, face–to–face interviews, focus groups and/or electronic (e-mail or Web site) surveys.Surveys are commonly used with key stakeholders to discover needs or assess satisfaction.When to Use a SurveyWhen identifying learning requirements or preferences.When assessing teachers and/or students, such as identifying or prioritizing problems to address.When evaluating proposed changes to your library program.When assessing whether a change was successful.Periodically, to monitor changes in patron satisfaction over time. is an example of a reading interest survey from Dr. Steven Layne. (Click on links to show other site) this site has a great number of surveys you can download and use in your library.
  • AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century learner states: “Reflections on one’s own learning to determine that the skills, dispositions and responsibilities are effective”. The key question AASL asks is “Can students recognize personal strengths and weaknesses over time and become a stronger, more independent learner?” If we don’t allow students to self assess their own learning, how do they know they can apply the skills taught into new situations? This doesn’t mean that for every library lesson you do, you need to have students self-assess; it means by knowing the needs of the school as a whole, you can design learning experiences that are crucial for students to get and have them self-asses to those learning goal(s).
  • A matrix is a grid that can be used to show similarities and differences among items with comparable characteristics and is used to systematically organize, and display information and to compare and contrast topics and subtopics. (Harada and Yoshina 72).
  • A checklist is especially useful as a tool for observing students as they work on projects involving several layers of learning. Make sure your checklists follow these characteristics:Identifies behaviors that relate to the standards and instructional goalsIt focuses the observation on critical aspects of the tasksIt provides evidence linking student achievement with instructional goalsIt serves as an assessment tool for both students and instructors. (Harada and Yoshina 20-21).
  • Research logs ask students to reflect on what they are learning, how they are learning, and how they feel about the process. The key to using logs as an assessment tool lies with the prompt. It is critical that you design prompts that target specific goals. (Harada and Yoshina 38).
  • An exit slip is a tool for assessing student learning at the end of a lesson. As an assessment tool, they are quick, targeted, and easily to administer.(Harada and Yoshina 51, 54)
  • A rating scale is similar to a rubric in that it identifies the criteria for successful performance. It doesn’t describe varying levels of achievement; rather it is a scale ranging from highest to lowest performance levels. The rating scale is used effectively in situations where performance can be placed along a continuum ranging from the lowest to the highest level of achievement. (Harada and Yoshina 29)
  • A rubric is an explicit set of criteria used for assessing a particular type of work or performance. A rubric usually also includes levels of potential achievement for each criterion, and sometimes also includes work or performance samples that typify each of those levels.  Levels of achievement are often given numerical scores.  A summary score for the work being assessed may be produced by adding the scores for each criterion. The rubric may also include space for the judge to describe the reasons for each judgment or to make suggestions for the author.Rubric Tools: First generation tools (starting with word processors and including free web-based rubric generators such asRubistar and sites such as Teachnology) produce a rubric that one person can use to judge one assignment, project, or set of performances at a time.
  • Google Forms is an invaluable app in Google Docs/Drive.  Creating forms allows you to collect data from students, parents, teachers, staff, and review the results in a spreadsheet with an "instant graphing" feature.Classroom - Surveys, Assessment, Drop Box and moreCollection - Parent information, parent opinion/evaluation, signups for volunteers, computer access, etc. Several of my librarians are using it for signing in and out of the library.Administration - PD Hour Collection, Evaluations, Event Registration, Auto Certificate Send, Peer Evaluation, Get to Know Your Staff SurveyParents - Contact information, volunteer signup, program evaluation, survey / opinion, IEP input, etc
  • Ok- great, I created an assessment. When do I have time to grade it?Flubaroo is a free tool that helps you quickly grade multiple-choice or fill-in-blank assignments. The founder is a teacher who designed it for his own classroom, and want to share it with other teachers... for free!* Flubaroo works with Google docs. More than just a grading tool, Flubaroo also:Computes average assignment score.Computes average score per question, and flags low-scoring questions.Shows you a grade distribution graph.Gives you the option to email each student their grade, and an answer key.
  • RubiStar is a tool to help the teacher who wants to use rubrics but does not have the time to develop them from scratch. While many teachers and librarians want to use rubrics or are experimenting with writing rubrics, they can be quite time-consuming to develop. RubiStar is a tool to help the teacher/librarian who wants to use rubrics but does not have the time to develop them from scratch. RubiStar provides generic rubrics that can simply be printed and used for many typical projects and research assignments. The unique thing about RubiStar, however, is that it provides these generic rubrics in a format that can be customized. The teacher can change almost all suggested text in the rubric to make it fit their own project. For example, if RubiStar suggests for a multimedia presentation that "The student includes at least three slides" for the highest rating, the teacher could change that to read "The student includes at least 5 slides" or "The student includes a title slide with the authors' names; a table of contents with links to all slides that follow, ..." RubiStar also does away with the tedious typing of similar content across all the various quality rating. When you choose a category to evaluate, all the quality ratings are filled in and are ready to customize. 
  • EasyBib School Edition can help you at all stages of your research!Perhaps you've used the free version of EasyBib to create an MLA formatted Works Cited page. In addition to helping you to correctly cite in MLA style, EasyBib School Edition also helps with APA and Chicago styles, including in-text citation formatting.Here are some of the OTHER things EasyBib helps you to do:Check the suitability of websites you want students to use in their projectsOrganize the information they find and generate an outlineThey can add annotations  to the information they find and might want to include in their projectsGet support and feedback from you and/or their teacher regarding the sources they have selected and the annotations they have writtenRecognize when they are plagiarizingNoodleTools, the web-based research platform for students, teachers, and librarians. You can watch how students learn to cite, collect notes, develop an outline, and share research with other users. Teachers and librarians will learn how NoodleTools supports them throughout the entire research process. Both of these are subscriptions, except for the free MLA citations from EasyBib.
  • VoiceThread is a paid cloud application, so there is no software to install. The only system requirement is an up-to-date version of Adobe Flash. VoiceThread will work in any modern web browser and on almost any internet connection.CreatingUpload, share and discuss documents, presentations, images, audio files and videos. Over 50 different types of media can be used in a VoiceThread.CommentingComment on VoiceThread slides using one of five powerful commenting options: microphone, webcam, text, phone, and audio-file upload.SharingKeep a VoiceThread private, share it with specific people, or open it up to the entire world. For free:FLIP camerasLibrary blogPodcasts using AudacityAudacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:Record live audio.Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.Edit OggVorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files.Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together.Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
  • Harada and Yoshina say, “The most critical uses of assessment data are to allow students an opportunity to reflect on their own progress and to provide instruction with critical information on what students are learning and how teaching might be shaped to help students do even better. With the current emphasis on accountability, however, still another important use of assessment information has emerged: the need for synthesizing and presenting summaries of student learning achievements to various stakeholder groups. In short, communicating evidence of what is being learned through library instruction is a valuable advocacy tool” (199). For us, it is also important as we finish up our first year with the new state evaluation tool.
  • For your evaluations using the new state standards for evaluation….
  • In this time of high stakes testing and evidence based learning, we cannot afford to be a step behind. If we are to have others see us as equal partners in the instruction and learning responsibility of our students, then we need to make our voices heard through collaboration and assessments.
  • I highly encourage you to check out these resources for collaboration and assessment for student learning.
  • This resource list is for you once this webinar is archived on the VAASL website.
  • Julianne, I am turning this back over to you. What kinds of questions do we have?
  • Please take time to take the survey on this webinar and help VAASL plan more webinars for the future. Thanks to you all for attending this webinar.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Assessments in the Library: Understandingand Developing Assessments to ShowStudent ProgressLori Donovan, NBCTInstructional Specialist, Library ServicesChesterfield County Public SchoolsLori_Donovan@ccpsnet.netVAASL WebinarJune 5, 2013
    • 2. Outcomes• Understand the need for assessments inthe library;• Know the difference between assessmentand evaluation; and• See examples of the types of assessmentsand where they can be used in your librarylessons
    • 3. How do you know a student“gets it or not”?– Eyeball the room– Spot check as students work– Survey the number and types of bookschecked out– Look for the glimmer of discovery in astudent’s eye
    • 4. Assessment defined• Process of collecting, analyzing andreporting data that informs us about progressand problems a learner encounters in alearning experience• Derived from Latin assidere (to sit with)• Implications: mentors talk with and workalongside learners
    • 5. Teacher and Learner Led Assessment• Diagnostic Assessment pieces-results from theassessments give educators an opportunity to change oralter curriculum as needed• Formative Assessment pieces – takes place eachstep along the way; informs and defines the next steps• Summative Assessment pieces – “themeasurement of knowledge and skills at the endof a process of learning in order to determine theamount and quality of learning.”(Barbara Stripling, AASL Fall Forum, 2006)
    • 6. Focus: Assessment FOR learning• Formative, ongoing, reflective• Involves student and instructor aspartners in assessment• Involves diagnostic/pre-assessment todiagnose what students already knowor don’t know
    • 7. Focus: Assessment FOR learning• Focuses on student’s evolving performance– Where am I going?– Where am I now?– How do I close the gap?
    • 8. Why assess? Because…• Assessing student learning is every schoolprofessional’s responsibility.• Assessment and evaluation are not the samething.• Assessment is integral to successfullearning.• Assessment is central to effective teaching.Assessing for Learning: Librarians and Teachers as Partners xxv
    • 9. Why we as librarians need to assess learning:• Library media centers are extensions of theclassrooms.• What we teach is foundational to successful learning.• Information literacy is considered central to– 21st century skills– New basics• What we teach helps to close the learning gap.• If we are teaching partners, we are also partners inassessment.Harada, Violet. What Is Assessment? Why Should Library Media Specialists Be Involved? Honolulu: University ofHawaii, Fall 2006. PPT.
    • 10. A call to action……..(from Allison Zmuda)Without taking part in the grading of studentachievement, the work of library media specialists isrelegated to “nice but not necessary.”~Allison Zmuda, 2006
    • 11. Hamilton, Buffy. Getting There Together: Assessing Student Learning. N.p.: Slide Share, June 2011. PPT.
    • 12. Get credible evidence1. According to Zmuda “If you don’t have the data, you’rejust another person with an opinion.”2. Define measurable and attainable goals for studentachievement.3. Collaboration: start small, grab opportunities andestablish priorities. Work for solutions instead of feeling“helpless” by setbacks/roadblocks.4. Plan with Intent: Use backward design, use essentialquestions to guide your teaching, have a clarity of intentbut also a mutual plan.
    • 13. Hamilton, Buffy. Getting There Together: Assessing Student Learning. N.p.: Slide Share, June 2011. PPT.
    • 15. Developing Criteria for Types ofAssessment- Things to Consider:• Develop a clear learning goal or outcome.• Align it with standards.• Determine the performance task for studentsto demonstrate their understanding.• Identify criteria to assess studentperformance on the task.
    • 16. Things to think about when designinglearning experiences• Link library’s mission with school’smission statement.• Connect with school’s learningpriorities.• Select samples of instruction that mostclosely align with school’s priorities.
    • 17. Tie it to Standards
    • 19. Developing Criteria for Types ofAssessment- Things to Consider Part 2:• Create an assessment tool to measurequality of student performance, and• Develop authentic activities thatfacilitate achievement of the learninggoal.
    • 20. TRAILS
    • 21. Surveys
    • 23. Why should students self-assess?www.schoollibraryjournal.comPhoto by Lori Donovan, 2013
    • 24. Matrix
    • 25. Checklists
    • 26. Research Logs
    • 28. Exit Slips
    • 29. Rating Scales
    • 30.
    • 32. Google Forms
    • 33. Flubaroo
    • 34. Rubistar
    • 35. Citation tools for students
    • 36. Self Reflection Tools• FLIP cameras wherestudents answer apredeterminedquestion.• Blog posts /podcastson Library Webpageusing Audacity.
    • 37. Evidence-based Practice1. Collect evidence of achievement2. Analyze evidence3. Synthesize evidence4. Present evidenceHarada, Violet H., and Joan M. Yoshina. Assessing for Learning: Librarians and Teachers as Partners. SantaBarbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2010. Print.
    • 38. Evidence-based Practice• Provide examples of student work forlessons included.• Display compiled assessment data forlessons selected.• Include samples of student andinstructor reflections about progressand improvements.
    • 39. Closing thoughts…“To be visible and influential partners in meetingthe charge of schools-to prepare our students to beknowledgeable and responsible citizens- we mustdemonstrate and communicate how out instructioncontributes to the school’s learning targets.Assessing for learning cannot be an afterthought; itmust be a central part of our mission” (Harada andYoshina 224).
    • 40. Recommended reading…Images from
    • 41. Resource List•••••••••••
    • 43. ReferencesDuPre, Cathy. Assessing Student Learning in. Greenville: EastCarolina University, 10 Jan. 2009. PDF.Hamilton, Buffy. Getting There Together: Assessing StudentLearning. N.p.: Slide Share, June 2011. PPT.Harada, Violet H., and Joan M. Yoshina. Assessing for Learning:Librarians and Teachers as Partners. Santa Barbara, CA: LibrariesUnlimited, 2010. Print.Harada, Violet. What Is Assessment? Why Should Library MediaSpecialists Be Involved? Honolulu: University of Hawaii, Fall 2006.PPT.
    • 44. Hunter, Ron, Jr., and Michael E. Waddell. Toy Box Leadership:Leadership Lessons from the Toys You Loved as a Child.Nashville: Nelson, 2008. Nook.Layne, Steven L. Igniting a Passion for Reading: SuccessfulStrategies for Building Lifetime Readers. Portland, Me.:Stenhouse, 2009. Print."TRAILS." : Tool for Real-time Assessment of Information LiteracySkills. Kent State University, 2012. Web. 10 July 2012.<>.
    • 45. Zmuda, Alison. "Where Does Your Authority Come From?Empowering the Library Media Specialist as a TruePartner in Student Achievement." School Library MediaActivities Monthly XXII.1 (2006): n. pag. School LibraryMonthly. Libraries Unlimited Publishing 2007. Web. 11July 2012.<>.