Building a Culture of Library Assessment

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Building a Culture of Library Assessment

  1. 1. BUILDING AND SUSTAINING A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT IN YOUR INSTRUCTION PROGRAM http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonmatt/4648615038/ Sunday, January 26, 14 MEREDITH FARKAS PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
  2. 2. WHAT IS A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT? • Assessment is the norm • Doing it for the right reasons • Customer-service focused • Culture of learning, curiosity • Decisions based on data • New initiatives tied to performance measures • Changes based on what is learned Sunday, January 26, 14
  3. 3. WHY BUILD A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT? • Be better teachers • Make better decisions • Demonstrate value to ourselves and others • Use data to advocate for the library • Use data to grow the IL program • Hold ourselves to the same standards as any other academic department • Accreditation Sunday, January 26, 14
  4. 4. ASSESSMENT AT MANY INSTITUTIONS • Focused on doing what is needed for accreditation • Coercive and top-down • Little support • Coalition of the willing • Data is gathered, but rarely used • Not seen as an integral part of teaching and learning • Often a lot of cynicism around assessment Sunday, January 26, 14
  5. 5. WHAT DOES IT TAKES TO BUILD A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT? Sunday, January 26, 14
  6. 6. “For  a  scholarship  of  assessment  to  thrive,   we  must  align  faculty  culture,   institutional  structures,  and  leadership   for  change.  The  importance  of  this  point   cannot  be  overstated.  A  meaningful   assessment  program  is  more  than  just  a   new  activity  to  be  undertaken,  it  is  a   change  in  how  we  think  about  what  we  do   in  higher  education.” Don  Haviland.  (2009).  “Leading  Assessment:  From  Faculty   Reluctance  to  Faculty  Engagement.”  Academic  Leadership  9(2). Sunday, January 26, 14
  7. 7. A SURVEY OF LIBRARIES, NOT LIBRARIANS • Meredith Farkas, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (UIUC), & Amy Harris Houk (UNCG) • Survey of libraries at BA/MA/PhD. institutions in U.S. • n=1604 • Contacted the library director • Asked him/her to refer survey to leader of instructional assessment program • Response rate = 42% (n=672) Sunday, January 26, 14
  8. 8. SURVEY ITSELF • Questions about institutional characteristics • Inquiry about presence/absence of 16 facilitating factors named in other publications • does the presence/absence facilitate or hinder culture of assessment • Open-ended questions about what they think most helps (or hinders) them in building an assessment culture Sunday, January 26, 14
  9. 9. Sunday, January 26, 14
  10. 10. FACILITATING FACTORS 1.Campus-­‐wide  assessment   initiative 2.Library  involvement  in  campus-­‐ wide  assessment  initiative 3.Clear  expectations  for   assessment  in  the  library 4.Assessment  is  a  priority  of   library  administration   5.Library  has  adopted  learning   outcomes 6.Library  has  assessment  plan 7.Library  has  shared   understanding  of  the  purpose  of   assessment 8.Library  staff/faculty  are   supported  in  doing  assessment Sunday, January 26, 14 9.Education  and  training  about   assessment  are  supported 10.Library  has  assessment   expertise  in-­‐house 11.Library  has  systems/ technologies  to  support   assessment 12.Library  leadership  offers   explicit  support  to  get  staff   doing  assessment 13.Data  is  available  to  interested   parties 14.Leadership  uses  assessment   data  in  decision-­‐making 15.Librarians  use  results  to   improve  practice 16.Library  culture  is  user-­‐focused
  11. 11. RESPONSES BY CARNEGIE CLASS Total  =  672  (42%) BA  =  234  (36%) MA  =  262  (39%) PhD  =  155    (54%) Other  =  18 Sunday, January 26, 14
  12. 12. WHO COMPLETED THE SURVEY? Most "others" were public service librarians and administrators Sunday, January 26, 14
  13. 13. WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LIBRARY AS HAVING A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT? Sunday, January 26, 14
  14. 14. WHICH INSTITUTIONAL CHARACTERISTICS CORRELATE WITH A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT? Sunday, January 26, 14
  15. 15. REGIONAL ACCREDITING BODY Sunday, January 26, 14
  16. 16. HAVING A CAMPUS-WIDE ASSESSMENT INITIATIVE Sunday, January 26, 14
  17. 17. WITHOUT A CAMPUSWIDE ASSESSMENT PUSH Correlates: • Clear expectations for assessment (6%)* • Library having an assessment plan (6%) • Shared understanding of the purpose of assessment (9%) • Library staff feeling supported (10%) • Library having a culture of assessment (10%) *% of those without a campus-wide assessment initiative who reported the presence of these other factors Sunday, January 26, 14
  18. 18. HAVING PEOPLE DEDICATED TO INSTRUCTION OR ASSESSMENT Sunday, January 26, 14
  19. 19. HAVING COMMITTEES DEDICATED TO INSTRUCTION OR ASSESSMENT Sunday, January 26, 14
  20. 20. WHICH DIDN’T CORRELATE? • Carnegie classification (BA/MA/PhD) • Public/private • Tenure/no tenure • Faculty status/not faculty Sunday, January 26, 14
  21. 21. WHICH FACILITATING FACTORS CORRELATE WITH HAVING A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT? Sunday, January 26, 14
  22. 22. ALL OF THEM. Sunday, January 26, 14
  23. 23. FACILITATING FACTORS MOST STRONGLY ASSOCIATED WITH A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT • 86% Library has clear expectations for assessment (p= less than 0.001) • 85% Library has an assessment plan (p= less than 0.0001) • 78% Library administration uses assessment data (p=0.0031) • 77% There is a shared understanding of the purpose of assessment in the library (p= less than 0.0001) • 77% Library faculty/staff are adequately supported in their assessment work (p= less than 0.0001) *%  of  respondents  who  report  their  institution  as  having  a  culture  of  assessment  who  also  report  having  each  of  these  facilitating  factors Sunday, January 26, 14
  24. 24. FACTORS MOST STRONGLY ASSOCIATED WITH NOT HAVING A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT • 81% Assessment is not a priority of administration (p= less than 0.0001) • 80% Library culture is not user-focused (p= less than 0.0001) • 72% Library is not involved in the campus-wide assessment initiative (p= less than 0.0001) • 70% Assessment data is not available to interested parties (p= less than 0.0001) • 68% Library leadership does not use data in decision-making (p=0.0031) *%  of  respondents  who  report  their  institution  as  not  having  a  culture  of  assessment  who  also  reported  not  having  these  specific  facilitating  factors. Sunday, January 26, 14
  25. 25. OPEN ENDED RESPONSES: WHICH FACTORS MOST FACILITATE? • Institution-wide Emphasis • Accreditation • Library Administrative Interest or Support • Library Organizational Culture (userfocused, curious, etc.) • Professional Development/Training/ Education Sunday, January 26, 14
  26. 26. OPEN ENDED RESPONSES: WHICH FACTORS MOST HINDER? • Lack of Staffing • Lack of Time • Lack of Library Administrative Leadership or Support • Lack of Expertise/Lack of Access to Training • Institution Doesn't Prioritize Assessment Sunday, January 26, 14
  27. 27. SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO CREATE A CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT? Sunday, January 26, 14
  28. 28. ADMINISTRATION WALKS THE TALK • Value assessment and articulates why we are doing this • Promote assessment • Built into planning • Built into reward structures • Support library faculty/staff engaging in assessment • Use assessment • Let library faculty/staff drive the bus Sunday, January 26, 14
  29. 29. EXPECTATIONS MUST BE CLEAR Fewer than half of libraries... • Have clear expectations for assessment (46%) • Have an assessment plan (41%) Of libraries reporting clear expectations and an assessment plan, 92% report having a culture of assessment Sunday, January 26, 14
  30. 30. S U P P O RT http://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6355360253/ Sunday, January 26, 14
  31. 31. SHOW ME THE MONEY! • Time to learn, develop, conduct and analyze • Building expertise in assessment • Incentives, grants, awards • Professional development • Technologies for collecting, analyzing and retrieving data Sunday, January 26, 14
  32. 32. EDUCATION • Most librarians don’t have training in assessment of IL instruction • Need to speak a common language • Need to be able to develop assessment tools and analyze results Sunday, January 26, 14
  33. 33. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH YOUR ASSESSMENT RESULTS? http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingmonk/44551444/ Sunday, January 26, 14
  34. 34. HOW YOU USE THEM MATTERS • Results are easy to get • Results are shared • Results are used to make changes and decisions • Results are discussed • Results are shared outside of the library Sunday, January 26, 14
  35. 35. WHY DON’T LIBRARIANS USE THEIR ASSESSMENT RESULTS? • Too busy with other work • Won’t be rewarded for assessment work • Don’t know how to use/analyze data • Lack of centralized support in library • Not valued by their library Oakleaf and Hinchliffe. (2008). “Assessment Cycle or Circular File: Do Academic Librarians Use Information Literacy Assessment Data?” Proceedings of the 2008 Library Assessment Conference. Sunday, January 26, 14
  36. 36. COMMON LIBRARIAN CONCERNS ABOUT ASSESSMENT •Assessment imperative coming from the outside or above •See it more about accountability than learning •Afraid of negative consequences for bad assessment results •Time constraints •Loss of control •Uncertainty of how the info will be used Sunday, January 26, 14
  37. 37. ADDRESSING CONCERNS •Focus on student learning •Start assessing “where the light is best” •Let librarians develop their own assessment instruments •Make sure there are no consequences for poor results •Give people time to reflect on their assessment results and improve their teaching •Meet often to discuss what everyone is learning from assessment Sunday, January 26, 14
  38. 38. IN THE END... http://www.flickr.com/photos/eschipul/4160817135/ Sunday, January 26, 14
  39. 39. Questions? Find me at meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress mgfarkas (at) gmail.com flickr, twitter: librarianmer facebook: meredithfarkas http://www.flickr.com/photos/trucolorsfly/2401196653/ Sunday, January 26, 14

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