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Assessment planning for distance education library services


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Assessment planning for distance education library services

  1. 1. Assessment planning for distance education library services: strategic roadmaps for determining and reporting organizational performance and value Larry Nash White, Ph.D. Department of Library Science East Carolina University April 30, 2010
  2. 2. Today’s roadmap11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  3. 3. Something to think about….11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  4. 4. Background to the Study Assessment planning is a critical but frequently overlooked component of an overall strategic planning process for an organization. Assessment results (and their proper analysis for meaning) provide organizational leaders, administrators, and stakeholders with information to determine effectiveness and efficiencies within the organization while ensuring resource maximization in usage. The assessment process results enable organizational leaders to initiate future oriented organizational strategic decision making and planning in order to develop and execute a strategic roadmap of activities that generate organizational impact or value for its customers and stakeholders.11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  5. 5. Background to the Study II Thus, the assessment planning process (and its results) serves as the foundation for the organization’s strategic roadmap; organizational leaders develop and adjust the strategic roadmap in order to generate the most effective strategic outcomes and value creation possible for the organization’s customers and stakeholders. The success or effectiveness of the organizational leader’s ability to develop and adjust the strategic roadmap for the organization and be able to determine and report assessment information is then very critically dependent on having an effective assessment planning process in place in the organization.11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  6. 6. Literature Review Library Science literature findings • Few references made to assessment planning for the whole of an organization and its financial impact or value; most findings specifically dealt with assessing smaller components / activities of the organization instead of the organization as a whole or in reporting qualitative outcomes. • References made to assessment planning were most frequently focused on planning outcomes assessment for components or activities of the library organization; again not looking at the whole of the organization in terms of determining and reporting financial impact and value. • When assessment planning is referenced, the process is performed almost exclusively as a separate process in the wider strategic planning processes of the organization and is not generally found in most libraries’ organizational strategic, tactical, or long range plans. • What assessment planning is performed is primarily internally focused on effectiveness and outcomes (especially in academic, school libraries) and efficiency (public libraries) assessment results. Thus, the resulting data and information (and its analysis) are limited in scope and usefulness to library organizational leaders in determining and reporting financial impact / value or in strategic, tactical or long range planning activities.11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  7. 7. Literature Review II Library Science literature findings (cont.) • Libraries tend to use the same limited number of assessment and assessment planning activities over time. There seems to be very little innovation from within the library profession itself in the area of assessment, especially in the areas of metrics, analysis, and use or customer / service environment feedback mechanisms in the assessment planning process. • Libraries tend to use less complex assessment processes and planning activities, thus the results of these processes often lack the sophistication necessary to provide an effective ability to determine and report organizational both financial and outcome impact and value or effectively address organizational leader’s information needs for creating the organizational strategic roadmap. • Of the few references to assessment planning in the literature, most assessment planning processes (whether for a component of the organization or the whole organization) were not designed to account for technology services, options and developments: online services and customers and the scope of organizational impacts created by technology in service delivery were frequently not accounted for in assessment planning processes.11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  8. 8. Literature Review III Business literature review • Assessment planning in businesses frequently focused on determining and reporting financial organizational value and value creation, cost avoidance, return on investment (ROI) and return on assets (ROA) • Assessment planning was frequently integrated into organizational strategic, tactical, and long range planning processes and was conducted on a regular basis. • Assessment planning and the metrics of assessment seem to include regular innovation of the assessment metrics and processes, with assessment planning reflecting these ongoing innovations.11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  9. 9. Literature Review IV Business literature review (cont.) • Assessment planning in most businesses was a complex processes, using complex assessment metrics and processes, yielding a more sophisticated assessment result for organizational leaders to use in strategic decision making and planning. • Assessment planning in businesses frequently incorporated and the assessment and planning of intangible financial impacts and values used or created by the business organization. • Businesses tended to support and operate a stronger culture of assessment that supports assessment planning processes.11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  10. 10. Developing an Assessment Plan component list of the more traditionally identified assessment plan components in library assessment planning: • Goals • Objectives • Metrics (indirect and direct) • Data collection • Data analysis • Reporting11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  11. 11. Observable Trends in Assessment Plan how infrequently all of the library assessment plan components address the financial impact or value information needs routinely and ideally to be addressed through assessment planning. As noted earlier, the literature suggests that assessment activities in libraries do not seem to focus on determining and reporting financial organizational impact and value, though there is a frequent use of more qualitative impact assessment (i.e. outcomes) assessment activities and planning generally occurs on a smaller organizational scope the focus of the assessment component categories seems to be mostly internal to the library and not external to the library’s service environment11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  12. 12. Observable Trends in Assessment Plan II need to shift from the traditional accountability types of component use to a more flexible and engaging type of use to help the libraries adapt their assessment planning processes and allow the assessment process to focus more on the strategic impacts and value at the organizational level many types of libraries (especially academic and school libraries) use outcomes assessment to demonstrate the organizational impact and value of the library to customers and stakeholders the use of outcome assessment in public libraries is becoming more frequent, especially in the areas of determining and reporting community impact to outside funding sources (i.e. grant agencies) as outcomes assessment is more qualitative in nature and most effective when used to address qualitative performance inquiries, predominately used to determine impact and value on a smaller scale than the whole of the library organization, these leaves a gap in the assessment planning scope / coverage and the resulting assessment information available to library leaders and administrators for developing strategic plans and in strategic decision making11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  13. 13. Component frequencies of use in assessmentplans: traditional format Assessment Plan Efficiency Effectiveness Financial (i.e. Return on Community Component investment (ROI) / Outcomes Return on assets (ROA) / Cost avoidance / Value) Goals √√√ √√√ √ √√ Objectives √√√ √√√ √ √√√ Metrics (indirect) √ √ √ √ Metrics (Direct) √√√ √√√ √√ √√ Data Collection √√√ √√ √ √√ Analysis √√ √√ √ √√ Reporting √√ √√ √√ √√ √ = Infrequently √ √ = Consistently √ √ √= Frequently11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  14. 14. Future of Assessment Planning there are some significant opportunities for improving assessment planning processes • intangible efforts, resources, impact, and value that are not traditionally reported in library spreadsheets and assessment planning • traditionally these have been called “library goodness factors” but in modern terms are called terms like intellectual capital, social capital, human capital, etc. • when a library fails to determine and report its intangible resource use and value and the resulting intangible values created, it significantly underreports its overall organizational impact and value and increases the management challenges of these intangibles by library administrators and leaders11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  15. 15. Possible Assessment Plan Components and Use Focus Areas Focus Areas-> Assessment Customers / Intangible Financial Impact Knowledge / Expertise Plan Stakeholders Resources / Efforts and Value Components Strategic Needs Learning Entrepreneur / Innovation Accountability / Access Alignment Demonstration Analysis / Feedback11/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White
  16. 16. Questions and ContactInformationLarry Nash Whitewhitel@ecu.edu252.328.231511/24/12 Copyright 2010 by L. Nash White