Communications in Information Literacy, Vol 10, No 2 (2016)

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Don’t Use a Hammer When You Need a Screwdriver: How to Use the Right Tools to Create Assessment That Matters

Dominique Turnbow, Annie Zeidman-Karpinski


Instruction librarians want clear data showing the effectiveness of our workshops as a way of demonstrating our value in education. This article uses instructional design approaches to show how to make specific changes when writing and measuring our learning outcomes to capture what we are doing in our sessions. Unlike classes that develop over the course of several months, we are faced with unique challenges when conducting one-shot instruction sessions. By focusing our attention on student satisfaction and learning, we see ways to improve those sessions for everyone involved. In this essay, we provide examples and discuss how to write effective learning outcomes to answer specific questions about learner satisfaction and what the participants learned. In addition, we suggest ways to reform the evaluation and assessment questions that we use to reinforce our lessons. These methods can be used in both online and face-to-face environments.

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