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Tutorials Best Practices Toolkit: Assessment

Assessment

Librarians interested in creating tutorials should keep in mind the importance of assessment. There are several types of assessment (listed below). Lindauer, Arp, & Woodard (2004) state that “assessment for best practice encourages the use of multiple measures and methods to provide evidence.” The three arenas of assessment are as follows: 

  • Needs assessment, which takes place in the design and development phase.
  • Assessment of the tool, which is related most closely to usability. A useful rubric for this type of assessment can be found in Hess (2013).
  • Use of the tool, including usage statistics (see below)
  • Assessment of student learning, including summative and formative assessment (see below)

Statistics tracking

Bottorff & Todd (2012) discuss tracking usage with new forms of library instruction, including:

  • Tracking the number of students who take the tutorial, who those student are, how long the tutorial takes to complete, the number of correct/incorrect answers, counts for number of tutorials and when they are used, prep time, etc. 
  • Taking note of trends in usage from one semester/year to the next
  • Identifying potential areas for further study and exploration, including areas where students are having difficulty with the tutorial as indicated by the number of incorrect answers to quiz questions in certain sections.

Student learning assessments

  • Smith (2010) discusses general categories of assessment, including:
  • Cognitive ("higher-order thinking abilities, attitudes, and communication skills are measured")
  • Performance ("learners demonstrate their capabilities by creating a product or engaging in an activity...in a realistic context")
  • Portfolio ("work is accumulated...to show evolution of learning")
  • See also Hernon & Dugan (2002).

Different types of assessments will be more appropriate or feasible for different types of tutorials. The librarian creating the tutorial will need to decide which methods will work best for their tutorial project.

Tools for Assessment

  • Pre-tests and post-tests can provide a perspective of what students learn (Swoger, 2011). 
  • Student self-assessment (examples from UMass Dartmouth: http://www.lib.umassd.edu/help/library-instruction-online)
  • Quizzes and feedback provided with an option to "try again" and continuous score updating; option to get back to where they left off. 
  • Fixed choice tests or performance assessments.  (See Oakleaf, 2008)
  • Rubrics (See Oakleaf, 2008)
  • Surveys.  (See Kapoun, 2004)

 All referenced resources can be found under the Further Resources tab.