I really felt this week’s readings on assessment tie in well with our last week’s readings. These readings also showed me how assessment can happen in a variety of ways to help with a variety of reasons. Overall, I feel that assessment, and collecting evidence is like going to your doctor’s for a yearly check-up. You’re making sure everything is in order, and seeing if you need to change. As you grow, and as your library grows and users change, you have to change. But in order to do so, you need to know what is going on.
I use to be afraid of assessment, seeing as some sort of nebulous beast that I will have to tackle. But reading Woolls, and Authentic Assessment in the Classroom, along with thinking about assessment in education classes, it’s not so scary. It’ll take a lot of work, but as long as it is authentic (which I love this idea of authenticity. If we’re asking our students to take their work seriously, then we need to take their work seriously too.) and I know what question I am trying to answer, it will be worth it.
There is also this idea of data, data, data! The power of data. It can tell us so much, that is if we collect the right stuff. Both Better data…better decisions, and School Libraries Evidence: Seize the Day, discuss this. One thing that I do wonder is, how realistic is it to ask one school librarian to conduct all this research by themselves? People have jobs where all they do is research. Teacher-librarians however, have a lot on their plate. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t collect data, being a trained biologist, I love data but I’m just curious as to what extent it is possible.
There was a line from Better data … better decisions that stuck out to me: “Can teachers and students find information and answers outside the library media center through ILL, networks, public libraries, consortiums, and databases? Is information in the “evening news” readily available for further investigation?” This reminded me of the power, and necessity to create partnerships in the community, to make sure students and teachers have access.
Overall, I have a positive outlook on assessment, and see it as being a tool to monitor the health of the school’s library, and allocate funds appropriately.