This week in the IDEALA Course, we focused on outcomes & assessment, an area of instructional design that I definitely need to learn more about. I have my responses to this week’s prompts below.
1. Forward-Looking Assessment
As a result of the ENG 160 library instruction session, students will be able to distinguish different information types. Students will discover what types of information they can access through the library. Since there isn’t a research component to their particular class, this session will be more focused on introductory concepts that are related to the library. In the next semester, they will need to know how to find scholarly articles and know why they need to cite those types of sources in their research papers. I often find that in those classes, students have a harder time understanding how to read scholarly research, and also a hard time integrating them into their papers.
2. Criteria & Standards
My main learning goal for the students in the session is for them to understand the differences between various information types, like popular sources and academic journal articles. For a student to meet my expectations, they should be able to clearly identify a scholarly article, a newspaper article, and a blog post, and articulate why they would want to use it in a research paper. For students to go above and beyond expectations, they should be able to also understand the importance of “popular” sources like blog posts and newspaper articles. If the students do not reflect on the sources, then they will not meet my expectation. To help them distinguish a scholarly paper, I might have them refer to this nice online tutorial from NCSU on the anatomy of a scholarly paper.
3. Self-Assessment What opportunities can you create for students to engage in self-assessment of their performance?
Because my outcome is a lower level skill, assessments for this session might be something as simple as filling out a worksheet and having a brief class discussion, having them reflect on the different resources they looked at and talk about what they thought of them.
4. “FIDeLity” Feedback
The constraint of the one-shot model doesn’t allow for me to give as much feedback as I’d like. Being upfront about my expectations of the students would be helpful for them to know what to strive for. Walking around the room as students evaluate and distinguish resources would allow for immediate feedback, and for them to ask me questions. I would hope that students would follow up with me after the class so I could provide more feedback, especially if they find that the skills they learned in class are applicable to other classes they are taking.
The session that I am preparing for is a very basic introductory session to the library. I just see it as an opportunity to work with students on skills that don’t get acknowledged or glossed over in later library instruction sessions, like differentiating between source types, and understanding what scholarly articles are. In order for it to be meaningful for students though, I do believe that it’s important for them to reflect on the various sources they will be reading throughout school and in regular life.
As I was reading Fink’s approach to teaching/learning activities, I was really inspired by his holistic view of active learning. I think this diagram is a great illustration of how the information we teach, the students doing hands-on activity, and reflecting on what they’ve learned works together. For my session, I think a brief overview of different resources, and showing students the anatomy of a scholarly article would be a good start. Then perhaps breaking them up into groups to work together on dissecting different types of articles, and asking them to discuss with each other about why they’d want to read or cite certain articles and how they would use those sources. For example, a blog post might have a mix of links to other blog posts, or newspaper article. Then after the activity, we could discuss as a group what everyone found. This is a rough, typing out loud of how I could incorporate my learning outcomes, and Fink’s concept of active learning. I’d be interested to hear what other’s may do for this kind of one-shot session.
What could we do to improve assessment techniques using critical pedagogy?
This week, I thought I’d focus on the question of assessment techniques and critical pedagogy. When we think about assessment in library instruction, we know that there are several approaches. For some, pre and post tests might be a way for the department to assess student learning. However, part of what critical pedagogy encourages is personal reflection, and growth through dialog. To me, it seems like formative assessment could work well in the classroom, as it encourages students to actively reflect and determine what they need to learn. Multiple choice tests do not always give students the feedback they need to learn and grow as individuals, and it doesn’t really prove what value we have as teachers. It just shows what students can remember from our session. As I read from Pedagogy of the Oppressed, recollection and memorization= the banking model and doesn’t produce critical thinkers.
This semester I have a student who is working for me as a research assistant. She was hired under a grant project to work on campus projects that highlight the Asian American experience, and is also a career mentoring program. I asked her to create a blog for the work she is doing this semester as a way for me to assess her work and progress on her projects. Having her actively reflect on her work falls into the realm of critical pedagogy. Also, she is working on projects to highlight voices that have been historically marginalized, including working on a Queer Asian American Archive. So both having her reflect on her work, and having her work on projects that are not focused on the dominant narrative are examples of how I have tried to incorporate critical pedagogy into assessment.