Monday, December 19, 2011

Assessment Time

This time of year professors complain almost as loudly as students about how exhausted they are. Students are done and gone but professors are now busy trying to make the registrar's deadline to get grades turned in on time. Every one of them are probably re-evaluating the assignments they required of their students in order to assess their learning outcomes. There is no doubt that many are thinking that there must be a better way!

I don't want to feel their pain exactly, but I would still like a meaningful way of assessing whether the library accomplishes its learning outcome goals for HIU students.

I mused about this in May. We don't give tests or assignments to assess student information retrieval skills or their commitment to lifelong learning. The library doesn't have the kind of student evaluations that instructors are subject to at the end of a course. There isn't even a Rate my Librarian site like Rate my professors.com. So we are always on the lookout for clues to our success or failures.

This past weekend Hope conferred degrees on the first graduating classes of the new schools under the University's new structure. But it wasn't the organization of the pomp and circumstance that interested me. As I listened intently to each of the three student speeches (yes, I really did), I was once again impressed with their quality. They represented their fellow students very well.

Beyond the well prepared presentations, what caught my attention was one of the common threads that ran through them. I don't know if anyone else noticed, but each of them said something about how they had been prepared for lifelong learning or that they had been taught critical thinking skills here at Hope. These are our goals! I would like to think that the Darling Library had something to with that. It was not a formal assessment, but for now, I'll take it as a positive sign that we are on the right path.

Congratulations, graduates! And congratulations to Hope International University for empowering another fine class of alumni prepared "to serve the Church and impact the world for Christ."

2 comments:

Paul Alexander said...

I agree 100% Our students are "getting it" in terms of learning, information literacy and the kind of world changing we want to do through Christ.

Robin Hartman said...

Now we just need to formalize our assessment for accountability!