#Rhizo15 week two: brief thoughts on assessment

As librarians, we often use the one-shot method for library instruction, that is, one class period workshops of library resources and search technologies. I am not personally convinced that this one-shot method is the best way of conveying “information literacy” to our students.  One might also conclude that we have not done the “necessary” in terms of assessment to demonstrate the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of the one-shot method for making our students smarter and more information-capable in the information age.

Where is there time for assessment in one-shot instruction? There is no time. But assessment can be built into instruction exercises, just as critical pedagogy can be built in. For example, in a MOOC course I am taking, multiple choice quizzes are built right into each unit sub-section, both to reinforce the information being conveyed and to “report back” the degree to which the information is being received/absorbed.

I’m not an anarchist, and I don’t believe assessment should be thrown out the window completely. But I do think that it can be embedded in the learning material, like navigation is embedded in a website, so that it is unobtrusive, and perhaps, even more effective for the student and for the teacher.

p.s.  The final frosts of the season killed my squash, cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe. My fault for planting too soon.  Here in the mountains Mother’s day marks the end of the final frost.  The potatoes and carrots and all the greens (collards, kale, beets) survived.  So it’s off the Lowes  to buy new seeds.  And dandelions, yes, dandelions.  We need some rhizomes in the garden!