Assessment in Action Project Reflection – kYmberly Keeton

kYmberly Keeton Lincoln University (Missouri)
kYmberly Keeton Lincoln University (Missouri)

The ACRL Value in Academic Libraries team asked recent participants in the Assessment in Action (AiA) program to reflect on their work and we were simply floored by the generous responses.

Following is a reflection by kYmberly Keeton, Academic Librarian/Assistant Professor of Library Science at the Inman E. Page Library, Lincoln University (Missouri). kYmberly’s primary research question was: How in the world did one faculty library group come together to explore assessing students’ writing intensive projects in three academic semesters within a scholarly learning space at a Historically Black College University? The project website at Lincoln University is available here. 

  1. What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?

The greatest challenge that I had during the AiA project was making sure that what was found in our assessment with regard to quantitative and qualitative information was conveyed and shaped in a way where an individual reading the assessment on their own would grasp the entire concept without direction from me as the designer, i.e. librarian team leader.

  1. What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?

It is imperative that you take the time to sit down with faculty members that will be a part of your project as team members. Establishing a relationship with them and setting up expectations for communication during your project is important. Meeting with them will provide you with a good narrative to go by as it pertains to the needs of their students and what they would like to see happen in a collaborative setting; they are your network that you can go to for support.

  1. What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action? 

I gained a level of trust with all of the faculty team members that participated in this project with me as a librarian.

NILOA issues statement on importance of documenting learning

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) recently issued a policy statement Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters. It outlines the warrant for multiple, systematic approaches to obtain evidence of authentic student achievement and addresses some well-reasoned concerns that poorly designed assessment efforts can distract from rather than enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

In this new statement, NILOA argues that improving student and institutional performance must be a national priority as what educators call the “assessment movement” and the information it generates are foundational to addressing some of the greatest challenges the country currently faces. It offers a succinct summary of what the assessment movement has achieved thus far, drawing on NILOA’s work in the field over the past decade, and concludes with five principles that can spread and accelerate assessment work worthy of the promises colleges and universities make to their students, policy makers, and the public. Read more in the press release and full policy statement.

ACRL e-Learning webcast series: Learning Analytics –Strategies for Optimizing Student Data

Val LogoRegistration is available for the three-part webcast series, “Learning Analytics: Strategies for Optimizing Student Data on Your Campus.” This webcast series, co-sponsored by the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee, the Student Learning and Information Committee, and the ACRL Instruction Section, will explore the advantages and opportunities of learning analytics as a tool which uses student data to demonstrate library impact and to identify learning weaknesses. How can librarians initiate learning analytics initiatives on their campuses and contribute to existing collaborations? The first webcast will provide an introduction to learning analytics and an overview of important issues. The second event will focus on privacy issues and other ethical considerations as well as responsible practice, and the third webcast will include a panel of librarians who are successfully using learning analytics on their campuses.

· Webcast One: Learning Analytics and the Academic Library: The State of the Art and the Art of Connecting the Library with Campus Initiatives (March 29, 2016)

· Webcast Two: Privacy and the Online Classroom: Learning Analytics, Ethical Considerations, and Responsible Practice (April 14, 2016)

· Webcast Three: Moving Beyond Circulation and Gate Counts: Practical Applications of Learning Analytics (May 11, 2016)

Complete details including webcast descriptions and learning outcomes for each webcast, and registration materials are available online. Questions can be directed to