Title

From Anecdotes to Data: Leveraging Our Assessment Toolkit to Determine How a New Curriculum Measures Up

Document Type

Presentation

Journal/Book Title/Conference

LOEX Annual Conference

Publication Date

5-1-2020

Abstract

This presentation shared the design and results of a mixed-methods assessment of a new library curriculum for ENGL 2010, the required English Composition course at Utah State University. Piloted with two sections of the course in fall semester 2019, this new three-session curriculum was grounded in case-based problem-based learning (CBPBL), a specific type of problem-based learning (PBL) in which students work together to solve real life scenarios and immediately apply their skills to a relevant and complex problem. Student teams used case studies to practice source evaluation, topic development, and synthesis of research in writing. Multiple assessment methods afforded us a rich understanding of our approach’s pedagogical efficacy, benefits, and challenges. We leveraged several approaches that have been used to evaluate library instruction in general and PBL in library instruction in particular. These were: a pre-/post-test student survey (e.g., Cook & Walsh 2012; Roberts 2017; Spackman & Camacho 2009); classroom observations (e.g., Carbery 2011); instructor reflections (e.g., Macklin 2001); and qualitative analysis of a sample of students’ weekly reflection papers (e.g., Cook & Walsh 2012; Diekema, Holliday, & Leary, 2011). Importantly, we also administered our pre-/post-test survey to two “control” sections of ENGL 2010 (not using the CBPBL curriculum), allowing for direct comparison of perceived and demonstrated student learning. These assessments helped us evaluate if a case-study-driven approach is indeed more engaging for students, and if practicing information literacy skills in the context of stories impacts student learning. Our research not only informs our practice teaching ENGL 2010 going forward but also offers a new contribution to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in information literacy.

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