Don’t Venture Alone: Collaboratively Navigating Authentic Assessment

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Library Instruction West 2018


Grand Junction, CO

Publication Date



This presentation will highlight a mid-size land-grant university’s process for assessing changes made to their instruction program. Presenters will share their assessment process for a mixed methods exploration of students’ research skills with a focus on synthesis. This authentic assessment was designed in response to a previous large-scale rubric study that indicated a need for changes in the instruction program. The presenters will discuss how 10 librarians and staff collaborated to score 79 student papers with two rubrics in addition to a citation analysis that included 678 citations. This involved learning to use a rubric, reaching inter-rater reliability, collaborative analysis, and working with IRB to ethically collect and use student works. Part of sharing the process will include giving participants the opportunity to engage with assessment tools and think about how to use findings to re-think, revise, or just better understand student research behaviors. Participants will also gain ideas and resources for conducting a rubric analysis of student works at their own institutions. More generally, they will leave with an understanding of how collaborative assessment can build community, serve as a professional development opportunity, and provide a mechanism for understanding how and when student learning is occurring, including the nuances of how learning and its barriers reveal themselves during authentic assessment. This deep immersion into student work, especially as an instructional team, provides valuable insight for changing practice, challenging our own teaching assumptions, and contributing to a culture of assessment.

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