Last week’s blog post discussed what to do if your accreditation visit involves discussing a mistake or lapse in some aspect of your library’s work. Communicating that without ruining your accreditation chances can be a minefield. But what if you’re gearing up to tell the committee about a great success? It might seem like an easy task at first, but there’s a knack to being forthright about success while maintaining the academic tone required in an accreditation report or interview.
So you’re faced with an accreditation visit. You’ve looked back at your notes and plans from the previous visit and there’s a problem... you didn’t do what you said you would. Or, you tried to do whatever it was you promised but it didn’t work out. What next? How can you discuss this issue in a way that doesn’t reflect badly on the library or the institution as a whole?
Accreditation: it’s a scary time, and it can seem like the institution’s future hangs on whether the library can show its worth. Take a deep breath! This isn’t a “gotcha” moment. It’s an opportunity for you to show all the things the library is already doing that both help individual students and move the school closer to its goals. Remember, too, that the accreditation committee wants you to succeed. Especially if this is a reaccreditation visit, they’re just looking to see that you’re meeting your goals.
Amanda DiFeterici, Senior Manager, Product Strategy at Credo recently described Credo Insights, a new product that Modules subscribers will have access to this month. In the interview, DiFeterici discussed what Insights is, how it can be used to get a clearer picture of a library’s success in information literacy instruction, and how to learn more about the product. Be sure to join her webinar Credo Insights: Usage and Assessment Data Made Easy as part of the InfoLit Learning Community web series on May 24 at 2pm ET.
Credo will soon debut a new product, Credo Insights, which you were instrumental in developing. Can you tell readers what Credo Insights is?
Credo Insights is an analytics platform that gives librarians multifaceted information about usage of their InfoLit Modules subscription. That information includes assessment and usage data. Combining those two types of data, drilling down into different types of assessments, and figuring out who is using the Modules can uncover much, not only about how the product is being used at an institution, but also how students are participating and performing in that institution’s information literacy program.
Over the past few months, we’ve presented a series of webinars as part of our InfoLit Learning Community, covering topics from using Credo Modules in library instruction, to collaborating with faculty, to helping students thrive in a new media environment. (If you missed any, catch the recordings here!) We hope that you’ve been able to bring some of the information our speakers have imparted into your work this semester, or plan to do so in the fall. But the question remains, how will you know if the new information and activities are helping students? That’s where assessment comes in.
Ready to catch up on some professional reading? The following are some information literacy articles that have been published this year and that can help you get up to speed on what’s happening, not only outside your library’s walls, but also outside our borders. Assessment of students’ IL progress is a common thread among the papers, though they each have much more to offer as well. In the “if you only read one paper this year” vein, Eamon Tewell’s “The Practice and Promise of Critical Information Literacy” is a thought-provoking read that brings a more social dimension to IL than has previously been prominent in the literature. Access them all and join in the conversation in our InfoLit Learning Community.
In recent years, assessment of student learning has become more and more sophisticated as well as increasingly determinant of decisions regarding funding and faculty promotion. Administrators and other educational stakeholders—parents, for example, who want to see their hard-earned tuition payments balanced against measurable gains in their child’s knowledge and employability—advocate for more and better metrics regarding student learning. It can all seem so mercenary that it’s worth a look back at a seminal work—Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s Understanding by Design (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2005)—that advocates for assessment in order to see why we’re crunching all these numbers.
On April 26, Credo will offer a free webinar in which Vanessa Otero will discuss her viral Media Bias Chart. The chart is a tool that ranks news sources on two axes: from “Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info” to “Original Fact Reporting” and from “Most Extreme Liberal” to “Most Extreme Conservative.”
In a recent interview with Credo, Vanessa Otero, creator of the Media Bias Chart, explained that while overly biased news sources are not new, they have become more common of late. As the presence of fake and biased media has increased, professors and librarians have responded accordingly. Proactively teaching students how to detect fake news, spot bias, and avoid including unreliable sources in their research are essential components of information literacy instruction. With a growing pool of techniques to draw from, we can better equip our communities with the skills they need to discern the credibility of a source.