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1. Foward-Looking Assessment

Formulate one or two ideas for forward-looking assessment. Identify a situation in which students are likely to use what they have learned, and try to replicate that situation with a question, problem, or issue.

My students will be learning about a database, Web of Science. They would feasibly use this in any number of future assignments or research projects for which they need articles relating to a topic or an understanding of the use of an article.

One situation that would be particularly well-served by WoS is an assignment or question about the influence of an article over time, so my question would be:

There has recently been a lot of debate online and through mainstream news about eReader use versus reading physical books. For context, a search for “eBook” AND “reading” in WoS yields only 15 results. Based on this search and the 15 articles available, what do you think is the most-important issue for researchers? What leads you to this conclusion? What information available in WoS supports your conclusion? What, if any, concerns do you have about your conclusion based on this exercise?

Write a 4-8 sentence response to this question. Partner with another student. Swap responses with your partner and discuss similarities and differences between your conclusions and the information on with you focused.

2. Criteria & Standards

Select one of your main learning goals, and identify at least two criteria that would distinguish exceptional achievement from poor performance. Then write two or three levels of standards for each of these criteria.

Criteria 1: The student formulated a nuanced opinion about the most important issue to researchers that considered alternative possibilities than their own.

Standards:

Exceptional responses will take into consideration the topics of the articles, their citation information, their date of publication, and the focus (specific, broad, moderate) when forming their opinion. Exceptional responses will consider other opinions and/or consider the validity of an opinion formed with an example like the one used here (15 articles in a single database).

Acceptable responses will take into consideration at least the topics of the articles and their citation information when forming their opinion. Acceptable responses may not have fully-formed ideas about their opinion’s validity or may be working toward considering the implications of the example used here.

Unacceptable responses will not have a formulated opinion or will have not considered other opinions or the implications of the example used here.

Criteria 2: The student was able to present and defend their opinion collegially to their partner using information gleaned from WoS.

Standards:

Exceptional responses will engage collegially with partners to examine both their own opinion and their partner’s opinion. Collegiality means that students are civil, respectful, and focused on the written work, not the individual or the “eBook vs. print” debate itself. Exceptional responses will defend their opinion using data and information available in WoS.

Acceptable responses will engage with partners to examine at least their own opinion or their partner’s opinion. Acceptable responses may get distracted by the “eBook vs. print” debate itself. Acceptable responses may lack convincing data and information available in WoS.

Unacceptable responses will not engage with partners to examine either opinion or will become completely off topic or personally attacking.

3. Self-Assessment

What opportunities can you create for students to engage in self-assessment of their performance?

I think that writing out their responses will be part of self-assessment. I think it would be feasible and useful to have students write a 1-minute response at the end of the assessment activity to self-assess their partner interactions as well as their interactions with WoS.

4. “FIDeLity” Feedback

What procedures can you develop that will allow you to give students feedback that is

  • Frequent
  • Immediate
  • Discriminating, i.e., based on clear criteria and standards
  • Lovingly delivered

I think that having the students do a think-pair-share assessment activity would allow me to move around the room and provide immediate feedback as they are working. I think this feedback would also be frequent, as I can ‘touch base’ with each pair numerous times as the activity goes on. I think that assessing the written pieces would allow me to give discriminating feedback since I can create a rubric sheet that I could give back to students with their ‘graded’ written pieces.

I have strong concerns about giving feedback “lovingly.” That actually creeps me out and is strongly gendered and inappropriate to me. I believe that feedback delivered with respect, openness, and with support (both textual, reference standards, and theoretical, meaning in support of students as in process on their own path) is appropriate, especially for college-level students of any age. I do not understand what the authors mean when they ask for instructors to “be empathetic in the way you deliver … feedback.” I am also skeptical of this idea in light of the article by this course’s instructors published on the In the Library with the Lead Pipe blog in which they discuss “emotional labor” as it relates to both librarianship and teaching.

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