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CKH Student Assessment Paper

CKH Student Assessment Paper

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Published by Caroline Haavik

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Published by: Caroline Haavik on Apr 30, 2013
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Caroline Haavik LBSC 741April 24, 2014Student Assessment in the School LibraryIn a speech he made at the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL)Conference in 2001, Ross Todd said the following;People -- administrators, classroom teachers and parents --sometimes do not see the links between what you do on a day-to-day basis and how that enables the learning outcomes of thestudents. I am going to be blunt here. I hope I am wrong. But youwill not be heard until your day-to-day practice is evidence-based; a practice that is directed towards demonstrating the real tangible power of your contribution to the school's learning goals -- goalsthat while expressed in many different ways, have at their heartconcepts of knowledge construction and human understanding. Theevidence of your direct, tangible contribution to improving learningin your school should be the substance of your message, thesubstance of your public concern, the substance of your negotiations.Ross Todd has been working for the last decade and more on transforming Evidence-BasedPractice (EBP) beyond formal research terminology into an everyday librarian colloquialism. For those in school library graduate programs he is on his way to success. However, how much dowe really take his words to heart even with them drilled into our daily existence? Do we look atways we can lay the groundwork in our own libraries to create secure, respected school library programs based on strong evidence for their existence? The following paper will discuss EBP at
its purest form, student assessment; what student assessment is, how a local librarian uses it in her classroom, and ways in which she might improve her assessment collection.Student assessment is the “reflection and appraisal of learning” (ALA, 1998, p. 174).Over a period of time, collected qualitative data, such as student assessment, can be just asinformative and useful for evaluation as quantitative data (Pappas, 2008, p. 23). The NationalCouncil for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and it knows a thing or two about data, statesthere are four purposes for assessment; to improve student growth, improve instruction,recognize accomplishment, and modify or improve instruction (ALA, 1998, p. 174). AASLmirrors these purposes in
 Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs
(2009)stating assessment is performed:-by the student through self-assessments-by the student working with the classroom teacher and/or schoollibrarian to assess the student’s progress during a unit of study-by the classroom teacher and school librarian instruction during theunit of study-by the school librarian to determine how well the program isworking to improve student achievement (p. 27)As the above AASL Guidelines for assessment in the school library suggest, Donhamstresses that assessment is “not a single event, but rather a part of the learning experience”(Donham, 2008, p. 266). Whether in elementary, middle, or high school, it is necessary for theschool librarian to incorporate multiple types of assessment, whether informal or formal, in their daily instruction for the purpose of “tracking this data for a longitudinal picture of patterns andtrends” (Pappas, 2008, p. 23). The collected evidence can be used to lay the foundation for Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in the school. When communicated to administrators, coteachers, parents, students, and the community at large, EBP can help the school librarian to “gain
administrative support, identify collection gaps and weaknesses, foster funding partnerships for new materials and technology, increase student and faculty usage, and most importantly, ensurethat the library remains open (Marie, 2005, p. 25).”Assessment begins by having clear outcomes, standards, or goals in mind. The AASLStandards for the 21st Century Learner, Common Core, ISTE Standards, etc. all lay a framework for what the librarian, teacher, educator hopes to accomplish in a specific period of time with her students. Once “achievable learning goals” are set the educator must “define assessment criteriafor these learning goals” (Louis and Harada, 2012, p. 14). There are multiple types of assessmentthat span from informal to formal. Informal assessment can be set up as a survey; one-on-oneconversations, group discussions, or online surveys. These are generally not graded and might provide the librarian with an understanding of the students critical thinking skills, knowledge of library resources, and other useful feedback. More formal types of assessment include rubrics,tests, graphic organizers, the creation of journal entries, checklists, portfolios, etc. (ALA, 1998, p.176-180). However, all forms of assessment allow for “reflection and appraisal of learning” on both the student and educator’s behalf (ALA, 1998, p. 174).Ann Kennedy, the librarian at Roland Park Elementary School in Baltimore, MD beginseach library class with five minutes for an informal, short, and fun book review. She has studentscomplete short “recommendation” cards for any books they read that week. Theserecommendations are then placed in a binder for other students to peruse for book suggestions.To the untrained eye her simple, ungraded, voluntary assessment may appear as any other activity, but it does follow the AASL criteria for the performance of assessment previously referenced inthis paper. First, it allows for student self-assessment. While filling out the recommendation cardthe students are required to think critically about their interest in the book, what makes it standout against other books, and why other students might also like it. Second, Ann has a record of 

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