The purpose of this study was to determine what skills students already possessed as entering first‐year students, in order to define appropriate goals and objectives for library instruction sessions occurring in the first‐year writing and critical thinking course.
A pre‐test was administered during the first two weeks of the fall 2008 semester. After one‐shot library instruction, students took a post‐test during the final exam period of the fall 2008 semester. Librarians worked collaboratively to evaluate the results of the assessment and determine the implications for the session goals and objectives.
The original goals and objectives for the library instruction sessions were out of sync with student skills. Assessment also revealed that the original goals and objectives were out of sync with librarian priorities. The results of the assessment were used to refine the goals and objectives through a collaborative process.
Instruction librarians need to evaluate their course goals and objectives as one part of the assessment cycle. Assessment can be a useful tool for aligning librarian priorities and pre‐existing student skills.
This study explains how the results of assessment can be used to close the assessment loop, concentrating on parts of the assessment cycle seldom discussed in the literature.
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