Document Type

Post-Print

Publication Date

2-2016

Abstract

Purpose: Librarians engage in assessment for several purposes, such as to improve teaching and learning, or to report institutional value. In turn, these assessments shape our perspectives and priorities. How can we participate critically in the assessment of information literacy instruction and library programming while broadening our view and making room for questions about what we do? This paper explores self-reflection as a method for building on existing assessment practices with a critical consciousness.

Design/Methodology/Approach: In tracing the trajectory of assessment and reflective practice in library literature, the authors conducted a selective literature review and analyzed the potential impact of incorporating librarian self-reflection into assessment practices, particularly for instructional services. The authors’ experiences with strategies informed by these conversations were also described.

Findings: Self-reflection has typically been employed to improve teaching or as a method of assessing student learning. However, it can also be used to develop a critical awareness of what we accomplish through the act of assessing. The authors develop and present self-reflective strategies and discuss their benefits and limitations.

Practical Implications: An extensive list of strategies was developed to illustrate practical examples of a reflective approach to assessment.

Originality/Value: Although librarians have used reflection as a type of assessment strategy, we have not viewed self-reflection as a method for evaluating other assessment techniques. Librarians interested in exploring reflective practice and thinking critically about assessment will find strategies and suggestions for doing so.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1108/RSR-06-2015-0027

Publication Information

Reference Services Review

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