Data and Evidence

The Mueller article sets out a clear definition of authentic assessments, “students perform real world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.” This seems to be such a key instructional idea yet it also seems fraught with difficulties as experiences for students vary as does level. Mueller presents so clearly just how important it is to have clear goals and standards in mind so you know what to assess for so that there is a clear sense of this leads to this and we want them to be able to do this. When he speaks about constructing our own meaning of the world that just clicks for me, because that’s the real challenge especially when dealing with a lot of students since how everyone finds meaning can vary so much. Yet you want to make sure that no one is left behind, but a teacher and librarian only has so much time so a lot of work goes into making sure the assessments are as effective as possible.

Young’s article presents a great list to think about in terms of what data are you collecting and why and her three main ideas of important types of data; access, suitability and competency. I think in those three main ideas, she really sums up all the key ideas for what a good school library should be giving to its students and school. Also I can see how good data collection can become the basis for consistent advocacy throughout the year.

I love the illustration for the Todd article and how he uses the word transform in terms of learning, because that’s a phrase that I think captures so much of what good teaching is. It transforms how you think and understand a subject. His three ways of thinking of evidence makes a lot of sense evidence in, for, and of practice so that there’s a process going on in creating a project and with the reflection involved in all parts of it and data collection. Since good assessment will end up creating strong evidence as will thoughtfully created assignments. I especially like how he speaks of focusing on what students achieve since first off that’s more measurable but also powerful. Also the fact that he talks about drawing together evidence from multiple schools and libraries and not just when you have to since that will improve the experience for everyone.

I’m not sure that I agree with Woolls’ difference between evaluation and measurement, I can see how she’s trying to make the idea of collecting evidence less worrying and test based. At this point, I’m just unsure about her word choice. Her idea about using effective assessment to show just what the media program is doing seems so key and really ties into the discussion about advocacy last week. One of the major issues seems to be which standards to you use and what’s the best way to use them. I like the idea of basing evaluation around the curriculum, it makes so much sense in terms of looking at what the school wants to achieve.

The idea of formative assessment seems quite powerful though it sounds as if unless its done well, it could take a good amount of time from the project. I’m reminded of Carl Harvey and how the assessment was built into the project from the start and how that seems to have made them really powerful. Also the idea of constantly evaluating how the library is working, what programs are is a powerful reflective tool to make sure that as a librarian, you’re constantly aware of what you need to do and what needs to keep going as it is.



Filed under school library management reflection

3 responses to “Data and Evidence

  1. Kristin

    Young is available in HTML format via FirstSearch/WilsonSelectPlus. But … Todd isn’t there! Grr! And it’s the best one! Will bring copies for us to digest tomorrow in class if I can’t get to a scanner before that. Sorry!

  2. Kristin

    PS – A replacement Todd article is now in CTools.

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