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Carrick Enterprises was represented at the 2014 Library Assessment Conference in early August. Rick Wiggins gave a lunchtime talk to a large audience about Project SAILS, explaining the purpose and benefits of the assessment program.

I attended many presentations and participated on a panel about three IMLS-funded information literacy projects (Project SAILS, RAILS, and Project Information Literacy).

Some highlights and take-aways from two of the presentations:

Alan Carbery (Champlain College) talked about assessing student work using rubrics and citation analysis. Among his findings:

  • Misunderstanding the definition of primary source – “the main source I will use”
  • Students who choose research topics from popular culture are more likely to omit academic sources because they assume there won’t be any.
  • Students have less trouble finding sources, more difficulty writing annotations.
  • Over reliance on citation management tools, resulting in important pieces, such as page numbers, being omitted.

Christine Tawatao, Robin Chin Roemer, Verletta Kern, and Nia Lam (University of Washington) examined video tutorials. Some results:

  • No correlation between marketing and consistent increase in usage.
  • No correlation between presence in LibGuides and usage.

Best practices for increasing user motivation:

  • Focus on a very specific problem or goal.
  • Assign a practical title.
  • Keep it short: 30-60 seconds. Skip the intro, get to the point.
  • Embrace quality production values - sound and images.
  • Place at point-of-need.

And, because I like diagrams and charts, here are two sources mentioned during keynote talks:

Extinction timeline 1950 - 2050:
HT Margie Jantti, University of Wollongong

Non-cognitive elements critical to student success - Productive Persistence:
HT Deb Gilchrist, Pierce College

Conference web site. Conference proceedings will be published in a few months.

--Carolyn Radcliff, Information Literacy Librarian