Here is a slide share from Buffy Hamilton on the topic of embedding libraries in learning – 109 slides of library inspiration. Much of this slideshare keys into the need for library teams to be part of the assessment conversation. Dr Ross Todd also encourages planning backwards, by understanding the desired student learning outcomes first, and therefore assessment criteria, then working to create the learning experiences. Library teams can contribute to this conversation by helping teachers to better understand that students need to engage with information using a critical lens, evaluating and questioning across multiple sources and formats.
If we can engage with teachers to work collaboratively at the planning stage, we will be better positioned to aid and abet them in creating the best possible learning opportunities for students. We will know we are making real progress when the teachers with whom we work begin to assess the acquisition of critical and information literacy skills, and measure students’ ability to transfer these competencies across boundaries of curriculum and context. These skills will be critical to students’ ability to be life-long learners in an information-rich world.
As information specialists, we need to work hard to understand the language of assessment so that we can engage with teachers in those conversations. If you haven’t yet got a copy of Ban those bird units! Fifteen models for teaching and learning in information-rich and technology-rich environments by David V. Loertscher, Carol Koechlin, and Sandi Zwaan; Hi Willow Research and Publishing; 2004; ISBN 978-1-933170-11-4 – you need to get one now! It will give you lots of innovative ideas to share with teachers, contribute to better understanding of the range of assessment opportunities available, and will hopefully allow you to rid your school of the dreaded ‘Bird unit’. (This book and others on the topic of guided inquiry can be purchased from Syba Signs.)