Library Technical Services: Combining External and Internal Standards to Successful Assessment
One of the OCC’s smaller programs is the Library Technical Services program, with 76 students enrolled during the 2016-17 academic year. This program is home to an associate in applied science (LBT.AAS) and a certificate (LBT.CT). Both are “designed to prepare students for employment” in the library technical services field through a carefully designed series of courses, both culminating in a 120-hour internship that allows students to apply skills gleaned through the program lead by carefully designed course, and program, learning outcomes or goals.
The addition of a full-time faculty member, Ellen Robinette, to serve as a student learning assessment coordinator in this area began in 2015. Ms. Robinette currently oversees assessment for the program as well as seven programmatic courses. Since 2015, the process of reviewing and refining course and program learning outcomes to meet current industry standards as well as the accreditation requirements of the American Library Association (“ALA”)has occurred. By aligning program and course outcomes with the requirements of this prestigious organization, student learning within the program is now designed to meet the high standards of Oakland Community College and the ALA’s Allied Professional Association (“ALA-APA”), and will ideally improved employment success for students post-graduation.
As part of this alignment process, through work with the library faculty, dean, assessment staff and newly formed advisory committee it was determined that Stacy Charlesbois, a current faculty member from OCC’s Southfield campus, would partner to assist with coordination of assessment for the Introduction to the College Library and Information Resources and Information Research Methods courses.
Together, Ms. Robinette and Ms. Charlesbois are leading the discipline and program to a more refined and effective student learning assessment agenda.
Currently, all courses have common course outcomes and assessment plans in place,
the culmination of collaborative efforts between faculty spread across all campuses.
Also, program outcomes have been carefully designed to measure the effectiveness of
key components of the program that students must demonstrate. These outcomes and plans
were designed to meet the challenging rigor of the ALA-APA while allowing the faculty
to design an outstanding program that meets the college’s standards. This effort
allows for a streamlined program for faculty and especially students. With this careful
planning, collaboration and reflective input, the program is designed for success!
Most recently, under the direction of Ms. Charlesbois, the discipline is also implementing assessment of a co-curricular area at the college.
The efforts of these faculty, and their discipline, toward best practices in student learning assessment is outstanding and we thank them for their efforts.
Program Assessment is the ongoing process of measuring the extent to which students are learning specific knowledge, skills and abilities determined by the faculty within programs and lead by accreditation bodies. The results are then used by faculty to propose any curricular and pedagogical changes needed to enhance student learning. At Oakland Community College all Associate degree programs are required to identify at least three learning outcomes. These learning outcomes identify what a student is expected to know, think or do as a result of successful completion of the coursework required for each program. OCC requires degree or certificate programs to have fully developed learning outcomes and assessment plans for the assessment of student learning prior to accepting students.
All faculty teaching within a discipline or program at OCC are expected to have input in the development of program-level student learning outcomes and assessment plans. Once a program is assessed, if evidence suggests that students are not attaining the benchmark for a particular learning outcome, an action strategy may be implemented that makes changes to curriculum and/or pedagogy to increase student success in the program. Action strategies are tracked through OCC’s online Assessment Tracking Results Information System (ARTIS) and feedback about the success of the action strategy is communicated back to the faculty.
Many programs at OCC have external accrediting bodies and these external accreditation bodies often have their own student learning outcome objectives the programs must achieve.