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Help!  I am looking for any ideas or experiences you may have in
assessing student performance in the school library media center.
Grace Culbertson

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     There are various information skills models available which suggest
information-seeking is a process which should be centered within and across
the curriculum.  As students engage in the process of gathering and using
information, both the teacher and library media specialist need to be
available to assess their progress.   Assessment should be an authentic
process: i.e.  assessments of presearch activities (identifying key words,
exploring general sources, building background information, etc.), searching
( effectiveness of an analytical search, appropriateness of resources,
filtering of information, etc.), interpreting information (paraphrasing,
analyzing, synthesizing), and communicating new knowledge.
     Some appropriate assessements might include:  self and peer
assessements, teacher/LMS conferences with students, journals, search logs,
etc.; and of course, the final product.
     We teach students to do peer editing in the writing process.  Why not
teach them to be peer tutors for the search process?  For example, students
might hold a small group conference toward the end of a LMC information
searching time to assess the searching experiences for that session.  They
would need initial guidance from the lMS and/or teacher to help them focus
their discussions and this could be enabled with an advance organizer
containing some important questions to ask at this point in their search.
 Such a discussion might help them make adjustments in their search process.

     Also, if students were asked to keep journals of their searching
process, both the teacher and the LMS could read these periodically to
evaluate the process each student (or student group) might be following as
they gather and use information.  Written comments might also help them
adjust their search process.
     There has been much conversation today about the importance of focusing
on both summarizing and paraphrasing.  LMS and teachers  might ask students
to locate information on a topic and then write a short paragraph that
summarizes and paraphrases the information found in a resource like an
electronic encyclopedia.  That becomes both a writing and an
information-seeking activity within the total information skills process.

Marjorie Pappas
Library Media Program Coordinator
Wright State University
Dayton, OH
email:  MarjorieP@aol.com     or

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