Developing Competency-Based Assessment for Library Professionals

Marilyn Harhai, Janice Krueger


The assessment process for student learning is often influenced and guided by well-defined standards and competencies dictated by various accrediting bodies that oversee graduate professional programs culminating in the master’s degree. When applied in an accredited library and information science (LIS) program, traditional assessment techniques, such as portfolios, grades, and authentic assessments consistently affirmed student high performance, leaving little room to demonstrate student learning and program improvement. Consequently, the program redefined its assessment plan through the development of a pre-/post-test survey instrument that aligned with learning outcomes, the curriculum, and professional competencies. Pre-test responses were analyzed through SPSS to ascertain initial findings and effectiveness of the instrument to gauge student learning and workplace performance. Implications for student advisement, curriculum adjustments, program improvement, and strengthening the assessment plan for accreditation emerged. Areas for further development, particularly in the work environment, and research were also identified.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Marilyn Harhai, Janice Krueger

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