Karl Fisch, at the Fischbowl (a staff development blog for high school teachers), summarizes the report “How Should Colleges Assess and Improve Student Learning?”
This stuff always intrigues because I want to make sure we are doing the right things in class. Fisch provides his summary via a multiple choice question:
So, let me summarize (bias alert! bias alert!) via a single multiple choice question:
1. According to this report:
a. Grades are pretty much a non-factor in the hiring process.
b. Multiple choice tests are an unreliable predictor of success.
c. Employers are pretty much satisfied with the content knowledge of their employees and think assessments that cover content are relatively meaningless.
d. Employers want their employees to be more globally oriented, to take charge of their own job, and they must be able to communicate effectively through writing.
e. Employers prefer meaningful, relevant, experiential learning over an isolated, content-focused-only approach.
f. All of the above.
I think it fits to ponder these conclusions in light of graduate library education. A wise librarian once told me during my masters work: “No one will ever look at grades in libraries.” I don’t think anyone ever did when I turned in my transcripts at SJCPL when I graduated. I think the report and Fisch are on the right track: maybe instead of a GPA and a series of 12 letter grades for the coursework, a history of guided and self-directed exploration as evidenced by projects, papers and critical thinking as well as siezed opportunities for experiential learning better tells the story of a an LIS student’s potential for library work. Maybe that multiple choice test is not the way to go.