Introduction The dispute between rationalism and empiricism takes place within epistemology, the branch of philosophy devoted to studying the nature, sources and limits of knowledge.
Every week it seems a new article or book is published expressing concerns about college costs,  low graduation rates, and what students are learning. Graduation rates are important measures. However, stakeholders in higher education have had their eyes on a different set of metrics for many years: Department of Education raised concerns about the quality of undergraduate student learning.
Unless we develop adequate instruments and generate compelling evidence libraries will be left out of important campus conversations.
In this post I review current approaches to this problem and suggest new methods for addressing this challenge. The challenge of linking library use to student learning Demonstrating connections between library use and undergraduate student achievement has proven a difficult task through the years.
Several authors have suggested outcomes to which academic libraries contribute such as: Those of us who have worked in academic libraries have probably observed this mechanism at work with students we have known.
|How Successful Students Make the Grade||The role of language in education The role of language in education "Miss Kelly said that when you talk to somebody it's like you're playing ball.|
However, I believe relying exclusively on this measure is problematic. First, numerous factors influence retention and it can be difficult to isolate library impact on retention without extensive statistical controls.
Second, retention is an aggregate student outcome; it is not a student learning outcome. Retention is an important metric in higher education and we should seek connections between Thesis about learning difficulties use and this measure, but it does not satisfy our need to know how libraries contribute to student learning.
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Grade point average Several authors have attempted to correlate student use of the library with grade point averages GPA. Charles Harrell studied many independent variables and found that GPA was not a significant predictor of library use.
Webb reported on a large-scale study with a sample of over 8, students grouped by major and level of study. As Wong and Webb note, studies that use correlation as a statistical method cannot assure causal relationships between variables; they can only show an association between library use measures and GPA.
Or do students who make better grades tend to use the library more? Without adequate statistical controls it is impossible to conclude library use had an impact on GPA. Also, as noted by Wong and Webb, it can be difficult to gain access to student grades to carry out this type of study.
Information Literacy Outcomes Information literacy outcomes assessment is the most fully developed approach we have for demonstrating library contributions to undergraduate achievement. Broadly speaking, information literacy skills encompass competencies in locating and evaluating information sources and using information in an ethical manner.
Instruction in these skills is a core offering in academic libraries and findings from Project Information Literacy suggest there is still plenty of work to do!
Numerous methods have been used to assess information literacy skills including fixed-choice tests, analysis of student work, and rubrics. However, a recent review of regional accreditation standards for four-year institutions suggests there is uneven support for doing so.
In part, I think this reaffirms for us that many in higher education associate information literacy outcomes with general education outcomes such as critical thinking. While it may be encouraging for information literacy outcomes to be integrated into the college curriculum, I think this poses real difficulties when we attempt to isolate library contributions to these outcomes.
If information literacy and critical thinking skills are inter-related, how are we to assess one set of skills, but not the other? If information literacy skills are taught across the curriculum, when, where, and by whom should they be assessed? Where does faculty influence stop and library influence begin?
Information literacy outcomes are integral to undergraduate education, but these are not the only learning outcomes that stakeholders are interested in.
We should also link our efforts to the learning outcomes frameworks used in the broader academic enterprise.
Broadening our perspective will provide a better return on our assessment dollar. Where to begin We can improve our ability to detect library impact on important student learning outcomes by carefully choosing our units of observation.
Fortunately we can look to the literature of higher education assessment for clues. Capstone experiences and upper level coursework within the academic major seem to fit the bill for four year institutions.
The academic major Students majoring in the arts and humanities, the sciences, and the social sciences acquire different bodies of knowledge and learn different analytical techniques.
We also know that learning activities, reward structures, and norming influences vary by discipline. This suggests the academic major plays a significant role in shaping expectations for student learning outcomes and the pathways by which they are achieved.Where difficulties arise.
Sometimes the difficulties students have with preparing effectively for exams stem from a need to develop fundamental skills such as time management, reading for comprehension, note-taking, and coping with anxiety.
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The role of language in education "Miss Kelly said that when you talk to somebody it's like you're playing ball.
First the somebody asks you a question, and that means they throw the ball to you. CHILDREN WITH SPECIFIC LEARNING DIFFICULTIES OF MATHEMATICS AND READING: BEHAVIOURAL, EMOTIONAL, AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS AND RESEARCH PORTF6LIO ALAN J.
SMITH (BSc. Hons., MSc.) Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the degree of Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Glasgow. difficulties children in. Your Deakin community.
There is a reason that Deakin students are among the most satisfied students in Australia. We are known for our innovative teaching methods, giving students hands-on, practical industry experience, and delivering the very best support from our staff and international student advisors.
1 The costs of attending college continue to outpace standard cost of living indices. From to , published tuition and fees at public 4-year colleges and universities increased at an annual average rate of % according to the College Board, exceeding % annual average increases in the Consumer Price Index over the same period.