Classroom Assessment Techniques for Librarians. By Melissa Bowles-Terry and Cassandra Kvenild. Chicago: ACRL, 2015. 140 p. Paper $36 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-8775-9).

Melissa Bowles-Terry and Cassandra Kvenild present Classroom Assessment Techniques for Librarians as a toolbox for instruction librarians seeking to create an assessment program in their academic library. Beginning by providing a basic introduction to educational assessment theory, Bowles-Terry and Kvenild build a foundation of understanding with their fellow instruction librarians regarding what assessment means and why it should be used in any library instruction program. Recognizing the difficulties instruction librarians face in implementing successful and useful assessment in the academic library world of one-shot sessions and one-day workshops, the authors fill each chapter with myriad creative and interactive sample assessment techniques designed specifically for each type of library education scenario, such as face-to-face one-shot sessions and online for-credit classes.

Each chapter follows a similar structure, beginning with a descriptive title identifying the purpose of the assessment techniques to be discussed (such as “Chapter 1: Assessing Prior Knowledge and Understanding” and “Chapter 4: Assessing Skill in Application”). Following the title is a section explaining why and when these skills or knowledge should be assessed. Next, each chapter provides specific examples of techniques, complete with hypothetical scenarios and visual aids, and categorized by the type of education experience or resource, such as “Example in the First-Year Experience” (4) and “Example for Choosing a Database” (25). Each chapter ends with an explanation of how to score the assessment technique or tool being discussed, such as “How to Score a Background Knowledge Check” (6) and “How to Score a Categorizing Grid” (25). The chapters’ consistency facilitates an ease of use rarely seen in an academic text, as users will be able to quickly and reliably find the assessment tool they need without wading through an inordinate amount of theory.

Combining academic theory with practical insights, Bowles-Terry and Kvenild provide a balanced and perceptive assessment resource in Classroom Assessment Techniques for Librarians.—Calantha Tillotson, Reference Assistant, Bizzell Library, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma


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