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“How do critical educators approach student learning outcomes assessment?” with Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and Rebecca Halpern (a C&CS session)

February 15, 2019

Connect and Communicate Series


“How do critical educators approach

student learning outcomes assessment?”

presented by

Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and Rebecca Halpern

Friday, March 1, 2019

2pm EST (11 am PST)

Register for the Zoom link here

Assessment: Necessary evil? Is assessment the solution to prove libraries’ value? A tool of institutional oppression? In this webinar, two information literacy program coordinators attempt to answer the question: How do we as critical educators approach student learning outcomes assessment in our daily practice? Assessment is an institutional reality for most of us, though we might be in tension with some of our institutions’ approaches and top-down mandates. We will provide background on critical pedagogy’s relationships to assessment and the neoliberalization of higher education. From there we will shift to how we can push back against compliance and embrace ownership of understanding how students learn. Rebecca will describe an approach to building a culture of critical assessment at a liberal arts college, Carolyn will take us through a learning outcomes assessment project where librarians scored student work at a public comprehensive university, and ultimately both will reflect on the assessment process from a critical perspective. We will spend time in the webinar discussing how do we challenge our own expectations for information literacy instruction and student expectations of librarians while remaining critical practitioners? How do we also, somehow meet the mandates of the institution?



Carolyn Caffrey Gardner is the information literacy coordinator at California State University, Dominguez Hills. After completing her MLS from Indiana University Bloomington, Gardner worked as an instruction librarian at University of Wisconsin–Superior and then University of Southern California, where she focused on the intersections of first-year writing programs and information literacy instruction. Her research interests include critical pedagogy and assessment, peer-to-peer scholarly resource sharing through social media, and information literacy collaborations in higher education.

Rebecca Halpern is the Undergraduate Engagement Team Leader at The Claremont Colleges Library, where she oversees the first year information literacy instruction program. Rebecca completed her MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin, and then moved on to instruction and reference librarian roles at Antioch University Los Angeles and University of Southern California. Since moving into supervisory positions, her research interests include antiracist library management, critical pedagogy and assessment, and ethnographic research methods.

Can’t make the session? No worries! As always, session will be recorded and made available in closed captioning when available. After recording, registrants will be given links to the session and to an evaluation form.

If you would like to host a C&CS session, please contact Erin Burns or any member of the C&CS team. The team graciously thanks PaLA and the CRD and members for supporting us and these important professional development opportunities.

Information about our team, a session proposal form, and past and future sessions can be found on the CRD blog site here:

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