Volume 5 Issue 1
Spring 2009
ISSN 1937-7266

Evaluation of a Curriculum for Digital Libraries

Jeffrey Pomerantz
Barbara M. Wildemuth
Sanghee Oh

School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360
{pomerantz, wildem, shoh}@unc.edu

Seungwon Yang
Edward A. Fox

Department of Computer Science
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
{seungwon, fox}@vt.edu

The authors have proposed the development and validation of curricular and educational materials to support graduate and undergraduate education in digital librarianship. The framework of the proposed curriculum is available at the project website. A number of curriculum modules have now been developed and are available on the project’s wiki. The evaluation of these curriculum modules is being conducted as a series of mini-evaluations, each based on a single offering of a single module. Each mini-evaluation has three parts:

  1. Review of the curriculum module by subject experts, prior to implementation in the classroom;
  2. Evaluation of the module by instructors upon implementing the module in a class; and
  3. Evaluation of the module by students in the class.

The module review is being conducted via the project’s wiki. Experts in digital librarianship and digital library (DL) education are asked to critique the module’s objectives, the body of knowledge presented, readings assigned, learning activities suggested, logistics and practical aspects of implementing the module, and overall structure of the module. Each module is reviewed by 3-4 people, and the wiki supports their interactions. Modules are revised based on the reviewers’ comments, much as in a journal’s peer review process.

For each module implemented, the course instructor and all students are invited to participate in its evaluation. Each module is expected to take 1-3 class sessions to present. After the module is completed, instructors are interviewed individually. The interview schedule is based on the same criteria addressed in the module review. Students are sent a link to a web-based survey that asks for their evaluations of the course content, their effort and learning in the course, and relevant demographic information such as their GPA, prior education, and experience with DLs. Whenever possible, instructors’ and students’ evaluations are supplemented by examination of students’ performance related to the modules implemented. Instructors may use whatever assessment methods they would normally, and are asked to share any assignments or tests completed in relation to the module(s) (with the student’s permission). These performance measures are triangulated with data from the instructor interviews and student surveys in order to understand the learning outcomes resulting from the implementation of the modules.

For a larger view of the poster, click here. After the image opens, click on it to zoom.