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Assessing instructional outcomes in Canadian academic libraries

Julien, Heidi and Boon, Stuart (2004) Assessing instructional outcomes in Canadian academic libraries. Library and Information Science Research, 26 (2). pp. 121-139. ISSN 0740-8188

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This article reports on a three-year study of information literacy instruction in Canadian academic libraries, focusing on the outcomes of instruction in terms of tests of information literacy skills and interviews with students that explored their experiences of information literacy instruction. Particular emphasis is given to investigating instructional effectiveness and assessing learning outcomes with respect to identifying those institutional and pedagogical factors that promote successful outcomes. Outcomes of instruction include positive cognitive, behavioral, and affective results. Further discussion explores how instruction contributed to students' overall educational success and which factors characterize "success" in achieving those outcomes from the viewpoints of instructional librarians and from the perspectives of clients (i.e., students). These data provide a basis on which to advance instruction toward identifiable, positive outcomes for students in postsecondary institutions. An emphasis on such outcomes is essential if librarians are to justify devoting institutional resources to instructional activities.