This course covers techniques for and critical thinking about the evaluation of changes in educational practices and policies in schools, organizations, and informal contexts. Topics include quantitative and qualitative methods for design and analysis, participatory design of practices and policies, institutional learning, the wider reception or discounting of evaluations, and selected case studies, including those arising from semester-long student projects.
The role of the school librarian is evolving from keeper of library materials to leader in school reform. The digital age has elevated information literacy from the mechanics of searching and finding to thinking and inquiry. To meet this challenge the library facility is reconceptualized as a learning environment and the collection as a dynamic process of curation and access. Library staff, including paraprofessionals, student peers, and parent volunteers are viewed as instructional support. Allocated budgets are supplemented by funding sources such as grants and donations. The school librarian, trained in Action Research, can realize the library as learning center as she systematically collects evidence, sets priorities, and constructs a Strategic Plan. This module brings together the processes of action research, including identifying a problem in practice, formulating a research question, collecting and analyzing data to conduct a Community Scan and School Library Needs Assessment. She will apply her findings to building a Strategic Plan that will transform the school library into a learning center, or improve its existing functions.
The course design, in-class activities, assignments, and citations here offer ways educators can use the writing process to improve student learning, focusing on undgraduate and early graduate work. These materials can be remixed and repurposed, in whole or in part, as you wish under the terms of a CC BY-NC 4.0 license. If you repurpose these materials for a particular discipline or context, an email about your work would be greatly appreciated!