Authentic Assessment Workshop

Recently I attended a workshop on authentic assessment. It was really good for my professional development as it allowed me to see how really practical and useful tasks can be created for students. Some of the key points I learnt were –

–          All QUT units must have at least 1 summative authentic assessment task.

–          Authentic assessment is meaningful, applying knowledge, an open task, no one right answer, exposes them to

real world and the messiness it entails, simulate or replicate what is done and asked of professionals.

–          Use authentic assessment to prepare, engage, give perspectives, problem solving, apply knowledge, expose

students to industry.

–          Supports learners making a successful transition into professional environments & develop professional identity

and reflective practice.

–          Use ADT framework as basis for building authentic assessment which includes

.  Cultural context: purpose & type of text

.  Social context: subject matter, mode, medium, role and relationship

–          Roles part of framework is really important if you want to argue that it is authentic i.e. from the perspective of a

lawyer, conservationist, teacher etc.

–          Enhance by considering – Roles or practitioners in chosen profession, purposes they achieve, formats/ texts they

use to achieve purposes, subject matter, modes used to communicate and audiences of their texts.

–          An example of authentic assessment exam – group discussion. Given background information prior, time limit

and marker for each person. Good but difficult to set up.

–          Put authentic assessment in unit outlines; use all the terminology so people know what it is.

–          More workshops being run in September with Part B added (more individual support).

Authentic assessment relates to information professionals as we are all about how to engage information with users. These types of assessments are successful and mandatory in universities because they do engage with students and allow them to gain information knowledge and apply it in professional settings and thus make them more prepared for the real world.

I am really glad I was able to attend this work shop and learn about how to create authentic assessment tasks. I think this will aid me professionally as a librarian as I can understand assignments that students need help with and also potentially help design assessment tasks in conjunction with lecturers, or at least offer knowledgeable advice to them.


Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities


Working as an Administration Officer within an Academic Library

Over the summer I worked as an Administration Officer at QUTs Garden Point Library while their usual AO was on holidays. It has definitely given me a new take on the library, much more of the bigger picture! I now notice building issues, which can affect staff and clients alike and know who to liaise with to fix these problems. Working in role has allowed me to meet new people associated with the library but not part of main library team ( librarians & library advisers) such as cleaners, facilities management and tech support.

I have compiled a list of the generic capabilities I gained and developed whilst in this role as well as the interesting things I learnt about libraries as a whole.

Generic Capabilities I am learning as a Library Administration Officer –

  1. Written communication via email & logging jobs.
  2. Organisation – developing key register, stationary room.
  3. Time management – working through work efficiently & with priority.
  4. Communication – with supervisors and other staff ranked higher than me & my supervisors. Professionally liaising with other departments and staff members.
  5. Problem solving – analysing problem and applying appropriate solution or assigning problem to the correct person e.g. moving furniture from loading dock.
  6. Technology – improving skills using outlook calendar, editing sharepoint site, using suresite, BEIMS.

Knowledge I am learning relating to Libraries –

  1. How they run i.e. professional breakdown, maintenance.
  2. That many people, besides the librarians, are involved with the library such as academics, cleaners, IT staff, finance officers, teaching staff and managers.
  3. There needs to be a lot of organisation in order for everything to run smoothly.
  4. The library is managed by the Branch Library Manager who reports to the Director of Library Services who reports to someone higher. Essentially the library is middle management.


Go back to Part D – Professional at Work

Reference Management Tools Seminar

Attending the learning seminar regarding reference management tools enlightened me to the different tools available at present and how they can be used most effectively. Some of the key learning outcomes I achieved were improving my knowledge of Endote, Latex & Bibtex and Mendeley and comparing these different management tools.

Before taking this seminar I did not have much experience with management tools. I had some familiarity with Endnote but had not used it for any assignments myself as I did not require to list. However it was interesting to learn that the Endnote 6 offered by QUT has four QUT styles included in it and now includes a window that showcases the PDFs associated with their reference. I feel this would be very beneficial to students as it allows them to not only collate references but resources also. This makes it much easier for students to find relevant documents and reference correctly according to the appropriate QUT referencing styles.  Endnote web was also discussed and this now has the added benefit of syncing with the desktop and recognising duplicate references and allowing for them to be identified and discarded as necessary. Endnote web is interesting as it allows users to use the management software from any desktop with an internet connection. However the fault with this tool is that it needs an internet connection to work and allow users to access their lists and libraries.

Endnote web is similar to Mendeley, another online reference tool. Before this class I had not heard of this tool but now understand that it is both an online and desktop reference tool. One of its main benefits over Endnote is that it can enrich its data/metadata from the internet a lot better than Endnote. You can also see others and interact within Mendeley communities, which is beneficial as users can see what their colleges or peers are also reading and referencing. One downside of Mendeley is that it is run and owned by a private company. For the users this could mean it shuts down and disappears overnight, it is not reliable like Endnote which is used by many more people and is a large company.

The other reference management tool looked at was Latex and Bibtex. These are very interesting tools mainly used by scientists, engineers and mathematicians as it allows them to write formulas. When they complete the references they look great however to get to that stage a lot more is involved when compared to Endnote or Mendeley. Two systems must be installed and the codes to write the correct references and formulas need to be known. This means users must be very knowledgeable of this tool before they can use it efficiently and correctly.

From attending this session it is apparent that an information professional must be aware of reference management tools as they are used by many users and directly relate to library services within the learning and teaching environment. By learning about Endote, Mendely and Latex and Bibtex their similarities and differences could be identified. Also which users they would suit in particular could be seen. Overall this session was very enlightening in respect to reference management tools and how they can be used by users.


Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities

Learning Resources & Services Open Day

Back in Semester 1, 2012 I was able to attend the QUT Library Resource Services Open Day as part of my professional development. This occurred because I was working as a Collection Access Assistant at QUT’s Garden Point library. I learnt many interesting things at this open day and it helped me grow as an information professional.

The day started out with an introduction to the LRS team and a tour of their work place. It was quite large with over a dozen people working in this department. The difference between a monograph and serial were explained as well as the new work structure based around merging the two teams that used to deal exclusively with one or the other. It was interesting to note that now all the team members were training so that they could deal with both monographs and serials making their team more efficient especially when someone maybe away. They are in charge of the actual ordering, after it has been approved, and with the labelling of the resources. Their work is very busy and constant with a large pile of boxes containing new resources that need to be labelled and catalogued on their large conveyor belt.

I also learnt a lot about the resource librarians and what they do.  They deal with the cataloguing of resources especially the hard ones such as kits. They are also responsible for loading records onto the library catalogue for databases including journal titles, e-books and serials. It was interesting to learn about EBI in relation to e-books and when they are rented or purchased. The criterion for QUT is that the first three times a student loans an e-book that is rented at fee is charged to QUT. On the forth loan the book is purchased as it has met the criteria of being current and useful within the QUT collection. The resource librarians get a lot of their updates from Library Australia and do record loads once a month. In turn they also send new records through to Library Australia when they update a record themselves. Most of the time the resource librarians cannot directly change the records that appear on the QUT catalogue and it has to go through Library Australia. I also learnt that they deal with the video streams in the catalogue too. It was interesting to learn that though the university purchases these videos they still have to pay viewing fees.

The other main aspect of the LRS that I learnt about was the life of an e-resource. They defined e-resources as something that is available online or in a digital format such as a journal, database, e-book, webpage or an online streaming video. They advised that the life of an e-resource started with a new order requested by a liaison librarian to information resources committee. They then contact the vendor and the licence is discussed. This seemed the most complex part as the licence needs to be negotiated for the right terms and conditions. The most important clauses that they negotiate on are confidentiality of price and no harm will come to the publisher. The order is put into millennium where it can be tracked. The next step of the lifecycle is renewal and evaluation. According to LRS orders over $1,000 are reviewed every two years by the information resource committee and orders under $1,000 are reviewed by the LRS team.  Mature order comes next in the e-resources life and this involves any changes to the order such as a title change. After this the resource becomes an ageing order where it doesn’t get as much use and the librarians need to establish whether this resource is still relevant to the collection. If it is not relevant the order is cancelled and this can be done in one of two ways – perpetual order whereby all subscriptions up until the cancellation are kept or an unperpetual order whereby all of the holdings are removed.  The latter order seems very harsh to me and would make me do my research very hard as to whether the order really needs to be cancelled.

The other interesting thing I learnt at the LRS open day was about e-books. There are three ways in which they can be ordered according to QUT LRS team. These are the patron driven model, individuals select and purchase and the purchase or an individual title or collection. The e-books in the library collection are evaluated each year.

Overall my time at the Learning Resource and Services open day was very informative. I had no idea how much time and effort it tool to create and maintain a large academic library’s collection such as QUT’s. All their work was very interesting and I wonder how they each fell into their roles at QUT. They were a comfortable team and obviously work well together to get through their intense workloads. Going to this open day has helped me grow as an information professional as I have had my eyes opened to all the behind the scenes jobs that take part in the library with regards to cataloguing and ordering. Also it has let me see the application of what I have learnt in my studies so far such as collection management especially regarding e-resources.


Go back to Part C: Professional Development Activities