Seeking Peer-to-Peer Expert Advisor for “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success”

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is seeking applications from individuals who wish to advise us as we develop curriculum for the project “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA). In September 2012, ACRL was awarded a National Leadership Demonstration Grant of $249,330 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for this three- year project, undertaken in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The grant will support the design, implementation and evaluation of a program to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy.  

Three hundred colleges and universities of all types will be selected to participate in the AiA learning community (Year 1: 75 institutions; Year 2: 100 institutions; Year 3: 125 institutions). Each participating institution will identify a team consisting of a librarian and at least two additional team members as determined by the campus (e.g., faculty member, student affairs representative, institutional researchers, or academic administrator). The librarians will participate in a one-year professional development program that includes team-based activities carried out on their campuses. The institutional teams will participate in peer review and provide feedback about projects being developed by other participating teams. The projects will be documented and disseminated for use by the wider academic library and higher education communities. For more details about AiA see the project homepage.

We are seeking one peer-to-peer instructional design expert to advise the curriculum design team over a three-month period on approaches for building communities of practice. To create a dynamic, authentic learning experience, the AiA program will use blended learning, peer-to-peer collegial relationships, and action learning projects. In addition to cognitive learning outcomes which focus on building skills and enhancing knowledge, the program will include affective learning outcomes achieved by creating a peer-to-peer collegial network among the librarians in each cohort. This community of practice will support collective learning, shared competence, sustained interaction, and a climate of mutuality and trust. This approach is an enhancement to ACRL’s existing models, and we are seeking to identify an expert to participate in the curriculum design meetings and act as an advisor to the curriculum design team.

Scope of work
The selected expert advisor will provide telephone, email, and in person consultation to the curriculum design team. The work will include: initial consultation, feedback on the emerging curriculum design, and a review of the final design with comment on its likely effectiveness to achieve learning outcomes. We anticipate up to three work days total over a three-month period, which includes one full-day meeting in person on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, in Seattle, WA. Under the terms of the grant, ACRL will reimburse the expert advisor for travel costs (hotel, meals, airfare and ground transportation) and provide a modest honorarium. The specific terms and responsibilities of both parties will be articulated in a contract with ACRL.

The successful expert advisor does not need to be an academic librarian or working within the higher education sector. We seek someone with a strong instructional design background who possesses:

  • Experience creating peer-to-peer learning and communities of practice, with working professionals.
  • Demonstrated ability to create conditions that encourage reflection and sharing among learners in order to develop a strong community of practice focused on collective learning, shared competence, sustained interaction, and a climate of mutuality and trust.
  • An ability to advise the design team on how to best build and support communication that is community and participant driven.

To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A letter addressing the following questions (two pages maximum):
    1. What contributions would you offer as an expert advisor to the curriculum design team for ACRL’s Assessment in Action program?
    2. What evidence can you provide of the effectiveness of your designs in promoting peer-to-peer learning and communities of practice?
    3. What have you learned about how to most successfully support working professionals?
  2. Your resume.
  3. The names and contact information for two references who have direct knowledge of your qualifications for this expert advisor role.

The single PDF application must submitted via email by 5 p.m. Central on November 8, 2012, to ACRL Program Coordinator Casey Kinson at

ACRL has formed a small review team, which includes member leaders and staff, to consider applications. The process includes checking references and a telephone interview. The group will make selections and notify all applicants of their status by December 21, 2012.

If you have questions about this position, the Assessment in Action project, or ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, please contact Kara Malenfant, ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives, at or (312) 280-2510.