Immersion '15 Program

Assessment: Demonstrating the Educational Value of the Academic Library


Immersion Program Assessment Track AttendeesThis program will approach assessment from a learning-centered perspective, building upon the philosophy of “assessment-as-learning,” as developed at Alverno College.  Formative assessment will be emphasized to explore its role in instructional and curricular design, in librarian/faculty skill development, and in development of Information Literacy programs.  Summative assessment tools will be explored along with strategies for determining their appropriate application. 

Participants will work individually and cooperatively to extend their conceptual understanding of assessment and to expand their toolkit of practical assessment methods. Participants in this program will emerge with a broader understanding of assessment and how to use assessment as an important tool to guide evidence-based classroom, curriculum and program development.  During the program, participants will develop a plan for their assessment activities which will form the basis for future engagement with these issues both individually and as a leader of IL initiatives at their institutions.
The success of this program depends on developing an engaged, supportive learning community. The faculty and participants will co-create this environment, thus, self-motivated, experienced librarians are encouraged to apply.  The program will offer a mixture of structured content sessions and unstructured segments in which participants deepen their experiences with the program content in relation both to assessing classroom learning (with particular attention to the specific challenges of library instruction contexts) and to assessing IL programmatic efforts. 

While this program’s content will build upon the Assessment curriculum presented in the Teacher and Program tracks of the Immersion Program, previous participation in Immersion is not required.  The program is intended for individuals who have at least five years instruction experience in an academic library; preference will be given to individuals with five years experience.

"Through this experience, I feel much more confident in my abilities in assessment, but more importantly in making contacts with others who are attempting the same process at their campuses." - Assessment Track Participant

Learning Outcomes

The Assessment Immersion Track is based on two crucial assumptions: (1) that assessment requires us to clearly articulate our goals, whether those are expressed in terms of the learning that we want students to achieve or the impacts/outcomes that our programs will accomplish, and (2) assessment is a developmental process critical to fostering instructional and program development as much as, or more than, instructional or program evaluation.  After the program, participants will be able to:

  • Define assessment in terms of student learning in order to understand its relationship to good teaching, library viability, and change
  • Formulate a learning-centered philosophy of assessment in order to inform development of information literacy program elements
  • Explore and utilize multiple modes of assessment in order to build a culture of evidence upon which to base programmatic development and change
  • Critically examine a variety of assessment techniques and methodologies in order to evaluate them for application in your institutional setting
  • Examine the leadership role of the library in a collaborative IL assessment effort in order to build support and trust among the stakeholder groups at your institution

Who Should Apply

The Assessment: Demonstrating the Educational Value of the Academic Library track is intended for librarians active in teaching and learning and those with leadership roles for information literacy program development who want to improve their knowledge and practice of both classroom and program assessment.

Program Details

Dates and location
Wednesday, November 4 - Saturday, November 7, 2015
Scarritt-Bennett Center  
Nashville, Tennessee

Registration fee
ACRL member: $1,575
Non ACRL member: $1,675

Registration includes

  • Tuition
  • All meals during the program dates
  • Twice-daily refreshment breaks
  • Private online course and discussion list for all participants and faculty

Immersion Program participants are invited to stay in lodging on the Scarritt-Bennett campus. Approximate costs for the 2015 program is $65 per night (single residence hall room with en suite bathroom facilities).  Nearby hotel options are available as well for those who prefer to stay off campus.

How to Apply

All Immersion programs establish a learning community in which participants contribute to the success of the program through active engagement. Participation is limited to ensure an environment that fosters group interaction and active participation. A competitive application process will be used to select participants.  Please read through the instructions below thoroughly before you start the application process.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is Friday, June 5, 2015 (11:59 p.m. CST).

Application Instructions

1. Review the Assessment Track rubric before you start the online application form. 

2.  The application process takes time. You are encouraged to begin early, and to prepare and submit your materials as soon as possible.  Once you have begun the online application form, you can revisit your statement as many times as needed until it is complete and ready to submit.  The deadline cannot be extended due to last minute illnesses or emergencies. 

3. Have the following information prepared before you begin your online application form and be sure to thoroughly review your application before submitting.  

  • Contact information
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Professional activities and publication
  • Essays: 
    • What are your goals for professional growth related to information literacy learning assessment, as well as classroom and program assessment? (500 words)
    • Describe your experience with engaging in campus-wide and library assessment conversations and endeavors.  (200-300 words)
    • Describe your potential for leading an information literacy assessment initiative to influence student learning at the library- and campus-level. (200-300 words) 
    • Describe the skills and attitude you will bring to the collaborative learning experience at Immersion. (200-300 words)

      The review committee will be looking for evidence of your ability to progress your teaching, library instruction program, or campus endeavors using assessment as a tool, participate in a community of learners as well as potential for sustained growth as a library and campus leader in the area of assessment.
  • Reference.   Include a letter of reference from the Library Director/Dean describing your role or potential role with information literacy assessment and how your participation in the program will further the library’s endeavors in this area.  Reference letters can be addressed to the Immersion Program Committee.

4. Access the online application form.  You may save an incomplete application, and edit or add additional information before the submission deadline date. An ID number and password will be assigned to you when you submit your proposal. Be sure to print your ID number and password and keep them in a safe place; you will need these in order to edit the proposal at a future time.

5.  The Assessment Immersion Track is an individual application process, and acceptance into the program is for an individual applicant.  There is no institutional ownership of an accepted-applicant slot, and if for some reason, an accepted applicant cannot attend, another person from that institution may not be substituted. The next accepted applicant on the ranked waiting list will be offered the slot.


Notifications will be issued via e-mail in July 2015.

Questions may be directed to Margot Conahan,, 312-280-2522.