NELINET Session - December 13, 2005

I can't believe it worked!!!
The I-SKILLS Résumé:
Prompting reflection and self assessment

Margy MacMillan

Instructional Librarian, Mount Royal University

Updated Dec 16, 2005

(new material in dark blue)


First - thanks everyone, for your contributions and ideas during the session - it was great to hear what's being done at other institutions and to receive your feedback about the I-SKILLS Résumé.

I mentioned a couple of links/resources I would post to this page:

The FAST survey tool - - this is a free survey tool that allows you to quickly create web-based evaluation forms for as many purposes as you can think of, including as Classroom Assessment Techniques, pretests/posttests or evaluations of instruction sessions.

The College-Wide Outcomes resources

The main outcomes page is here -

A separate page about the information retrieval and evaluation outcome created by Todd Nickle, one of our team members - includes a section on rubrics.

Some participants expressed concern that there was no concurrent direct, objective testing of students' abilities. This is something I'd like to do more of, and the other presenters have given me some great ideas and useful tools I hope to employ to that end. I am particularly intrigued by the table on page two of Annie's Research Methods/Library Survey, and by the questions she asks about students' confidence in their abilities.

Information Retrieval and Evaluation Skills

Mount Royal Library has an active, course-integrated instruction program. We believe students should learn how to identify, locate, retrieve, evaluate and use information.

For more information, please visit

Over 650 class/year.

We teach in most disciplines taught at the College.

Typical classes are focused on a specific assignment, course-integrated and include hands-on practice. Content depends on the course, assignment, level, etc.

Good partnerships with faculty allow us to develop good classes.

The information environment is much more complex for today's students than it was for me.

Assessment of Information Retrieval and Evaluation Skills

Difficult to assess in isolation.

Difficult to assess when we aren't marking.

Climate - both on campus and in the literature - encourages assessment.

Assessment efforts at other institutions don't suit our needs.



How the idea began

My interest in finding a better way to assess information skills.


My interest in prompting reflection as a learning strategy.


A Group résumé icebreaker I encountered at a conference.


Developing the I-SKILLS Résumé Tool

Literature review - I was astonished to find there wasn't much there.
This could mean:

a) It had never been done
b) The people doing it didn't have time to write about it
c) It was too simple to work

The ongoing literature review focuses on information fluency, assessment, self-efficacy, self-assessment, and reflection, with side trips into portfolios and other assessment instruments.


What I was curious about:

What might be useful to students:

What might be useful in assessing the program:


How is the tool being used?

PR student groups fill out a group information skills résumé before meeting with me.

Senior chemistry students use it in advance of a library class so I can focus on what they didn't know.

Longitudinal research project with Journalism students - students update résumés each year.


Is it working?

Initial results

1) Students seem to understand the format easily enough. Even students not present when I introduce the I-SKILLS Résumé seem to have no difficulty filling it out.

“What I am most pleased with is the increase in my knowledge base. I found it amusing that I used the word “muddled” in regards to working on the internet last year. I feel that I have grown so much I do not even remember that person anymore.”
Jeff Harris

“I would really like a refresher course on research now that i think about it.” Brad Linn


Changes in curriculum seem to have an impact on the résumés, e.g. blogs

Lessons Learned, Changes made


How else could it be used?

One participant suggested it could be used with a first-year orientation on the first day of a writing class to make students aware of what they already know.

Another suggested it would be useful to make business students more aware that information skills are key competitive skills.


I look forward to staying in touch with any of you who use the I-SKILLS Résumé, to hear how it goes - either directly or through the wiki linked below.




NELINET Professional Development Workshop Presentation

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Maintained by Margy MacMillan - - Last Updated 2005-12-16