Adult User Education/Module 4

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Program Design, Management, and Leadership


In this module we will cover topics on designing successful and effective adult user educational programs. As a part of this topic, we will discuss not only the design stage of a program, but also how to manage, assess, and market your program, and the need for effective leadership.

Program Design, Marketing, and Assessment

In our readings we will look at information from ACRL on instructional environments and their guidelines for instruction programs for academic libraries. In addition, I have included several sample information literacy plans for your review. These examples will show that there are a wide variety of ways for a library to construct their program. There are examples from academic as well as public libraries for you to look over. And, an important part of creating a successful program is marketing. No matter what kind of library you work in, there will be marketing considerations for your program. The Grassian and Kaplowitz article will cover this topic in relation to academic libraries, but much of what they discuss could easily be applied to public or special libraries as well. Chapter 9 in our text will look at assessment as a means for guiding program design, and as a way to continually evaluate the program for changing needs. The Gratch-Lindauer article will further explore assessment in relation to program design.

Program Management and Leadership

Chapter 6 in our text discusses a variety of topics involved in the management of an instructional program, such as how to "plan, coordinate, manage, implement, market, recruit, staff, train, schedule, teach, evaluate, and assess" (pg. 113). The ability to communicate well is a large part of managing a program, and this chapter will discuss the wide variety of areas in which effective communication will be important. Chapter 7 in our text will take on the concept of leadership in both its broad definition and as it applies to librarianship.

Intents and Purposes

My intentions for this module is to begin pulling in the information we have covered in modules 1 and 2 that tells us who our users are and how we can effectively provide instruction for them, and then combine that information with the ideas of collaboration, from Module 3, into an overall program design. How can we put all this information together to create something that is meaningful and organized?

Program planning is basically strategic planning – you are planning for an outcome and developing a strategy that will get you to that outcome. When we planned for a specific instructional segment, we determined what outcomes we wanted our users to demonstrate – what we wanted them to learn – and then decided on how we would teach this to them and have them show us what they had learned. Program planning does this on a larger and wider basis. We are planning for outcomes based upon the premise that there will be several instructional offerings that will fulfill an overall goal or objective. Since we will likely be working with others to meet our goals, we will need to create a structure (the plan) for organizing these different instructional offerings, determine how we will tell others about what we are doing and encourage them to attend (the marketing), consider and plan for how we will assess not only each individual instructional offering to determine effectiveness, but also the overall program (formative and summative assessment). It will take strong leadership to create and manage all of these things.

The final assignment for this course is for you to create your own adult user education program and integrate all of these ideas into your plan. As with our assignment in Module 2, you will notice that the examples I have provided of information literacy plans show that there are a wide variety of ways to create a plan. For your assignment, I have chosen what I felt were some of the most important aspects of planning, and aspects which I feel sure that you will need to consider in a real-life setting. I have created a Program Planning Assignment Guide that will walk you through some of the considerations for each different element of the assignment, and provide you with some examples of what others have done for these elements. Since this is a large assignment, it will not be due until shortly before our class ends. I am hoping that being able to spend some time focusing on this project will also allow you to take into consideration some of the ideas we will be discussing in Modules 5 and 6, and that you can then add these to your plan as applicable.

Our course blog entries for Modules 4 and 5 will center on your learning experience as you work through this project. I am expecting that as each of you think through the different elements of the plan, you will have some small realizations or maybe even some huge, great ideas! I'm hoping that you will share your experiences with us – I want us to share not only what we are learning from this work, but also how we are learning this and what is causing us to reach conclusions or have ideas. Basically I want you to think about how you are thinking and explore what this means to you – this is something you can take with you when you leave our course. I can't wait to hear more about what each of you are planning!

Back or Continue to Module 4 Objectives & Readings