Chapter 2 – Standard II:  Curriculum

Introduction

The curriculum is the embodiment of GSLIS Program Goals and Objectives, presented in Chapter 1. Continuous revision of the Master of Library Science (MLS) curriculum, as part of a systematic planning process involving all of our program’s constituents, ensures that we offer our graduates a program of study that provides the knowledge, skills and values necessary for professional careers and service in the 21st century. The Curriculum & Educational Technology Committee (CET) and the full faculty engage in continuous review of the curriculum to keep it consistent with the needs of our rapidly changing information profession. Furthermore, the curriculum is designed to be consistent with the GSLIS mission to “prepare and educate students to be creative, reflective and adaptable service-oriented professionals who will contribute to and improve the information-intensive environments of diverse communities while retaining the core values and ethics of librarianship.”

The MLS curriculum revolves around a core base built on five required courses in the following areas:

The program of courses leading to the MLS degree consists of 36 credits completed with an overall GPA of at least B (3.0). The MLS degree is offered in three programs: Library Science General (602); Library Media Specialist (606); and Library Media Specialist for Certified Teachers (Library) (604). The majority of GSLIS students are enrolled in the Library Science General program, with roughly 10% of the student body enrolled in one of the Library Media Specialist programs. The core courses described above are required of all students. The GSLIS course catalogue may be found at the following location: http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Academics/Degrees/DSS/gslis/CurrentStudents/Pages/courses.aspx

Opportunities are provided for specialization beyond the five required courses, reflecting special areas of interest in library and information studies. The Library Media Specialist Programs, leading to New York State certification, satisfy the teacher education requirements in the area of Library Media Specialist of the New York State Education Department. For all other students in the M.L.S. program elective courses are available for professional interests including, but not limited to, types of libraries and information-related agencies, functions within them, and types of users and media.

 Types of libraries and information agencies in the M.L.S. program include public, academic, research, and special libraries, as well as information-based agencies such as archives and media centers. Functions may include administration, reference/information services, as well as web-based and other technical services. The types of users may include children and young adults, and those in the corporate and not-for-profit environments.

The curriculum also provides opportunities for internship experiences and opportunities for independent study.

Within the MLS program, two certificates are offered: Children and Young Adult Services in the Public Library, and Archives and the Preservation of Cultural Materials (see Appendix II.19) Both of these are designed for multiple audiences, including paraprofessionals working in these areas, current MLS students who wish to make explicit their specialty, and working library/information service professionals who desire a further credential demarking their expertise. The course content of both of these certificates is described below in Standard II.3

Standard II.1

Standard II. 1

The curriculum is based on goals and objectives, and evolves in response to an ongoing systematic planning process. Within this general framework, the curriculum provides, through a variety of educational experiences, for the study of theory, principles, practice, and values necessary for the provision of service in libraries and information agencies and in other contexts.

The goals and objectives for the curriculum flow from the overall GSLIS Mission, Goals and Objectives (MGOs), and those of its parent institution, Queens College (see Chapter 1 The mission of the GSLIS is to “prepare and educate students to be creative, reflective and adaptable service-oriented professionals who will contribute to and improve the information-intensive environments of diverse communities while retaining the core values and ethics of librarianship."

Standard II.1 has two parts: one concerned with planning of the curriculum with respect to goals and objectives;

The curriculum is based on goals and objectives, and evolves in response to an ongoing systematic planning process.”;

the other with the actual content of the curriculum:   

Within this general framework, the curriculum provides, through a variety of educational experiences, for the study of theory, principles, practice, and values necessary for the provision of service in libraries and information agencies and in other contexts.

 In this section, we first address the former half, and then the latter.

GSLIS Systematic Curriculum Planning Process

Program assessment and evaluation is the major charge of two standing faculty committees:

both of which work closely with the full faculty and with regular input from our constituencies.

The mechanisms through which we solicit input from our constituents include ongoing web based alumni and employer surveys, stakeholder participation at semiannual faculty retreats, graduate exit surveys, internship supervisor evaluations, and student course evaluations. Student association representatives sit on the CET and have voice at faculty meetings, thereby providing the eyes and ears of the student body.

Core course coordinators have responsibility for keeping up with current pedagogical and technological developments in their area of specialization and bringing the latest developments to the attention of the CET Committee for review. In some cases this might involve a review of the syllabi from core courses at other LIS schools to see if we are consistent with current best practices.

Our use of constituent input in the process of evaluating program goals is nicely illustrated by Chow et al., 2011, in their “educational performance model” (see Figure II.1 on next page). The process of the educational performance model involves ongoing interaction between a program’s constituent groups, informed by professional and accreditation standards. We use this model, together with our overall Planning models (Chapter 1, Figures I.1 and I.2, and related discussion), to organize and carry out our Curriculum plans. Below, we offer details of some examples of Curriculum change and development that have been taken as a result of application of this general curriculum planning process.

 

Figure II.1. Model of Constituent Involvement in Curriculum Planning. From Chow, A., Shaw, T., Gwynn, D., Martensen, D., & Howard, M. (2011). Changing times and requirements: Implications for LIS education. LIBRES Library and Information Science Research Electronic Journal, 21(1), 1-20.

 

One example of curriculum change that has come about as a result of our Curriculum planning process is the revision, in late 2012, of LBSCI 700, Introduction to Information Technology. Earlier focus groups with employer representatives revealed concerns that our graduates have the requisite knowledge base in digital technologies.  When asked to discuss “What skill sets would you like to see in new employees?we heard desires for “Greater skills in digital technologies… and where they fit into the information landscape.” Furthermore, when asked “How can we better prepare our students to meet the needs of 21st century information professionals?” A typical response was “Update 21st c. curriculum; build the use of technology and digital resources into every class, so that they become facile and flexible in their integration of technology into the library learning environment.” (See Appendix II.20).

In addition, an online survey of current students in the Spring of 2011 revealed substantial concerns about the content and focus of LBSCI 700. A complicating factor was the split between those students who felt the course was not sufficiently challenging, and those who very much needed the exposure to basic skills.  Students in general advocated more practical and hands-on labs and less emphasis on quizzes testing very specific knowledge.  (See Appendix II.1 Summary Report 700LISSA Overview)

While the GSLIS has offered a sequence of advanced elective courses in digital technologies: for some time (LBSCI 720, 729, 746, 747, 748, 753),  the faculty teaching these courses found that many students taking them were ill prepared for the advanced work. Consequently, the faculty had to choose between slowing down the advanced course content or trying to bring the slower students up to speed. The result was a drop in enrollment in the electives required by a sizable base of employer constituents.  After careful review of this situation, first in regular session of the CET Committee and then by an ad hoc committee on core course review, LBSCI 700 was revised to require material that would better prepare students for advanced electives.  This included teaching of Dreamweaver for web design, and use of MS Access for instruction in database construction. This was working reasonably well through 2012-2014.  Recent personnel changes suggest the need to revisit 700 once again in the near future.  The hiring of a new faculty member, in January 2015, specializing in Information Science offers the perfect opportunity to address this ongoing challenge.

Consistent with program goals and objectives as stated in Chapter 1, we are moving forward in online course development. The GSLIS has offered hybrid courses for over a decade, in response to student and faculty desires to maintain a “high touch-low tech” approach to education. However, both direct and indirect sources of data, from students and employers, tell us that at the present time online courses are desired and are necessary for the future growth of the GSLIS itself.

Exit interviews with graduating students, as well as feedback obtained from current students during advising periods tells us that for many potential students the physical travel to Queens is an impediment to enrollment. Current students, who travel from all of the boroughs in New York City and the far reaches of eastern Long Island, tell us that they want online courses. During our March meeting with CUNY Chief Librarians, we heard similar expressions from potential employers outside the borough of Queens. The GSLIS is listening to these voices. In summer 2014 we offered our first totally online course, LBSCI 729, Metadata Resources for Cataloguing and Classification, which will be offered again online in fall 2014, along with LBSCI 790, Knowledge Organization.

Our plan is to offer all four core courses in online mode by summer 2015. Offering the core sequence in online mode will help to alleviate the bottleneck that students experience when they can’t schedule a seated core course in a timely manner. We have hired two new faculty members who start in fall 2014/spring 2015 and we are excited to see that both of our new hires have experience in online teaching and course development. Secondly, we have applied to join the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) consortium http://www.wiseeducation.org/, which will give us greater reach for our students in online offerings.

We believe that the examples of general Curriculum planning offered above, and the models and processes that for systematic planning which have led to them, are strong evidence GSLIS clearly meets the relevant aspect of Standard II.1.

GSLIS Program Goals

Since 2012, a major focus of our attention has been on the establishment of measurable program objectives stated as student learning outcomes, in compliance with the second half of Standard II.1.The creation of measurable program objectives has gone hand in hand with the establishment of assessment methods that enable us to evaluate our success at achieving these goals. In Standard II.7 we elaborate on our progress in this regard. The program objectives and their assessment derive from the GSLIS Program Goals, which are:

 

GSLIS Program Objectives

Program and course requirements in the GSLIS are designed to ensure that graduates have met the following Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), which state that graduates will have the ability to:

A.      Assist users in gaining access to information and knowledge, including its creation, acquisition, organization and management, storage and retrieval, by demonstrating that they can:

a.   Identify, acquire, create, organize, process, store and provide access to information in all its forms for libraries, cultural institutions and other information organizations in a global environment.

b.   Identify, retrieve, evaluate and use general and specialized resources to address current and future information needs and provide related services to diverse user communities.

B. Articulate the role and importance of ethics, values, and advocacy within the legal and historical frameworks underlying the practice of librarianship and the information professions.

C. Apply the appropriate practices and policies of established Library and Information Science professional standards in various specializations.

D. Find, analyze, assess, apply, and conduct research in Library and Information Science and other disciplines in response to gaps in knowledge and practice.

E. Contribute to a diverse, global society—including the role of addressing the needs of underserved groups--through exemplary Library and Information Science practice and research.

F. Identify, evaluate and implement current and emerging technologies and services to meet the evolving information needs of diverse user communities in an increasingly interconnected environment.

G. Demonstrate understanding of the importance of continuing professional development in LIS; articulate and apply principles, theories and measures underlying the role of the library in supporting lifelong learning within the community.

H. Explain and apply principles of effective management and leadership in the library and related information institutions.

The match between a course and the appropriate GSLIS Program Objective is done by linking assignments in each course with the Program Objectives. We accomplish this linking through our Syllabi Matrix (see Appendix II.2 and discussion of Standard II.7, below). Here, we describe how the Syllabi Matrix was used in Program planning, in particular.

Our original version of the Syllabi Matrix was developed in 2012, based upon the SLOs then current. In 2013 we revisited these SLOs through analysis of the Syllabi Matrices. This analysis of the Syllabi Matrices in conjunction with ALA Core Competencies and COA standards suggested the need to revise or delete two SLOs, to rephrase several in more directly measurable terms, and to add two SLOs in areas previously overlooked.  The resulting SLOs are those indicated above. Table II.1 compares the 2012 SLOs with the current SLOs, which were revised in early 2014.  The order of the 2014 SLOs G & H was reversed from their order in 2012 to better correspond to the order of the ALA Core Competencies, but they are listed in Table II.1 in the original 2012 order to clarify the changes made.  Specifically, the 2012 SLO G was completely removed and replaced with the 2014 SLO H (ALA Core Competency 8).  The 2012 SLO H was revised to ensure the inclusion of key elements from ALA Core Competency 7 (now 2014 SLO G).  Each revised SLO is annotated in Table II.1 with its corresponding ALA Core Competencies.

Student Learning Outcomes, adopted 2012  - Graduates will have the ability to:

Student Learning Outcomes, Revised and adopted January 2014

A. Facilitate access to information and knowledge, including its creation, acquisition, organization and management, storage and retrieval, evaluation, interpretation, dissemination, synthesis, preservation and use

A. Assist users in gaining access to information and knowledge, including its creation, acquisition, organization and management, storage and retrieval, by demonstrating that they can:

a)  Identify, acquire, create, organize, process, store and provide access to information in all its forms for libraries, cultural institutions and other information organizations in a global environment (CC 3)

b)  Identify, retrieve, evaluate and use general and specialized resources to address current and future information needs and provide related services to diverse user communities (CC 2, 5)

B. Demonstrate the importance of the philosophy, principles, values, and ethics of the library and information professions, including the value of teaching, research and service to the advancement of the field

B. Articulate the role and importance of ethics, values, and advocacy within the legal and historical frameworks underlying the practice of librarianship and the information professions (CC 1)

C. Apply the appropriate practices and policies of established Library and Information Science professional standards in various specializations

C. Apply the appropriate practices and policies of established Library and Information Science professional standards in various specializations  (CC 1)

D. Communicate the importance of research to the field’s knowledge base, as well as the importance of contributions of Library and Information Science (LIS) to other disciplines, and of other disciplines to LIS

D. Find, analyze, assess, apply, and conduct research in Library and Information Science and other disciplines in response to gaps in knowledge and practice (CC 6)

E. Contribute to a diverse, global society—including the role of addressing the needs of underserved groups--through exemplary Library and Information Science practice and research 

E. Contribute to a diverse, global society—including the role of addressing the needs of underserved groups--through exemplary Library and Information Science practice and research  (CC 1 & 6)

F. Nurture, promote, and teach the many literacies (print, computer, visual, information) needed for participating in a rapidly changing society

 

F. Identify, evaluate and implement current and emerging technologies and services to meet the evolving information needs of diverse user communities in an increasingly interconnected environment (CC 4)

G. Engage library and information services stakeholders in program development and innovation [Removed]

H. Explain and apply principles of effective management and leadership in the library and related information institutions (CC 8)

H. Articulate and promote the importance of lifelong learning and professional development in enabling growth, leadership, and innovation in the LIS field

G. Demonstrate understanding of the importance of continuing professional development in LIS; articulate and apply principles, theories and measures underlying the role of the library in supporting lifelong learning within the community (CC 7)

Table II.1. Comparison of 2012 SLOs with 2014 SLOs, after Syllabi Matrix analysis.

In Table II.2, we present the Syllabi Matrix for the Spring 2014 Semester, the first semester for which the current SLOs were used for this purpose. This matrix provides evidence that GSLIS Program Goals A-F and the accompanying courses insure compliance with the requirement of Standard II.1 that: “the curriculum provides, through a variety of educational experiences, for the study of theory, principles, practice, and values necessary for the provision of service in libraries and information agencies and in other contexts.” SLOs G and H, and associated courses, are discussed in the sections on Standards II.3.1, and II.3.7, below. A complete list of courses offered by GSLIS, and their catalog descriptions, is available at http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Academics/Degrees/DSS/gslis/CurrentStudents/Pages/courses.aspx.

COURSE #

GSLIS Program Objectives, Operationalized as  SLOs

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

700

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

X

701

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

702

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

703

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

705

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

709

X

X

 

X

X

 

 

 

730

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

736

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

740

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

X

753

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

757

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

761

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

765

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

773

 

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

775

 

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

778

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

786

X

X

X

X

 

X

 

 

795

X

X

X

 

X

X

X

X

Covered in Number of Courses

16

17

16

13

14

16

10

12

Table II.2:  2014 SLO Matrix

Standard II.2

Standard II.2

The curriculum is concerned with recordable information and knowledge, and the services and technologies to facilitate their management and use. The curriculum of library and information studies encompasses information and knowledge creation, communication, identification, selection, acquisition, organization and description, storage and retrieval, preservation, analysis, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, dissemination, and management.

The GSLIS curriculum covers the components of this standard across courses, starting with the foundational core (LBSCI 700, 701, 702, 703).  Table II.3 presents the core courses and the components of the standard covered by each. This table shows that all the components are covered by the foundational core. Additional examples of where the curriculum meets Standard II.2 are shown in Appendix II.3, which presents the same data for all of the regularly offered courses in the GSLIS curriculum.

Table II.3 Components of Standard II.2 covered by GSLIS core courses

Standard II.3

Standard II.3.1    [The curriculum] fosters development of library and information professionals who will assume an assertive role in providing services;

Student Learning Outcomes that Address Standard II.3.1

Standard II.3.1 is addressed in at least four of the GSLIS Student Learning Outcomes. Graduates will have the ability to:

In essence, Standard II.3.1 is a cornerstone of our program, involving not just a commitment to fostering the development of appropriate skills for the delivery of information services in the broadest sense, but also to promote and model the requisite advocacy and service orientations to prepare our graduates to provide a leadership role in the LIS professions.

Core and Required Courses that Address Standard II.3.1

In LBCIS 701:  Fundamentals of LIS, students “identify and discuss the major issues affecting the profession of librarianship, including ethics, the role of professional organizations, access to information resources, and how various types of services provided by libraries respond to the needs of library users and potential users in a time of rapid change”.  For example, students write an annotated bibliography and paper, and present to the class on a topic of their choosing.  Among topics frequently selected are those relating to censorship; services to various categories of underserved users, such as new immigrants, the homeless, the disabled and the incarcerated; the challenges posed by the PATRIOT Act; the impact of technology on literacy; and the challenges of digital preservation, among others.

In LBSCI 702: Information Sources and Services: General, students “enable user access to resources” and “provide basic information access assistance” through various assignments and exercises. Their group instruction assignment involves preparing and delivering an oral lesson on a specific reference source, appropriate for a specified audience.

Finally, in the required course LBSCI 709: Research in Library and Information Studies, students conduct a supervised project that “will prepare students to critically evaluate relevant research in the field and to make professional contributions”.  Through the development of data gathering, analysis and synthesis skills, as well practical demonstration projects for some, students are better prepared to argue persuasively and provide support for the provision of services appropriate to a given situation. Examples of student work in 709 that show evidence of these abilities include investigation of the impact of information technology on access to information, policy issues surrounding intellectual property and intellectual freedom, prototypes of new information systems, and the evaluation of libraries and/or specific elements in libraries or information centers, with an eye to improving services (See http://709.qcgslis.net for exemplary capstone research projects, username:qcgslis ; password: 7189973790).

Examples of Elective Courses that Address Standard II.3.1

            All students are strongly encouraged to take an elective course in organization and management. Such courses as LBSCI 780:  Organization and Management:  Academic and Research Libraries, prepare students to “explore management options, practices and potential new roles in a future of fiscal, political and technological challenges and emerging innovative and alternative educational methods.”  Similarly, in LBSCI 705:  Organization and Management, students prepare and present a proposal outlining an innovation to be implemented in a library setting.  This project requires students to consider institutional mission, staffing, budgeting, marketing, equipment and space requirements, and implementation strategies for addressing an unmet need.

            LBSCI 778:  Information Literacy Instruction for Adults provides “students with the basic knowledge and skills they need to design, implement, deliver and evaluate instructional programs in all types of library settings, with a focus on adult patrons”.  In course activities, labs and presentations, students prepare and present a lesson plan and learning activities, critique various modes of information literacy instruction, and create an interactive training video, putting into practice relevant learning theories and applying the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards.

Other activities that Address Standard II.3.1

LBSCI 795:  Internship is “a hands-on, supervised professional work experience in a library/information center setting selected to support the student’s area of focus”. Students in the LMS sequences and the certificate program in Archives and the Preservation of Cultural Materials are required to complete an internship.  All students—especially those without extensive practical experience in an information setting—are encouraged to participate in the internship course, and a majority of our students do so.  Our interns are highly sought after, with the number of slots available for placement far exceeding the availability of potential interns in a given semester. 

Among the criteria on which internship students are evaluated by their site supervisors are such measures as initiative, responsibility, integrity, work habits, adaptability, vitality, and ability to accept criticism and suggestions.  For the 44 students enrolled in two sections of the internship course in Fall 2013, ratings for these personal attributes ranged from 1 (superior) to 3 (adequate), with a mean rating between 1.18 and 1.29, indicating demonstrated qualities far above average in all categories.  No student was graded unsatisfactory in any area.

 

Standard II.3.2    [The curriculum] emphasizes an evolving body of knowledge that reflects the findings of basic and applied research from relevant fields;

GSLIS faculty regularly update existing courses by adding new readings and activities as appropriate.  As one example, LBSCI 702 was extensively revised in Spring 2014 to incorporate an increased attention to database searching, with a new unit on Discovery services.  In Fall 2014 there will be an added emphasis on licensing and pricing of resources, as well as an expanded focus on a two-part information literacy assignment, to precede an instruction assignment in the form of a sample mini-lecture.  Further, in addition to the current edition of a traditional reference text (Bopp & Smith), required texts will include the 2014 edition of Badke, W. B.  Research strategies: Finding your way through the information fog (5th ed.),  and the addition of Bell, S.S. (2012).  Librarian's Guide to Online Searching.  (3rd ed.).

In general, new courses are introduced into the program as experimental courses, which are assigned a “790” designator following approval of the draft syllabus by the CET Committee and the Director/Chair.  After being offered successfully at least three times, the course may be accepted for permanent addition to the curriculum, and assigned a permanent number.  This requires approval from the departmental level up through a progressive sequence culminating at the level of the CUNY Board of Trustees. This is a time-consuming process that may take up to twelve months for completion, and not all experimental courses ultimately are added on a permanent basis.  The process of initiating new courses is not limited to full-time faculty, and some of our more popular courses (e.g. Storytelling and Museum Collection Development) are proposed, developed and taught by adjunct faculty. 

Entirely new, regularly taught courses, which have been adopted since Spring 2008 include the following:

·         LBSCI 730 Archival Arrangement and Appraisal

·         LBSCI 746 Design and Construction of Bibliographic Databases

·         LBSCI 752 Digital Preservation

·         LBSCI 755 Design and Production of Multimedia

·         LBSCI 764 Instructional Technologies for K-12 Information Literacy

·         LBSCI 768 Storytelling

·         LBSCI 778 Information Literacy Instruction for Adults

·         LBSCI 787 Competitive Intelligence

Several additional courses (see below) have recently been offered as LBSCI 790 Variable Topics classes.  The latter two, especially, are expected to be approved shortly as permanent additions to the curriculum. It also should be noted that some variable topics courses are never intended to become permanent, but are introduced to meet a perceived need at a particular point in time.

·         Art of the Children’s Book

·         Museum Collection Development

·         Web 2.0 Technologies and Content Management Systems

In addition, a number of courses have been substantively revised and renamed since 2008, as shown in Appendix II.8.  For instance, in 2012, LBSCI 737 was expanded to include multimedia, gaming, mobile and social media apps, as well as a greater emphasis on collection development, as described below in the section on Certificate Evaluation.  The same year, LBSCI 717 was expanded to include Digital Humanities as well as traditional Humanities resources and their uses.  In Fall 2014, an additional Digital Humanities textbook will be required, and readings updated.  The following new topics will be introduced: Humanities data analysis overview; Makerspaces for public libraries; Digital Humanities support in academic libraries; and, Using discovery services in the humanities, as well as a "hands on" assignment option for students who wish have an active encounter in Digital Humanities.  Yet another example is the revision of LBSCI 734:  Art Librarianship to include the present practices in art and visual resources librarianship/curatorship.

Standard II.3.3    [The curriculum] integrates the theory, application, and use of technology;

 

Standard II.3.4    [The curriculum] responds to the needs of a diverse society including the needs of underserved groups;

 

Standard II.3.5    [The curriculum] responds to the needs of a rapidly changing technological and global society;

Student Learning Outcomes that Address Standards II.3.3 - II.3.5

Standards II.3.3 and II.3.5 are addressed in SLO F, “identify, evaluate and implement current and emerging technologies and services to meet the evolving information needs of diverse user communities in an increasingly interconnected environment.”

            Standards II.3.4 and II.3.5 are addressed in SLO E, “contribute to a diverse global society—including the role of addressing the needs of underserved groups—through exemplary Library and Information practice and research”.

            Given the inter-relatedness of SLOs E and F with these three Standards, it seems best to discuss all three Standards together. 

The influence of technology on and the applications of technology within the LIS field are found everywhere throughout the curriculum, starting with LBSCI 700, The Technology of Information, required of all students. Whether it is a discussion of electronic ordering of materials, licensing of online databases and the current state of eBook acquisition in the collection development class (LBSCI 711), issues of online privacy and consent in the capstone research class (LBSCI 709), to doing online video book trailers in the young adult services class (LBSCI 777), the curriculum embraces technology as an inherent part of the subject matter of all classes. Besides the ubiquitous use of Blackboard by faculty for all classes, the existence of several hybrid/blended learning (face-to-face and online) courses in the department, and the introduction of several fully online courses, discussions are underway to initiate GSLIS participation in the WISE consortium. Such participation will permit us to offer students a wider range of courses that may be of specialized interest only to selected students, at a time in their studies convenient to them. The importance of technology in the curriculum is what led the department to rename the former Curriculum Committee as the Curriculum and Educational Technology Committee.

With the addition of two new faculty members in AY 2014/2015, we anticipate the introduction of new courses—and/or substantive revision of existing courses—to reflect the new faculties' areas of expertise.   These potentially include courses targeting gaming, mobile apps, emerging technologies and newer genres (e.g. graphic novels) of interest especially in youth services, and courses in Information Science, broadly defined.  The latter may include but are not limited to data curation, metadata, information leadership, and IT project management

As previously discussed in the introduction to this chapter, feedback from stakeholders—including students—was used to redirect the focus of LBSCI 700:  Technology of Information, to include more advanced applications and a more practical emphasis. The availability of courses in the Design and Evaluation of Visual Information for the Web (LIBSCI 720), Metadata for Digital Resources (LBSCI 729), Digital Preservation (LBSCI 752), Digital Libraries (LBSCI 753), Digital Imaging LBSCI 757), Web Programming (LBSCI748), Human Computer Interaction (LBSCI 754), and Content Management Systems and Web 2.0 Technologies (LBSCI 790.3), among others, has already led to discussions of a new area of concentration within the curriculum on digital resources management.

In addition, LBSCI 753:  Digital Libraries, was extensively revised in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, to include relevant interdisciplinary elements—especially relating to the use of social media to increase user participation—since the course had last been taught in 2011.  Student feedback was solicited in both semesters to identify those course components needing adjustment or a different emphasis, and course revisions are proceeding accordingly.  LBSCI 729 was completely redesigned to be taught in online mode in Summer 2014.  In line with our efforts to expand online and hybrid course offerings in response to student requests, similar efforts are ongoing to redesign sections of LBSCI 701, 703 and 702 to accommodate alternative forms of delivery. 

The curriculum is assessed and revised regularly in response to new developments in information technologies. On the one hand, we strive to keep our curriculum up to date and relevant to employer stakeholders and we rely on feedback from these constituents. For example, we have been told that some of the areas we can improve on include “better experience with a wide variety of digital technologies.”  At the same time we recognize that changes in the information environment bring with them important social, economic, ethical and legal issues that must also be addressed in the curriculum. So, not only do we try to keep our students up to date with technology skills, but we also open their minds to the larger societal concerns that come with technology changes. Variable topics courses (those numbered LBSCI 790.x) offer a venue for the discussion of topics that have timely value but may not ultimately find a place in the permanent curriculum.

Given the demographics of the Queens Borough of New York City and the students of Queens College itself, one might say that the GSLIS already lives in the diverse society alluded to. In terms of curriculum specifically, all of the LMS and youth services courses include diversity and underserved groups as a matter of course. Sections of other courses such as Fundamentals of Library and Information Studies, LBSCI 701; Information Sources and Services, LBSCI 702; Collection Development, LBSCI 711; topics chosen in Research in Library and Information Studies, LBSCI 709; Digital Libraries, LBSCI 753; Human-Computer Interaction LBSCI 754; Management and Information Policy, LBSCI 705; all, of necessity, cover diversity issues, as discussed previously in the section on Standard II.3.1.  Diversity is also the main topic of LBSCI 775, Librarianship in a Multicultural Society. 

 

Standard II.3.6    [The curriculum] provides direction for future development of the field;

Student Learning Outcomes that Address Standard II.3.6

Standard II.3.6 is addressed in at least four of the GSLIS Student Learning Outcomes. Graduates will have the ability to:

C.   Apply the appropriate practices and policies of established Library and Information Science professional standards in various specializations.

D. Find, analyze, assess, apply, and conduct research in Library and Information Science and other disciplines in response to gaps in knowledge and practice.

E. Contribute to a diverse, global society—including the role of addressing the needs of underserved groups--through exemplary Library and Information Science practice and research.

F. Identify, evaluate and implement current and emerging technologies and services to meet the evolving information needs of diverse user communities in an increasingly interconnected environment.

The curriculum provides direction for future development in the field in several ways. In the formal curriculum, this involves discussion in individual courses, topics suggested to students for research projects and other problem-solving and planning assignments.  New course proposals and redesign of existing courses in response to student and stakeholder feedback and ongoing curricular assessment may help to inform faculty and student faculty research projects and their awareness of gaps in research and practice. In the informal curriculum, a program of invited outside speakers to special events and Curriculum Space colloquia provide information on trends and issues. Fulltime faculty keep abreast of new developments through department funded conference attendance and other standard mechanisms of ongoing professional development, and bring this knowledge into the classroom, while adjunct faculty provide feedback from both their classroom and professional outside experience regularly. It is the job of the Course Coordinators to assess course content regularly for updates in content areas, including revisions in professional standards and course readings.

 

Standard II.3.7    [The curriculum] promotes commitment to continuous professional growth.

Student Learning Outcomes that Address Standard II.3.7

Standard II.3.7 is addressed in SLO G, “demonstrate understanding of the importance of continuing professional development in Library and Information Science; articulate and apply principles, theories and measures underlying the role of the library in supporting lifelong learning within the community.”

Core and Required Courses that Address Standard II.3.7

As previously discussed in regard to Standard II.3.1, course activities and discussion in LBSCI 701, Fundamentals of Library and Information Science, emphasizes the imperative of staying abreast of innovations and emerging elements of professional practice during a time of unprecedented and accelerating change. This applies both to information professionals themselves, and to the role of the library in supporting evolving community information needs.  More specifically, in LBSCI 702, Information Sources & Services, students read about and discuss principles and measures in support of information instruction, and conduct an activity to reinforce this skill set.

Examples of Elective Courses that Address Standard II.3.7

            A large subset of the curriculum is concerned with various aspects of student abilities to “…articulate and apply principles, theories and measures underlying the role of the library in supporting lifelong learning within the community.” These include but are not limited to the following:

Collectively, these courses provide students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills they need to develop, implement, and evaluate formal and informal programs and support mechanisms for a wide range of users in addressing their lifelong learning needs.  A majority of the courses above target children and young adults in schools and public libraries, but there has been an expanding emphasis within the program to address the lifelong learning needs of adults and underserved populations.  Specialized courses in art, law, and health sciences librarianship, and advanced reference courses in the humanities, social sciences, and science and technology also address the specialized information needs of these populations.  And less obviously, courses such as LBSCI 756: Digital Libraries, and LBSCI 754:  Human-Computer Interaction emphasize mechanisms and principles used in digital technologies  to effectively design  and evaluate systems and features that meet the information needs of a wide variety of people, including children, the elderly, people with disabilities and other special populations.

Students are encouraged in individual courses to engage with the subject matter beyond the classroom through presentations and attendance at national professional conferences such as ALA, NYLA and SAA, and also at local meetings such as METRO   (Metropolitan New York Library Council * and the Long Island Library Association. They are also encouraged to publish their work, and many have done so. Student chapters of ALA, SLA, and SAA are also active within GSLIS. At this time the GSLIS does not have a formal program of continuing education, or professional development. However, plans are underway to discuss the feasibility of postgraduate certificates in Digital Resource Management and other areas related to technical services.

Standards II.4 and II.5

Standard II.4

The curriculum provides the opportunity for students to construct coherent programs of study that allow individual needs, goals, and aspirations to be met within the context of program requirements established by the school and that will foster development of the competencies necessary for productive careers. The curriculum includes as appropriate cooperative degree programs, interdisciplinary coursework and research, experiential opportunities, and other similar activities. Course content and sequence relationships within the curriculum are evident.

 

Standard II.5

When a program includes study of services and activities in specialized fields, these specialized learning experiences are built upon a general foundation of library and information studies. The design of specialized learning experiences takes into account the statements of knowledge and competencies developed by relevant professional organizations.

Constructing a Program of Study

GSLIS offers over 50 courses from which students can construct programs to suit individual needs and interests (See appendix II.21 for the GSLIS Bulletin, which is available at site, and the courses page of the GSLIS web site: http://www.qc.cuny.edu/Academics/Degrees/DSS/gslis/CurrentStudents/Pages/courses.aspx   for the course catalogue).

 Students have a variety of areas in which they can focus their studies. Faculty advisors assist students in planning their course of study. Students are required to meet with advisors before registration until they have completed 18 credits, after which advisement is optional but recommended. A course rotation schedule is available on the department website to assist in long term planning (see also Appendix II.4). In addition to classroom-based courses, students have multiple opportunities to engage in experiential opportunities for learning. Off-campus course offerings support student needs pertaining to geographic issues, as noted below. One of the issues noted recently is the number of unique courses offered every semester to meet student needs for certificate and graduation requirements and whether this number is sustainable, given available resources (Appendix II.5)

Areas of Concentration within the Curriculum

All specialized fields within the GSLIS, namely the Library Media Specialist certification program, and the two certificate programs: Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials: and, Children’s and Young Adult Services in the Public Library, as well as the more loosely organized areas of concentration described below, are built on a core sequence of courses required of everyone in the entire program before students start to meet the required or suggested course requirements of any particular specialty. In addition, all students are required to take LBSCI 709: Research in Library and Information Studies, as a core exit requirement, within which they may complete a project based on their specialty through which they learn research methods.

In addition to the areas of specialization, each of which has a specific set of required courses in addition to the core courses for everyone, GSLIS also offers students the opportunity to concentrate on areas of interest within the wider curriculum without having to commit to the formal structure of a certificate. Below, we describe Areas of Concentration that are recommended to students at GSLIS which are in keeping with those articulated by the American Library Association. Courses applicable to each area are listed in Appendix II.12. This appendix indicates the required and suggested courses for each area of concentration and is used by students during advisement..

 Academic/Research Librarianship

In preparation for a career in academic/research librarianship, students can choose from a series of subject specialized advanced reference courses as well as collection development, information literacy instruction, library services in a multicultural society and a series of advanced technical services courses, including the construction of bibliographic databases and introduction to metadata. In addition, they may select various technology courses, such as web design and digital libraries. Other options include management of libraries, including academic, art, museum, business, health sciences and law libraries. Internships, of course, provide the opportunity to obtain practical experiences that bring reality to theoretical learning. The GSLIS is working with the QC History department to establish a joint MLS/MA program, with plans for a spring 2015 debut. The proposal for this joint degree program is in Appendix II.10

Digital Libraries/Digital Resources Management

 Students in this area of concentration receive a grounding in theoretical and practical aspects of digital collection building and management, with an emphasis on evolving standards and best practices, lessons learned from existing digitization projects, and interdisciplinary readings in computer science, information science, library science and related areas.  Suggested courses include Digital Libraries, Digital Preservation, Web Programming, Information Systems Analysis and Design, Construction of Bibliographic Databases, Human-Computer Interaction, Metadata for Digital Resources, and Managing New Technologies. Courses in this area of concentration reinforce theoretical concepts by providing students with hands-on experience digitizing and managing images and/or archival materials, assigning metadata, designing digital library prototypes, and other project work. Many if not most students further reinforce their theoretical and practical skills through internships at such institutions as the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Museum, Center for Jewish History, New York Public Library, and numerous other sites.

Organization of Information

Increasingly, as the pace of technological change has accelerated and digital formats proliferated, and as information has become ever more broadly distributed outside the library, specialists in what is sometimes called technical services are experiencing a massive shift in their responsibilities and needed skill sets. These include an expanded set of competencies in such information technology areas as: experience with SQL, HTML/XHTML language (in source code form), XML, the structure and syntax of CSS, use of an HTML editor (e.g. Dreamweaver), and server-side scripting languages (e.g. PHP, JavaScript, ColdFusion, ASP). In addition to familiarity with MARC 21 and RDA, knowledge of metadata schemas also is becoming much more important. These skills are imparted through courses including Web Programming, Metadata for Digital Resources, and Advanced Technical Services.

Public Libraries

 Public libraries are usually part of, or associated with local government, and supported in whole or in part by tax monies. They are the most diverse of all the types of libraries in terms of the age, educational, socioeconomic and ethnic ranges of the populations served, as well as in the widely varied activities carried out by the librarians who work in them. Given the wide range of roles, such as those specified by UNESCO and ALA’s Public Library Association within a complex, multi-layered mission, the GSLIS offers students seeking to become public librarians a wide variety of courses, including a certificate program in Children’s and Young Adult Services in the Public Library (See Appendix II.11), previously discussed in this chapter.

The IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto identifies 12 “key missions which relate to information, literacy, education and culture should be at the core of public library services”, all of which are addressed in the GSLIS curriculum. Courses leading to a specialization in Public Libraries also focus on what, in 2007, the Public Library Association of ALA suggested as 18 new service roles that focus on citizen outcomes.

The Curriculum offers the following courses for students interested in working in Public Libraries: Management of Public Libraries; LBSCI773; and Public Library Services for Children. Other relevant courses include LBSCI 776, Multicultural Librarianship; LBSCI 778, Information Literacy Instruction for Adults.; and LBSCI 768, Storytelling.

Records and Information Management (RIM)

Professionals who work in Records Management may work in a wide variety of organizations. Primary responsibilities involve collecting, managing and enabling access to records necessary for an enterprise or other types of organizations to conduct everyday operations and to continue to operate in the future.

Prior to 2010, the GSLIS offered a Certificate in Archives and Records Management. This was refocused and renamed to Certificate in Archives and the Preservation of Cultural Materials. LBSCI 736 is the GSLIS’ foundational course in Records Management and students who wish to concentrate in this area are encouraged to also take LBSCI 732, which serves as the introductory course in archives. Additional relevant courses in this concentration are LBSCI 753, Digital Libraries, LBSCI 790.3, Knowledge Management; and LBSCI 786, Business Information Sources. With the arrival of our new faculty member Shuheng Wu in January 2015, we expect to offer a course in Data Curation, which will be very relevant to students in this concentration as well.

 Experiential Opportunities

Experiential opportunities are offered to GSLIS students via several means, including required field work  (in LMS courses), internship, independent study, and capstone research. A brief description of each follows.

Field Work

In keeping with the Library Media Specialist (LMS) Program requirements for all LMS students, 100 hours of field observation in functioning school libraries with children present are required. These are accomplished in blocks of 25 hours each in LBSCI 761 Organization and Management: School Library Media Centers; LBSCI 764 Instructional Technologies for K-12 Information Literacy; LBSCI 765 Resources for the School Curriculum; and LBSCI 767 Reading Motivation Techniques. Observational opportunities are overseen by Library Media Specialists holding NYS teacher certification in that area. Observations must also be done on three different levels (elementary, intermediate/middle/junior high school, and high school) and at four different venues (i.e. a different venue for each observation). Each observation experience focuses on material addressed in the course with which it is associated, thus linking theory with practice. Students are required to submit a final paper for each of these courses relating observations to specific course material as articulated in each assignment statement. Students taking any of these courses who are focusing on Children‘s and Youth Services in the Public Library may perform the required course field observation in a public library Children‘s or Youth Section (see Appendix II.7 Sample LBSCI 767 Student Field Assignment Paper).

Internship

The School provides its students hands-on professionally supervised experiences within the academic framework through LBSCI 795: Internship, a regularly scheduled (each semester), one-semester long, three-credit course. Those enrolled are either required to do so because they are pursuing certification in one or more specializations, or elect to take the class because they lack experience in library/ information studies as a whole or in one of its areas, such as academic librarianship. Regardless of the initial reason, everyone in this course spends 150 clock-hours on a site, approved by the GSLIS, under the direct supervision of a credentialed and experienced librarian, archivist, certified school media specialist or other information specialist. (The exception to this is LMS program 606, for students who are not yet certified teachers. These students need to intern for additional hours). All internship students attend four to six class sessions during the semester, augmented by online interaction.

Students pursuing certifications include those seeking New York State Department of Education credentials as Library Media Specialists. Their internship hours are evenly divided between elementary and secondary schools. LMS internships must be performed in functioning school libraries with children present, under the supervision of a NYS certified LMS who has held that certification for at least three years. Internship is in addition to fieldwork discussed above.

 LBSCI 795: Internship is one of the five required courses of the Certificate in Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials. While currently not required, it is anticipated that the Certificate in Children and Young Adult Services in the Public Library will also require LBSCI 795 once the assessment of that certificate program is completed, bringing its number of course requirements to five also. Those seeking Public Librarian certification from the State of New York Department of Education often enroll in the course as well, even though the State does not require it at this time.

To assure that students have obtained a sufficient theoretical and pedagogical background in their chosen area in preparation for their experiential learning, they must have completed at least 21 credits prior to registering for this experience; these 21 credits include courses specific to their specific program requirements. Those in the Archives Certificate program must also have taken six of their required 15 credits, as part of the 21 credits. This arrangement links theory and practice seamlessly.

Regardless of the type and place of the internship, course requirements are nearly identical for everyone in the class. These include an approved and signed Action Plan, i.e., contract, between the site, the student and the GSLIS; preparation of a contemporaneous journal that records ongoing student experiences; a final brief paper that reflects on these experiences; a brief in-class presentation; and online asynchronous discussions on selected readings and other common internship topics and issues that arise. The internship course was reviewed over the Spring and Summer of 2014, and a revised version, based on that review, is now being offered.

Various evaluation/assessment methods of the student‘s overall performance are utilized to obtain as complete a picture as possible of the learning experience. Each student is visited on-site once during the semester by an experienced adjunct faculty member, who serves as the official GSLIS Site Visit Manager. The Site Visit Manager observes the student in action and discusses activities and performance with both the supervisor and the intern.

Observing LMS students while they teach a lesson is a high priority and is part of the process. Likewise, students pursuing an Archives Certificate must demonstrate evidence that they have processed a collection on-site and contributed to creating a finding aid. Subsequently, the Site Visit Manager completes an evaluation form for each student and reports his or her findings to the Course Instructor.

Site Supervisors play a major role in the student‘s experiential education. They teach by example, mentor, and formally evaluate their interns twice during their stay: at mid-term and end of the internship. Site Supervisor evaluations also provide important data in the GSLIS assessment its students and of the Internship course (See Appendix II.6 for Internship Site Supervisor evaluations.)

GSLIS internships have taken place at a number of very prestigious institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Metropolitan Opera House, the New York Historical Society, various divisions of Columbia University and New York University, the Federal Reserve Bank and Sony Music. Examples of student work demonstrating the breadth of these experiences can be found in Appendix II. 17.

LMS students have field experience in all the five boroughs of New York City as well as in its suburbs, including Long Island as far east as the Hamptons, Westchester County and as far north as Albany. The three large New York City public library systems, i.e., Brooklyn, New York and Queens Public Libraries, all host GSLIS interns, as do suburban public libraries of all sizes. Many area academic institutions, ranging from community colleges to four-year and research institutions, also provide outstanding experiential opportunities for our students. Often they seek out our students either because of previous good experience with them, or due to the excellent general reputation GSLIS has within the constituent community.

Practicum

Students in the Archives Certificate track have several opportunities to obtain practical experience as part of their program of study. Since 2008, select numbers of students in this Certificate track have been able to work on Independent Study projects in Queens College Rosenthal Library Special Collections Department. A number of projects have resulted from this experience, including the Queens Memory Project (http://queensmemory.org/), which continues to be maintained at the Queens Public Libraries main branch. Other projects that have developed out of this student work in Rosenthal Special Collections include The Queens College Civil Rights Archives (http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/civilrights/), Queens College Institutional Archives (http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/queenscollege/) and Queens College Print History Collections (http://archives.qc.cuny.edu/books/).

In 2014, all students who pursue the Archives Certificate have both an Internship requirement and a practicum component in LBSCI 732. The departure of Dr. Alexander from the GSLIS full time faculty in August 2014 has necessitated a replacement advisor for those students who wish to have a practicum in Special Collections. The recent appointment of Dr. Robert Shaddy to the position of Head of Special Collections and Archives in Rosenthal Library ensures that GSLIS students continue to have this opportunity.

Special and Embedded Librarianship

Special librarians may find themselves working in a special library or information center or working in other venues that have special collections. Embedded librarians perform many of the same professional tasks as special librarians but are situated within a department or business unit and usually do not manage a collection.

Courses especially tailored to this specialization include: Organization and Management: Special Libraries and Information Centers (LBSCI 781); Health Sciences Librarianship (LBSCI 784); Business Information Services (LBSCI 786); Competitive Intelligence (LBSCI 787); and Law Librarianship (LBSCI 788).  Government Information Sources (LBSCI 719) is another important course for this specialization.

Independent Study

Experiential opportunities are also available to all GSLIS students, if they wish, via the Independent Study course. This course allows students working independently with an instructor to design a course of study for the term. Students in the LBSCI 791 Independent Study may elect to construct a course of study in which experience in practice plays a major role. (See Appendix II.9, an example of independent study project, from proposal, initial contract, to product and evaluation.)

Students completing LBSCI 709 Research in Library and Information Studies may also incorporate field experience in this culminating project. This may be done in several ways, for example, by conducting Internal Review Board (IRB) approved research with human subjects in libraries or other settings.

Standard II.6

Standard II.6

The curriculum, regardless of forms or locations of delivery selected by the school, conforms to the requirements of these Standards.

All courses, regardless of where they are offered geographically, or of format (face-to-face; hybrid; or wholly online), are subject to review and oversight by the CET Committee and designated course coordinators. New courses must follow the department’s syllabus template and SLO Syllabi Matrix, and be proposed to, and approved by, the CET and full faculty before implementation at any location. All courses are evaluated by students and included in assessment and evaluation activities. Insofar as possible, no unique course is confined to a specific location.

Standard II.7

Standard II.7

 The curriculum is continually reviewed and receptive to innovation; its evaluation is used for ongoing appraisal, to make improvements, and to plan for the future. Evaluation of the curriculum includes assessment of students' achievements and their subsequent accomplishments. Evaluation involves those served by the program: students, faculty, employers, alumni, and other constituents

Program performance is measured in terms of program goals and objectives. As described in Chapter 1, we evaluate student learning outcomes at the curricular level through our Syllabi Matrix analysis. Measuring student achievement at the individual level has been pilot tested in spring/summer 2014, using ePortfolios as an end of program assessment tool. Indirect indicators of student achievement come from the successes of our students after graduation and their accomplishments while they are in the program. In addition, we draw upon regularly collected data from exit interviews, alumni surveys, internship site supervisors and other constituents to evaluate and revise the curriculum.

Use of the SLO Matrix Analysis for Curricular Level Assessment

The Syllabi Matrix analysis is used by the CET Committee to ensure adequate coverage of all SLOs in the common core courses taken by all students.  Where appropriate, these data assist us in reducing overlap between the core courses.  Given the rapid pace of change in the field, and the need to cover a wide range of topics and competencies, achieving the right balance of coverage with the core courses is an ongoing challenge.

Current analysis of course Syllabi Matrices in the two certificate programs, in conjunction with relevant specialty statements of competencies (e.g. Society of American Archivists’ Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies: http://www2.archivists.org/gpas; Association for Library Service to Children’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries:  http://www.ala.org/alsc/edcareeers/alsccorecomps, and The Young Adult Library Services Association’s Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth:  http://www.ala.org/yalsa/guidelines/yacompetencies2010;) will provide a valuable adjunct to other mechanisms for evaluation of the certificate programs, as discussed below. 

Finally, part of our ongoing cycle of curricular review is the analysis of elective course Syllabi Matrices in various areas of concentration (e.g. Academic Librarianship, Digital Resources Management, etc.) in conjunction with relevant specialty standards, to identify gaps and suggest the potential for new or revised courses. Table II.4 provides an overview of our plan for Program Component Assessment for the next three years, indicating what aspects we will assess, methods of assessment, the entities responsible for assessment, and the nature of actions which may need to be taken.

 

Programmatic Components (what we will assess)

Assessment Methods

Responsible Entity

Analysis, Reporting & Actions Taken

Timeline

Core course coverage of program goals and objectives

Syllabi matrix

CET Committee
Assessment Committee

Matrix analysis to determine gaps in addressing SLOs, possible overlap

Year 1, Fall 2013-Spring 2014

Two Certificates

Syllabi Matrix, Compare with standard professional competencies, Alumni survey, Employer survey

CET Committee, Certificate Coordinators Assessment Committee

Recognize missing and outdated or omitted components in the certificate curricula and revise syllabi and coverage accordingly

Year 1-2, Spring 2014-Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Core course coverage of program goals  + Capstone course 709

Syllabi Matrix, Analysis of assignment details & sample student work

CET Committee, Core Course Coordinators, All Faculty

Identify SLOs that need additional emphasis; identify adjustments in coverage of core courses to reduce overlap; revise core course curricula

Year 2, Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Selected courses identified by the Curriculum committee

Classroom-based questionnaires, curriculum review. Alumni and instructor surveys

CET Committee
Assessment Committee,
All Faculty

Report on usefulness and effectiveness of the courses and make programmatic changes if necessary.

Year 3, Fall 2015-Spring 2016

Table II.4: Three Year Timeline for Assessing Programmatic Components

Use of Eportfolio as an End of Program Assessment Tool

As a way to assess individual level achievement, we are pilot testing, in spring and summer 2014, the use of ePortfolios as a repository for student artifacts that reflect achievement of each of the program SLOs. Students are instructed to deposit at least one example of their work for each of the SLOs. A faculty panel is designated to evaluate each of the artifacts corresponding to one or more of the SLOs in an area of their expertise. Each artifact is then assessed along a rating scale ranging from Does Not Meet Objective; Meets Objective; Surpasses Objective. To date 10 students have participated in this pilot study, with faculty evaluations underway. For the artifacts tested, we found that the percentage of agreement between faculty assessors was greater than 80% (See Appendix I.23).

The CET originally conceived of using ePortfolios to collect artifacts for assessment as strictly an end of program assessment tool. However, we realize that while assessment at the end of program is valuable for overall program evaluation, it does not provide the type of early warning for students that similar evaluation earlier in the program might offer. Therefore, we are now considering the use of this same method of assessing student artifacts associated with SLOs after student completion of the four core courses. This would give us useful data at two points in time.

In June 2014 the company providing an ePortfolio platform for all of Queens College except the Division of Education, Epsilen, announced bankruptcy and discontinuation of service by end of summer 2014. In July 2014 GSLIS faculty met with the QC Center for Teaching and Learning to discuss alternative modes of delivery for ePortfolios. Possible replacements for Epsilen are Chalk & Wire, a fee based service currently being used by the Division of Education, and Google Docs, which is free.  A decision about which platform to use for the GSLIS ePortfolios will involve the full faculty, in early fall 2014. Meanwhile, pilot testing of existing ePortfolio artifacts for assessment is ongoing.

Assessment Repository

Beginning in fall of 2012 the GSLIS began maintaining a searchable assessment repository (http://programpresentation.qcgslis.info/assessment-repository, username: qcgslis ; password: 7189973790) which houses data from all of our regular data collection activities, along with exemplary capstone research projects, all course syllabi with SLO matrices, and student/alumni achievements. Student achievements are regularly solicited through an interactive form on the Alumni page of the GSLIS website (http://alumni.qcgslis.info/recent-accomplishment/) and through referrals from faculty. During spring 2014 the Assessment Committee undertook an analysis of LBSCI 709 projects to determine how well these capstone projects covered GSLIS SLOs. In a random sample of 50 capstone projects, 100% of the SLOs were covered by the projects overall and each capstone project covered an average of 3.5 SLOs.

Alumni Survey Analysis

As part of our ongoing planning and assessment process, alumni participate in evaluating the effectiveness of the MLS program. Data from our most recent alumni survey is cited as evidence that GSLIS is achieving Program Goals and meeting Standard II.7.  An online survey was distributed via the GSLIS listserv on April 9, 2014, with 119 responses received by April 14, 2014.  Questions were designed to capture perceptions of strengths and weaknesses of the MLS. In some instances the questions paralleled those which emerged in our 2011 Alumni Advisory Board focus groups. This preliminary qualitative analysis addresses the following issues, but not necessarily in this order.

These perceptions are addressed overall by two cohorts:  those graduating between 2005 and 2009, and those graduating 2010 to 2014.  There were too few responses to analyze by cohort for those graduating before 2004.  Twice as many respondents (n=60) graduated since 2010, as in the period between 2005 and 2009.  This likely reflects both the interest shown in the survey by more recent graduates, and especially, their greater likelihood to still subscribe to the GSLIS listserv. 

As shown in Table II.5, while nearly 70% of all respondents report working full-time, and 77% work in LIS or a related field, those with more years of experience are generally more likely to be employed full-time and in an LIS field.  This is likely the result of the continuing economic downturn, and the difficulties faced by new graduates in a challenging job market

Year Graduated from GSLIS

 

2005 – 2009 (n=30)

2005 - 2009 (%)

2010 – 2014 (n=60)

2010 - 2014 (%)

Difference between 2005 - 2009 and 2010 - 2014

Are you currently working?

Yes, full time

24

80.00%

35

58.33%

-21.67%

Yes, part time

3

10.00%

20

33.33%

23.33%

No

3

10.00%

5

8.33%

-1.67%

If you are currently working, is it in a field related to Archives and/or Library and Information Services, broadly defined?

Yes

26

89.66%

44

81.48%

-8.17%

No

3

10.34%

10

18.52%

8.17%


Table II.5 Alumni employment data by cohort

As indicated in the overall summary of survey responses (Appendix II.13), nearly 53% of respondents felt that more active career placement, a greater emphasis on technology (47%) and more hands-on experience (43%) would have enhanced their education.  Comments related to these themes included the following:

The GSLIS has taken steps to address some of these concerns, as some comments reflect, e.g.: “I have seen much improvement since I graduated:  use of ePortfolios, more career-workshops, course on information literacy teaching”.  A further example was a Curriculum Space event in which speakers addressed the County Civil Service requirements for Nassau and Suffolk counties in Spring 2014. Below, we discuss the responses to several questions in the Alumni Survey.

Perceptions of most valued experiences at GSLIS (up to 3, with space for additional comments)

In general, respondents felt that exposure to all aspects of librarianship (66%) was the most valuable aspect of the program, followed by a broad overview of the current state of the field (48%), learning from practitioners (46%), and practical experience, in class and/or in the internship (42%).  More recent graduates were more likely to value the broad overview of the field (57% vs. 43%), while those graduating in the earlier cohort felt that learning from practitioners was especially helpful.  Specific comments related to the value of internship or practical experiences, guest speakers, technology classes, and the Archives Certificate.

Greatest strength of the program (choice of 5, with space for additional comments)

While 32% of respondents choosing from the pre-selected list identified faculty as the greatest strength of the program, other comments overwhelmingly stressed the low cost of the program as compared to other schools in the area, affordability, and value for the money. Twenty-two individuals offered specific comments, of these, 16 (73%) mentioned issues related to affordability and value.  This is consistent with Queens College’s national rankings by the Washington Monthly as number one in New York and number two nationwide in the category “Best Bang for the Bucks”.  U.S. News and World Report similarly named Queens College one of the 10 best Public Regional Universities in the northeast (http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/Pages/default.aspx). 

Other comments ranged from the local reputation of the program, to theoretical and practical knowledge.  Several mentioned the emphasis on research, although others commented that an internship would be more valuable as a requirement, especially for those in public librarianship.

Suggestions for making the education at GSLIS more meaningful/valuable and additional comments

In addition to those comments already mentioned (especially as regards career placement, networking and mentoring), many of the suggestions offered by respondents emphasized the importance of technology. Many respondents felt that the program would benefit from more challenging coursework, especially in technology and in core classes, including a computer-literacy requirement for admission, and a greater emphasis on practical assignments.  Other topics that were raised include the following:

Comments relating to 709 suggested making it a two semester sequence, and having separate sections for Archives and other students in view of differing research methods requirements. (See Appendix II.14: Alumni Profile and Perceptions By Cohort)

Clearly, the MLS program is serving our students quite well in many areas, but suggestions for improvement are pronounced.  Action items for follow-up with the full faculty include the establishment of better career placement services, and professional development workshops.  Already the faculty has passed a motion requiring the distribution of fuller course descriptions for courses to be taught in the next semester, along with relevant course sequences for a specific area of interest, to assist students and faculty during the advisement period.  These and related topics are priority agenda items for future faculty and CET meetings.

Internship site supervisor data

Another source of data that is collected every semester comes from the Internship Site Supervisor evaluations, consisting of a structured questionnaire that is completed at the end of the Internship experience; and midterm and a final open ended written evaluations. The structured questionnaire asks the supervisors to rate each intern on a 4-point scale, from Unsatisfactory to Superior, along 19 attributes (Appendix II.15.) These data are analyzed by the Assessment Committee at the end of each academic year. Over the past three years, the average scored on all of the attributes has been 4 or above. Every internship site is also visited each semester by our GSLIS Internship Supervisor, an adjunct professor, who observes and interviews the intern and the site supervisor. This person, who has served in this capacity for over ten years, writes a formal evaluation of each intern and conducts a de-briefing at the end of each semester with professors teaching the Internship course. 

Over the past three years, more than 95% of site supervisors stated that they would take another GSLIS student intern, while 75% said they would hire our student if a position were available. Problems that have surfaced during this same time period include “unprofessional communication”, with the example given that students might say, “we worked together on something”, rather than “we collaborated on a task.” In this instance, the Internship professors took this feedback to the CET, and greater emphasis has been put on different modes of professional communication in LBSCI 701, Fundamentals of Library & Information Science, and in the Internship Orientation.

Certificate Evaluations

Two MLS certificate programs are currently available in the GSLIS:  Children and Young Adult Services in the Public Library; and, Archives and the Preservation of Cultural Materials. First introduced in 2002 and 2003, respectively, these certificates are approved by the New York State Department of Education and continue to attract students interested in these specializations.

As integral components of the curriculum, courses in the two certificates undergo the same regular scrutiny as do all other courses.  Regular review of course syllabi reveals instances where revisions—whether minor or substantial—are required to ensure that the course sequences meet the needs of our students to enter the workforce fully prepared for entry-level positions in their areas of emphasis.  One such example was the substantial revision of LBSCI 737:  Literature for Children and Adolescents, a required course in the Youth Services sequence, in the 2011-2012 academic year.  It became apparent that most of these certificate students were not being adequately prepared to handle collection development activities, an essential part of their prospective work responsibilities.  Although there is a separate elective course in Collection Development (LBSCI 711), because of the structured nature of the certificate sequence, not all students are able to enroll in that course.  Consequently, the course was renamed Literature and Materials for Children and Adolescents to reflect this renewed emphasis, in line with the ALA competency guidelines for both Youth Services (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/guidelines/yacompetencies2010) and services to children (http://www.ala.org/alsc/edcareeers/alsccorecomps .)

A similar approach was used in Spring 2014, when it became clear, through Syllabi Matrix analysis, that there was a lack of uniformity in the syllabi used for LBSCI 752: Digital Preservation.  This required course is taught by two different adjunct faculty in different semesters.  Upon discovering the discrepancies, the CET worked with the Archives Certificate Coordinator and the two faculty teaching the course, to ensure that the syllabi in each section would be consistent in terms of assignments, student learning objectives and emphasis going forward.

A more holistic review of both certificates is currently underway, with surveys being administered to graduates who have completed the respective programs. For example, all of the 243 students earning the Children and Youth Services in Public Libraries Certificate graduating between Summer 2005 through Fall 2013 were mailed a brief survey in April 2014.  A follow-up request was sent via the GLISANN listserv, to which many of our alums continue to subscribe. [Current email addresses are not routinely available for our alumni, so both methods were employed to encourage a good response.]  The survey instrument is available at http://alumni.qcgslis.info/youth-services-certificate-survey/. The survey was designed to ascertain the working environment of certificate holders, perceptions of its value in preparing for an entry-level youth services position, and suggestions for change.  To date, the response rate has been 35%, (n=86) and analysis is ongoing. Preliminary results indicate over half (60%) are working full time and 83% say that “the certificate adequately prepared them for entry level public library youth services position (Appendix II.18)

A comparable survey effort has been initiated for the Archives and the Preservation of Cultural Materials Certificate program.  This Certificate program was substantially redesigned as a result of a 2008 IMLS Planning Grant, which, inter alia, supported consultation with archivists and educators.  This activity resulted in a name change, from Archives, Records Management and Preservation, to Archives and the Preservation of Cultural Materials. (Appendix II.16).The goal of the Planning Grant was to better align the program with the rapidly evolving needs of this specialty area.

Since then, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) released revised and updated Guidelines for a Graduate Program in Archival Studies (http://www2.archivists.org/gpas adopted in 2011). The GSLIS Curriculum Committee will study these guidelines and consider them in conjunction with the certificate survey results (and other relevant evidence) as part of its continuing commitment to maintaining currency in archival education. 

Library Media Specialist Certification Programs

            Students in the LMS programs for certified and non-certified teachers are required to adhere a tightly prescribed sequence of courses. In the LMS program for certified teachers, only one elective is allowed. The coordinator for these programs conducted a thorough review in 2007-2008 of the LMS courses in terms of course content and course objectives.

Summary

 GSLIS is proud of its program of study.. The MLS Curriculum is compliant with all of the elements of ALA Standard II. Through continuous interaction with our constituencies, program review and revision, the program offered to GSLIS students does an exceptional job of preparing them for professional positions in the ever changing information environment that awaits them. However, our various assessment and constituency feedback mechanisms have identified places where improvements both have been made, and can still be made. There is obviously a need for better specific career preparation for students to include more interaction with practitioners; more general and more realistic information about the job market, especially where library positions are covered by civil service; and better advisement regarding groups of courses that align with career goals. With three graduation dates a year, these activities will have to be repeated each semester. To support these efforts, a more predictable course rotation schedule will be put in place, starting in Fall 2014.

While the course coordinator system works well in theory, two faculty vacancies and promotions of other faculty have created a situation where coordinators sometimes no longer teach the course they are supposed to coordinate. Mandating that all fulltime faculty teach a core course annually could rectify the situation, and preparation for the entire faculty of a proposal to accomplish this has been made a priority for the Fall 2014 CET agenda.

Before any new certificate programs are considered, the effect of the already established ones on the current course rotation schedule has to be examined from the perspectives of how frequently required courses need to be offered, and what effect this scheduling has on the department’s ability to offer other courses promised in the QC Bulletin.

The LMS programs have not been subject to systematic course evaluation since 2008 Along with the Certificate programs, these programs need to be assessed regularly. This will be put on the CET agenda for AY2015-16.

Improving the department’s technology offerings will necessitate finding a way to bring all entering students to a baseline level of technological competence, as well as better communicating the sequence of existing courses so that important prerequisites are not ignored. Additional challenges facing ongoing development of the GSLIS curriculum include the ability to anticipate future enrollments in order to create a reliable course rotation schedule, and decisions about a replacement for Epsilen as an ePortfolio platforms.