The fact that I will be working with adults in a professional development context will make assessment a bit tricky: there will be no grade, for example, to serve as an extrinsic motivator or demonstrate that the learner has demonstrated enough “mastery” to receive credit for a course. In my personal experience with online professional development for adults, modules are typically accompanied by short multiple-choice style quizzes to check for understanding. These can often be retaken until a high enough score is earned to allow the learner to progress to the next module. This leaves open the possibility that a learner will skip the content and go straight to the assessment and/or retake the assessment until they pass. When professional development is conducted face-to-face, the facilitator might encourage a discussion or place participants into groups to complete an activity. I have even been in a professional development workshop where the group took a quiz at the end, as a group, with no individual accountability.
In graduate level courses, instructors often rely on peer feedback and self-reflection as a means of assessment in adult learners who have a higher level of intrinsic motivation. This same method has been suggested as a means of assessment in adult learners engaged in professional development (Kelleher, 2003). This might be a model I could apply to my intervention, but it would rely on multiple people completing the same module at the same time in order to facilitate the peer feedback component.
Self-assessment and peer feedback could serve to assess both the knowledge and affective domains. A module might include guided discussion or self-reflection that would ask learners to probe their initial beliefs about their efficacy and track any evolution in their feelings of efficacy or the values related to different storytime activities. As structuring a storytime to include early literacy skills is a goal of Every Child Ready to Read and other programs aimed at improving storytime outcomes, learners might be asked to provide a storytime outline or script that would include the selected titles, songs, and activities and ask for peer feedback on their choices. Psychomotor might be a bit more difficult, although if students posted videos of themselves conducting storytime and received peer feedback upon their physical presentation of books and other activities during a storytime, this might work as well.
In terms of content, I would begin with the established programs that already exist and are relied upon for professional development during library conferences and local/regional training. Every Child Ready to Read is the most central of these and the vocabulary that I would use would be drawn heavily from their “Play, Talk, Write, Sing, Read” language and guidance. I would also include videos of librarians demonstrated best practices in program delivery and caregiver engagement and access to model program plans and suggested resources participants could use to create their own custom plans. I would also include information about the latest research into literacy development in children, the important role of caregivers, and the importance of the librarian. The focus of my intervention would be to improve the self-efficacy of the librarians, to remind them why what they do is important and to reassure them that resources are available to help. I will, therefore, be looking for strategies that work in the affective domain, where self-efficacy dwells. These might include real-world scenarios and modeling, and clear discussions as to why these early literacy strategies are so important.
Kelleher, J. (2003). A Model for Assessment-Driven Professional Development. Phi Delta Kappan, 84(10), 751–756.