Enduring understandings–where are they in the library’s curriculum?

Sutherland, Shannon


Donham, J. (2010) Enduring understandings–where are they in the library’s curriculum?(FEATURE ARTICLE). Teacher Librarian, 38(1), 15-19.

Enduring understandings–where are they in the library’s curriculum? As I was pondering collection management in my high school library, I wondered where standards fit into the equation. Librarian teachers not only have to encourage students to read and acquire knowledge they need to justify their collections based on educational standards or educational goals. Measuring student outcomes based on educational goals. Based on Ralph Tyler’s (1949) educational theories, the author identifies three main sources of these learning goals: the student, society and those creating the standards. Common Core standards are based on society’s needs to “maintain America’s competitive edge.”

Using TRAILS to Assess Student Learning

Kolling, Kathleen

Curriculum and Assessment


Owen, P.L. (2010). Using TRAILS to assess student learning: A step-by-step guide. LMC, 28(6), 36-38.


TRAILS-9 is a knowledge test made up of multiple choice questions for grades 3,6,9, and 12 that assesses students’ knowledge of five information literacy areas: develop topic; identify potential resources; develop, use and revise search strategies; evaluate sources ad information; and recognize how to use information responsibly. It is great for teachers and librarians to use to capture a large amount of information quickly, to collaborate with classroom teachers, assess student learning, revise our instruction, and show evidence of our library’s impact on student learning. 


Using state test scores and TRAILS-9 scores, librarians can build standards-based lessons to bring to teachers, justifying their collaboration with data analyses. I was pleased to see that formative assessments are out there for librarians to use, specifically related to our instruction, and that they’re free! The four age levels available (Grades 3,6,9, and 12), are perfect check-in points for both teachers and librarians to see well students are receiving/understanding information literacy knowledge- midway through elementary school, the beginning of middle school, and the beginning and end of high school. I will definitely present this to my staff this school year.

Understanding by Design

Hertz-Newman, Jenny


Bowen, Ryan S., (2017). Understanding by Design. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved May 2018 from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/understanding-by-design/.

This is almost like a mini-class in the backwards design model for constructing courses and units of study.  It reminds me of standards based planning/instruction in which instruction is based on the goal of students mastering the standard and lesson follows from that end goal.  This site has both text and video and the main aspects of backwards design are broken down clearly and in an interesting way.  There are also lesson planning templates and ideas for assessment.  I appreciate the focus on design for understanding and critical thinking in this model.


Mason, Ariella


Briggs, S. (2014). 21 Ways to Check for Student Understanding. Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://www.opencolleges. edu.au/informed/features/21-ways-to-check -for-student-understanding/

This article discusses ways to insure that what you are teaching is actually being learned by the students. It argues that tests should not be used as the only method of measuring understanding, and that understanding is best measured during the lesson. Some of the suggestions included: avoid yes/no questions, reflections, summarizations from students, analogies, and several more interactive methods.

I found this article very helpful in this class because we have to do exactly as it says, design methods for measuring understanding outside of the traditional assessment. It provides good ideas not only for the assessment portion of all of the projects, but also the Big Thinks.

Mason, Ariella


Carnegie Mellon University. (n.d.). How to Assess Students’ Learning and Performance. Retrieved February 11, 2018, from https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/ assessment/assesslearning/index.html

This resource provides teachers with suggestions for several different methods to assess student learning. It gives ideas on assignment creation, exams, concept maps, rubrics, and group work.

This resource will be helpful in the completion of projects, giving ideas for assessment that are different than traditional tests. I found it helpful, and would recommend it to others taking this course.

Schloman, B. F., & Gedeon, J. A. (2007). Creating TRAILS. Knowledge Quest, 35(5), 44-47.
It is often difficult to create assessments that are adequate when measuring the skills of students who are learning about information literacy  This article discusses the Trails Assessment which was created to help in the assessment of information literacy skills.  The Trails Assessment was created by Kent State University and is way to gauge a student’s grasp of information literacy. The assessment tool has is freely available resource that is standards based and available through the web. If a teacher uses this tool they can evaluate the skills of their students and what they need to teach them.

Sal Khan: Let’s teach for mastery — not test scores

Lester, Debbie
Khan, S. (2016). Let’s teach for mastery — not test scoresTed.com. Retrieved 19 December 2016, from http://www.ted.com/talks/sal_khan_let_s_teach_for_mastery_not_test_scores?utm_source=tedcomshare&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=tedspread
Sal Khan: Let’s teach for mastery — not test scores
Fill in learning gaps and once you master something move to the next topic or subject. Traditional education models don’t do this. Instead, they teach, do homework, then test. Even though there are gaps, the teacher moves on to the next subject. Many times in math when students have gaps, this causes problems later on in their learning. We wouldn’t  build a house on  a foundation with holes, but we send students on to the next topics even though their foundations aren’t strong.