Assessment Management Systems: Questions to Spark Librarian Engagement
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In recent years, ever-increasing demands for accountability have had an impact on all sectors of higher education. As a result, assessment has become central to the work of higher education institutions nationwide. Initially, many institutions scrambled to gather whatever assessment data they could find, and the handling of that data was somewhat haphazard. Now, institutions recognize that assessment data must be carefully collected, stored, organized, analyzed, communicated, and acted upon. To achieve this goal, many institutions purchase assessment management systems (AMSs). Librarians, who might otherwise be stymied in their efforts to participate in campus-wide assessment initiatives, can leverage their selection skills to help their institutions choose an AMS. In contrast to many higher education professionals, librarians are experienced selectors and can provide valuable input to their institutions on the identification and evaluation of AMSs. Likewise, librarians can participate in the use of AMSs as fully as other faculty and professionals on campus. Many librarians are just starting to learn ways in which they can use AMSs to collect, manage, and report library data. Librarians may not be sure how to begin investigating AMSs or get involved in campuswide AMS conversations. To this end, the authors offer some initial, practical questions that may help librarians engage in AMS exploration.