Contextual info lit

Soldiers in training
By Staff Sgt. Richard Wrigley ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Last week I ended the post with a reference to the K-12 context.  The theme of context also came up in a recent webinar (Hinchliffe & Brown, 2016).

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Karen Brown (Dominican University) discussed collaborative team-based assessment.  They described how a collaborative assessment project requires:

  1. Team members with diverse perspectives
  2. Stakeholder buy-in from clear directions and realistic expectations
  3. Alignment with institutional priorities and mission
  4. A capable team leader/facilitator
  5. Political skill/organizational knowledge

Note how items three and five directly address the larger institutional context, with item one implying it.

The presenters spoke of “evidence-based advocacy,” using the results of assessment to prove your value to relevant stakeholders.  Doing so implies knowing what evidence matters most to which stakeholders.  Again, context matters.

The ACRL Framework came out of the need to consider the larger “information ecosystem” (Association of College & Research Libraries, 2015, Introduction, para. 1).  For example the soldiers pictured above don’t work in the same environment that civilians do.  We work in a different environment than do those outside of higher education, and USM is a specific context.  In short neither assessment nor information use happen in a vacuum.


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015).  Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from ACRL website:

Hinchliffe, L. J., & Brown, K. (2016, November 16). Team-based assessment: Collaborating for a campus message about student learning [Archived

presentation].  Retrieved from

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