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Assessing Class and Course Libguides According to Bloom’s Revised and Digital Taxonomies


Given the current popularity and prevalence of Springshare’s Libguides, and the ability to create subsequent class or course guides, questions arise about the effectiveness of such pages. Librarians have expended time and effort in creating thousands of these instructional guides. In addition, given the collaborative nature of the tool, librarians have freely shared (and copied) numerous pages at an amazing rate. Yet, outside of page count hits, it appears that little has been done to assess the effectiveness of these pages. Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy provide framework for reviewing and considering class/course guide content and its relationship to information literacy, student learning outcomes and levels of learning. This extensive survey of over 500 pages from eight southeastern land grant institutions*, along with two historically black colleges in the region**, attempts to formally assess class and course guides according to the Bloom construct. The study has provided a number of data points for discussion, including a percentage breakdown of where pages fall in terms of the taxonomies, the prevalence, or lack of, explicit and/or implicit information literacy learning outcomes, prominent vocabulary used by creators, whether or not active learning is encouraged, and if student assessment/feedback is incorporated within the guides. Preliminary results indicate the majority of class and course guides reflect the most basic domain of cognitive skills and require little student engagement. In addition, while student learning outcomes are often stated explicitly, further analysis suggests these outcomes are not addressed in actual content. The paper concludes with suggestions for best practice in creating more effective class and course guides, encouraging and demonstrating a higher order of thinking and engagement for students. This research project answers a number of questions, but also raises a number of questions that will hopefully provide additional “food for thought” for future consideration.