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Enter here questions, comments, or other thoughts about creating rubrics for assessing library services.
4/3/2012 7:58:29 PM

Bonnie Foster
Bonnie Foster
Posts: 3
Hello group! I've started reviewing some of the rubrics available on the RAILS site and as our facilitator for this week, I'm going to start off with a question regarding my project (Summer Reading Program at Fulton Public Library)...

How important is including the budget on the rubric, if no budget has ever been discussed regarding the SRP? The current program at FPL, and the director who has been there no more than 6 months, claimed that the budget was not so much in question but the successfulness of the program itself. Based on those conversations, I would have to say the most important criteria is:

Registration/Participation - Teens, Kids
Attendance at Planned Activities
Collaboration from Schools
Collaboration from Community Vendors

Thoughts? Opinions?
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4/3/2012 11:37:23 PM

carliebrary
carliebrary
Posts: 2
Hi Bonnie, Sorry I'm late to the party! I've been working hard on my assessment plan, like everyone I'm sure I wonder is the budget more of an input than an outcome? I would say it is very important to stay on budget, but it's not really a major component of assessment.

I agree, enrollment seems to be a common thread. For me, I'm still working through how to do this, but would like to tie in marketing and learning outcomes. So enrollment will be there, as will timing, and levels of learning (define/plan/integrate/confidence)...or at least that's what I've got right now. I'm sure it'll change!

Carlie
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4/4/2012 10:21:52 AM

erinbohman
erinbohman
Posts: 2
I'd have to agree with Carlie - I think that a budget should probably remain a part of other planning aspects of the service rather than being included in the rubric. That is, unless a budget assessment is a part of the plan itself!

So far, i haven't tied in any of my marketing outcomes, mostly because I'm just trying to do the planning outcomes well, and adding in marketing outcomes seems to be too much for me to get done in time! But I wonder if most people are planning on tying in marketing outcomes into their rubrics and assessment plans?
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4/4/2012 2:45:01 PM

carliebrary
carliebrary
Posts: 2
I'm starting to have second thoughts about my previous comment.

It might be the lack of sleep talking here, but it seems to me the rubric, when applied to the entire system or service, takes into account many aspects of the plan: scalability, use, satisfaction, marketing, learning if it's applicable, staff, and yes, sometimes budget. In my case, budget doesn't really have an impact, but I could put in an indicator about staff time because if staff time is high and user satisfaction is low, then some serious changes would be required.

I also want to go all the way back to my user needs statistics to see if I can tie it into the rubric. It might be valuable to track statistics/staff anecdotes for multimedia questions asked at our desk in the rubric. The idea is that basic questions decrease and advanced questions increase, which in turn would mean the multimedia service or system would evolve, adding in more sophisticated series as users learn more.

I don't know if that would actually happen, but having an rubric to cross-reference staff anecdotes, stats, faculty impressions, and user confidence levels might give a really clearly indicate to decision makers if changes (hopefully increases!) are needed.

And I don't think I'll include all of my outcomes in the rubric...I'll talk about that more in Blackboard once I've submitted my finished rubric.

Whew, time to write my rubric, thanks for letting me talk through that one!
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4/5/2012 8:45:20 PM

Bonnie Foster
Bonnie Foster
Posts: 3
Ok, to Erin first... I don't know. On one hand, I think that the assessment of the marketing is necessary, but is that what is needed for this particular assessment plan? When we assess the success (seriously, say it 5x fast) of a marketing campaign at work, we are looking at how many impressions (homes) did that letter hit? Did the marketing reach homeowners? Now, in the overall assessment, it seems to be going back to the project as a whole. How many more homeowners are going to the library because of their original participation in...the summer reading program? <-- unbelievably selfish of me, but I'm trying to answer my own questions for myself

Hiya Carlie! Your thoughts on the budget really helped me out. I'm considering backburnering (?) the budget on mine, because they don't even have the staff power to do more than just get a general increase in enrollment first. I've been overthinking this for a really long time & my plan (in it's entirety) is going to focus on just increasing enrollment and attendance and collaboration. This is only because if they can utilize this plan in the near future, the assessment of this plan can be used in an attempt to get their budget increased (it was slashed by $80k back in December). The only time budget will be mentioned is in it's cost-effectiveness from collaboration with local vendors and the community as a whole.

Oh, please tell me if this is wrong!
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4/5/2012 9:17:11 PM

plkandel
plkandel
Posts: 2
My feeling is that budget should be an integral part of planning for results scenarios, but should not be part of the rubric. The rubric focuses on the overall goals of the project. If one of your key, measured goals of the project is cost savings, then that would count. But the budget itself seems like something we assume based on the extensive planning done elsewhere. If we get it wrong it needs to be addressed, and it may force us to revise the rubric, but it does not stand on its own as a focus of the rubric.

Does that make any sense?
edited by plkandel on 4/5/2012
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4/5/2012 9:26:10 PM

plkandel
plkandel
Posts: 2
Seems to me like the budget is a constraint or driver of how aggressive your rubric can be, but it is not an actual part of the rubric. Maybe you can make multiple rubrics, saying "this is what we should aim for with budget x, this is what we should aim for with budget y". In fact, I have seen approaches like this from project leaders pitching new technologies to executives committees at Intel, and it often works by getting the executives to really think through the direct ramifications of budget decisions.

In general though, budget seems to me to be a category separate from overall project success. If you see that you need more money than expected to succeed, you can say "we currently stand at the low end of expectations as defined in this rubric. We need a bigger budget to move up."

bmfoster wrote:

Hiya Carlie! Your thoughts on the budget really helped me out. I'm considering backburnering (?) the budget on mine, because they don't even have the staff power to do more than just get a general increase in enrollment first. I've been overthinking this for a really long time & my plan (in it's entirety) is going to focus on just increasing enrollment and attendance and collaboration. This is only because if they can utilize this plan in the near future, the assessment of this plan can be used in an attempt to get their budget increased (it was slashed by $80k back in December). The only time budget will be mentioned is in it's cost-effectiveness from collaboration with local vendors and the community as a whole.
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4/6/2012 10:51:55 AM

brendasue
brendasue
Posts: 1
Paul, you make a valuable point here. Budgets will always be the nagging voice in the back of project planners mind, but they should not be an inhibitor in the rubric. Creating different rubrics, or even project plans, based on budgets is a great idea. Professor Oakleaf stated, at some point in the class, to always have an idea of what you would do with a project if you suddenly came into money. I think her words were The ones who have a plan on how they would spend the money are usually the ones that get the money. Budget constraints should not necessarily affect the outcomes of a rubric. However they may impact the assessment methods used, and therefore the data collected from these assessment methods.
Does anyone have assessment plans that cost money to implement?
edited by brendasue on 4/6/2012
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4/6/2012 5:36:35 PM

Bonnie Foster
Bonnie Foster
Posts: 3
THAT is an excellent question, Brenda! What kind of assessment plan would cost money to implement? What is the need of this particular assessment plan?
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4/6/2012 10:18:47 PM

erinbohman
erinbohman
Posts: 2
Brenda, you just addressed one of the questions that has been floating around in my head for some time now. ALL of my assessments will cost money, if only in staff time, but they will use considerable staff time at that. I find myself thinking that there should be a budget for the assessment plan, but this is something that I definitely don't have in my project plan at the moment. Is this something that we should consider adding?
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