AUGUSTANA INFORMATION LITERACY - WASSAIL

WASSAIL / Download WASSAIL 3.1 / Things to Consider / Tutorials / Take a Test Drive / Augustana's Committment / Recognition & Awards / Contact Information /


WASSAIL (wassail.augustana.ualberta.ca)

WASSAIL is a database-driven, web-based application employing PHP, MySQL, and Javascript/AJAX technologies. It was created to manage question and response data from the Augustana Library's library instruction sessions, pre- and post-tests from credit-bearing information literacy (IL) courses, and user surveys. It has now expanded beyond its original function and is being used to manage question and  response data from a variety of settings. Its most powerful feature is the ability to generate sophisticated customized reports.

WASSAIL is now featured in a Wikipedia article.

WASSAIL 3.1 is available for download. Featuring upgraded functionality in several key areas, this latest version allows users increased flexibilty in creating questions and in generating web questionnaires. Requesting email notification when web questionnaires are submitted, uploading documents to web questionnaires, and customizing options for quantitative responses are a few of the many revisions made to this edition.

WASSAIL enables users to:

  • Track assessment data by course, by instructor and by academic year
  • Collect and manage institution-specific questions (including Likert-style, open-ended, subjective or qualitative questions, or pre-defined multiple-choice-style  questions)
  • Group the questions into institution-specific templates
  • Apply the templates to individual courses to gather data through surveys administered on paper or via the Web
  • Generate queries/reports on the resulting data including:
    • Statistical analysis for each question (exempting qualitative)
    • Graphical display of statistical analysis for each question (exempting qualitative)
    • Listing of responses by question for open-ended, subjective or qualitative questions 
  • Pre-/post-test data analysis with the Gains Analysis function (compares the pre-test and post-test data sets to display the net learning by students)
  • Categorize like questions using structured controlled vocabulary (such as traditional Library of Congress Subject Headings) and also user-defined folksonomic tags (a feature enjoyed by Web 2.0 advocates for its flexibility).
  • Align questions with the standards and outcomes as outlined in the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Standards.  

New features in WASSAIL 3

  • Create custom URLs for web-based questionnaires
  • Use enhanced formatting options
  • Enable email alerts to help manage response submissions
  • Receive uploaded documents through web-based questionnaires
  • Now properly runs in a subdirectory
  • When printing, the footer now appears at the bottom of the last printed page
  • Gains Analysis parameter sets now display ID numbers for templates and courses
  • Online questionnaires / web forms can now be edited after being generated. Only accounts with the "Write Unconditionally" have this ability.
  • Responses to qualitative questions now have ids associated with answers
  • Modified styling of reports so quantitative and qualitative reports now look more similar

In an ongoing pilot, Augustana has hosted a number of academic libraries in WASSAIL, with all kinds and sizes of academic libraries represented. Their feedback has been invaluable from the developmental perspective, as has their buy-in to WASSAIL as a unique tool which provides important student learning and programmatic assessment data analysis for informed evidence-based decision-making.

WASSAIL is now available for local server installation at other institutions and for their further development of WASSAIL.

Those who would like to use WASSAIL but are unable to host the software locally are encouraged to get in touch with Nancy Goebel (nancy.goebel @ ualberta.ca).

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Download WASSAIL 3.1

WASSAIL 3.1 is available as a downloadable, installable open source project, licensed under Creative Commons GPL 2.0.

Be sure to keep current by registering here for WASSAIL updates.

As with all open source software, there is no guarantee regarding the quality or safety of the WASSAIL code and the University of Alberta is not responsible for any damage caused by WASSAIL.

Installation instructions (Also included in the download package)
Step-by-step instructions on how to get a local copy of WASSAIL 3.1 running on your own server.

Full source code package (current version: 3.1)
Everything you need to get WASSAIL 3.1 running, including help files. Please read the installation instructions first to ensure your server is capable of running WASSAIL.

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Things to Consider

If you are thinking of using WASSAIL, here are some things to consider:

  • Decide what user groups you want to assess/survey.
  • Discuss WASSAIL with faculty and colleagues who may want to participate.
  • Plan the logistics of administering the test, whether in web or paper  format.
  • Determine how you will survey students.
  • Obtain ethics approval from your institution to ensure you have the right to  use data collected in WASSAIL for research purposes.

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Tutorials for WASSAIL 3

WASSAIL 3 tutorials are available in Flash, QuickTime, and Windows Media below. WASSAIL 2.0 tutorials are still available on the archives page.

Chapter Duration Formats
Introduction & Overview 2:25 Flash
QuickTime
Windows Media
 Courses    
Adding a Course 1:21 Flash
QuickTime
Windows Media
Editing & Deleting Courses 1:08 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
 Questions
   
Overview of Module 1:17 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Building Questions 2:18 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Adding Answers 2:03 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Editing Questions 2:16 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Displaying Answers & Filtering 1:43 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
 Templates
   
Creating Templates 2:01 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Printing Questionnaires 2:28 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Online Questionnaires 3:15 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
 Responses
   
Adding Response Sets 2:43 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Editing Response Sets 1:53 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
 Reports
   
Reports Module Overview 2:42 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Demographic Reports 2:30 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
 Gains
   
Basic Gains Analysis 2:32 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media
Intermediate Gains Analysis 1:27 Flash
QuickTime

Windows Media

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Take a Test Drive

If you would like to give WASSAIL a test drive you may do so by going to the WASSAIL log-in page and using:

username: guest password: tryWASSAIL

Please note that any data you enter will not necessarily be there later. This is intended to simply to give you a first-hand sense of what WASSAIL is about.

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Augustana Library's Commitment to WASSAIL:

The Augustana Library is highly committed to the successful development and implementation of WASSAIL in many ways within Augustana, the broader University of Alberta and beyond. WASSAIL is an initiative that  has been supported in its development by the Augustana Campus, the University of Alberta Libraries, and through grant funding from the University of Alberta and the Canadian Library Association. Securing funding as it becomes available for WASSAIL support and development is an ongoing and high priority. The Augustana Library is sharing WASSAIL for the enhancement of student learning assessment and scholarship for individuals, institutions, and multi-institutional collaborations.

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Recognition & Awards

WASSAIL and its developers have recently been honoured with multiple awards. To read more, please click here.

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Contact Information

Please e-mail us about WASSAIL at: wassail@ualberta.ca, or contact:

Nancy Goebel, Head Librarian/Human Rights Advisor
Augustana Campus, University of Alberta
4901 46 Ave Camrose, AB, Canada T4V 2R3
phone: 780.679.1189 fax: 780.679.1597
e-mail: nancy.goebel@ualberta.ca

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