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Audits and Assessment



Organizations, small- and medium-sized enterprises, academic and governmental institutions all have mechanisms and plans for auditing and assessing their activities. But just thinking about what’s involved in such processes can be stressful for those involved. Where should your organization start? What data might be useful? What are the meaningful metrics needed to establish best practices and how should your organization be thinking about them as applied to productivity or workflows? Accountability is fraught with sensitive issues like these. This event will bring together a group of experts from across the information community to share their ideas and experiences regarding what works and what doesn’t.  

Confirmed speakers include Makala Skinner, Senior Analyst, Ithaka; Valrie Minson, Assistant Dean of Assessment and Student Engagement, University of Florida; Gillian Harrison Cain, Director of Member Programs, Atla; and Bill Kasdorf, Principal, Kasdorf & Associates.

Event Sessions

Roundtable Discussion


Valrie Minson

Assistant Dean of Assessment and Student Engagement
University of Florida

Moderated by Jill O'Neill, Director of Content, NISO

The following questions were addressed by our speakers:

  1. Please be prepared to provide the NISO audience with a brief description of your background, your role in your organization or institution and the community that you serve.
  2. Embarking on the process of an audit or of an assessment can be intimidating. The activity may be short or long, conducted formally or informally. In the context of your specific role or organization, how do you begin the process? What is a good starting point for such an activity -- rationale, goals, metrics, development of instruments, etc.?  
  3. In your experience, how do colleagues or clients tend to think about audits or assessment? Is it viewed as something helpful or is it sometimes viewed as more of a barrier to be gotten past? 
  4. What are some of the tips that you might offer to the audience when embarking on an audit or assessment process? Are there roadmaps for gauging time, costs, etc.? 
  5. How do you develop the right instrument for conducting an audit or assessment? How do you know if what you’re working with is appropriate?
  6. A management consultant once told me that a significant part of her role was trying to anticipate what might go wrong at various points in a project. What can go wrong? How do you adapt if something goes awry? 
  7. How do you foster trust and credibility in the process or in the final outcome?
  8. What impact does the need (or desire) for remote working have on this type of activity?
  9. While every project is different, are there particular challenges in presenting results of an audit or assessment exercise? What helps in communicating to colleagues or clients areas for improvement or growth? 
  10. Is there a role for standards setting organizations like NISO in this area? If so, what might be helpful or  useful next steps? 

Additional Information

NISO assumes organizations register as a group. The model assumes that an unlimited number of staff will be watching the live broadcast in a single location, but also includes access to an archived recording of the event for those who may have timing conflicts. 

NISO understands that, during the current pandemic, staff at a number of organizations may be practicing safe social distancing or working remotely. To accommodate those workers, we are allowing registrants to share the sign-on instructions with all colleagues so that they may join the broadcast directly. 

Registrants receive sign-on instructions via email on the Friday prior to the virtual event. If you have not received your instructions by the day before an event, please contact NISO headquarters for assistance via email ( 

Registrants for an event may cancel participation and receive a refund (less $35.00) if the notice of cancellation is received at NISO HQ ( one full week prior to the event date. If received less than 7 days before, no refund will be provided. 

Links to the archived recording of the broadcast are distributed to registrants 24-48 hours following the close of the live event. Access to that recording is intended for internal use of fellow staff at the registrant’s organization or institution. Speaker presentations are posted to the NISO event page.

Broadcast Platform

NISO uses the Zoom platform for purposes of broadcasting our live events. Zoom provides apps for a variety of computing devices (tablets, laptops, etc.) To view the broadcast, you will need a device that supports the Zoom app. Attendees may also choose to listen just to audio on their phones. Sign-on credentials include the necessary dial-in numbers, if that is your preference. Once notified of their availability, recordings may be downloaded from the Zoom platform to your machine for local viewing.