Category Archives: Value of Academic Libraries

ACRL Seeks New “Assessment in Action” Facilitator

Assessment in Action LogoACRL is seeking applications for a new designer/facilitator of the program the “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA). Applicants wishing to join the design/facilitation team will have engaged with the AiA program during the first or second year in some capacity (e.g. team leader, team member, library dean/director, researcher, etc.). Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

In September 2012, ACRL was awarded a National Leadership Demonstration Grant of $249,330 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for this three- year project, undertaken in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The grant supports the design, implementation and evaluation of a program to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy. Year 1 of the grant included 75 institutions, in Year 2 there were 73 institutions selected, and Year 3 – which begins in April 2015 – will serve up to 125 institutions.

The current five member design/facilitation team (see biographies) seeks to add one additional member to participate in Year 3 of the AiA program as well as assist in planning future programs. The design/facilitation team works virtually and in person in designing and facilitating the 14-month long experience for each of the cohorts.

Scope of work
Serving as a member of the curriculum design/facilitation team is a continuous year-round commitment of approximately 2-5 hours/week with more concentrated time before webinars and in-person sessions. The work involves regular planning calls and in person design meetings, developing materials (i.e., exercises, handouts, and presentations), being active in the online community, aiding in the development of regular webcasts, and participating during the in person events for the AiA librarian team leaders.

Under the terms of the grant, ACRL reimburses curriculum designer/facilitators for a portion of their travel costs to extend the time we anticipate they would already be spending at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, ALA Annual Conference, and ACRL 2015 Conference. Additional travel funding may be available for non-librarian designer/facilitators. ACRL will provide an honorarium that takes into account the full range of duties: curriculum design, virtual participation, and year-long facilitation responsibilities. The specific terms and responsibilities of both parties will be articulated in an annually renewable contract with ACRL.

Expectations
While Year 3 of AiA is built on the first two years and the foundation is in place, we are looking to adjust the curriculum based on the new facilitator’s experience as a participant and to plan future programs.

Most of the work involved in facilitating the efforts of participants in the AiA learning community will take place virtually (online asynchronous classroom, webcasts). However, members of the curriculum design/facilitation team must be available to attend in person events for librarian team leaders, which are held in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conferences. A full-day meeting will be scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday June 25, 2015, 1-5 p.m. and Friday, June 26, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: San Francisco, CA. Cohort 3, first meeting.
  • Thursday January 7, 2016, 1-5 p.m. and Friday, January 8, 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Boston, MA. Cohort 3, second meeting.
  • June 23-28, 2016: Orlando, FL. Cohort 3, poster sessions.

In addition to the above meetings for selected AiA librarian team leaders, the full design/facilitation team meets separately as follows:

  • A full-day planning retreat March 25, 2015, in conjunction with the ACRL National Conference in Portland, Oregon.
  • Preparation/debrief meetings are scheduled at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference before and after the events for AiA librarian team leaders. Additional planning meetings may also be scheduled.
  • Final program/wrap-up in conjunction with ALA 2016 Annual Conference.

Qualifications 
The successful curriculum designer/facilitator must be conversant with issues and challenges of libraries in higher education. They must possess:

  • Willingness to participate throughout the length of the AiA program (in addition to assisting in rollout of follow up programs), virtually and in person, in designing and facilitating the 14-month long experience for each librarian cohort and institutional team members.
  • Experience serving as a convener and facilitator of educational activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and deliver events, activities, and modules that are experiential, support action learning, and foster reflection among learners.
  • An ability to foster connections and create learning environments where teams can exchange ideas and share experiences and information.
  • Rich knowledge of the dynamic nature of higher education assessment, including a keen awareness of the forces outside the sector driving for greater accountability.
  • A nuanced understanding of how individual units on campus can collaborate to best demonstrate and communicate their contributions to the overall goals and missions of their institutions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work with diverse group members, and commitment to developing strong, collegial relationships with curriculum design team members and the participants in the AiA learning community.
  • Working knowledge of the issues and challenges of libraries in higher education.

Candidates should highlight additional qualifications in areas such as:

  • Experience designing and delivering curriculum for an audience that includes librarians as well as other campus stakeholders.
  • Experience facilitating learning over time and in multiple formats (i.e., beyond the one-off workshop).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of multiple assessment methods, both quantitative and qualitative, data collection strategies, and analytical techniques. A deep appreciation of the integral relationship between assessment questions, data acquisition, and analytical methodologies.
  • Experience analyzing existing administrative data which emanates from different campus units (i.e., libraries and office of institutional research).
  • Experience designing protocols and gathering new data through questionnaires, semi structured interviews, and focus groups.
  • Adept at communicating and presenting assessment project results.

The success of the applicant’s own AiA project is not a determining factor in the selection. Many projects did not fully reach their goals. The team seeks a new designer/facilitator who learned from their project, analyzed results for cultural, strategic, and assessment challenges, and is helping their library move forward with assessment.

Apply
To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A letter addressing the following questions (two pages maximum).
    1. Why you want to become a member of the team for ACRL’s Assessment in Action program?
    2. What was the role you played in the AiA project on your campus?
    3. What contributions could you make to this program that align with the qualifications?
    4. Are there relevant experiences of which you would like us to be aware?
  2. Your resume.
  3. The names and contact information for two references who have direct knowledge of your qualifications for this role, including one with direct knowledge of your skills as a facilitator/teacher.

The single PDF application must submitted via email by 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, to ACRL Program Coordinator Chase Ollis at collis@ala.org.

ACRL has formed a small review team, which includes member leaders and staff, to consider applications. The process includes checking references and a telephone interview. The group will make selections and notify all applicants of their status by Friday, February 20, 2015.

If you have questions about this position, the Assessment in Action program, or ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, please contact Kara Malenfant, ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives, at kmalenfant@ala.org or (312) 280-2510.

“Assessment in Action” Project Posters at ALA Annual Conference

Assessment in Action LogoComing to the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas? Be sure to see assessment project posters presented by the first participants in ACRL’s program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA). Librarian-led teams carried out assessment projects over 14 months at their community colleges, colleges and universities. The projects examined the impact of the library (instruction, reference, collections, space, and more) on student learning/success. Part of the 75 teams will present posters during each time slot:

Assessment in Action: Year One Project Posters, Session I
Friday, June 27, 2014, 2-4pm
BALLY-Gold Room

Assessment in Action: Year One Project Posters, Session II
Saturday, June 28, 2014, 8:30-10:30am
BALLY-Skyview 6

Learn more about these assessment projects from the abstracts in the poster guide (pdf). Additionally, teams are submitting online final project reports, which will be analyzed and synthesized in a report released by ACRL later this year. The individual reports (including poster images) will also be available in a searchable online collection.

ACRL is undertaking AiA in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The program, a cornerstone of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Increase Your Commitment to Students; Seek a FIPSE Grant

The United States Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education recently announced a new Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) competition First in the World (FITW). The program will provide multi-year grants to institutions of higher education to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes, make college more affordable for students and families, and develop an evidence base of effective practices. The grant announcement explains that innovations can take many forms, such as those that improve teaching and learning by redesigning courses and student supports or by leveraging technological developments.

The FITW competition aims to increase postsecondary access, affordability and completion for underrepresented, underprepared or low-income students at institutions across the country. Applications are due June 30, and FIPSE is holding pre-application webinars May 28 and June 4 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. EDT. See the First in the World website and the official Federal Register Notice for more details.

While ACRL is not eligible to apply, academic librarians could work with their own institutions and consortia to seek FITW funding. With $75 million dollars available, this could be a powerful mechanism for you to implement innovative strategies and effective practices which improve student outcomes. Use FITW as a catalyst to transform student learning, pedagogy, and instructional practices through creative and innovative collaborations on your campus. Leverage this as an opportunity to demonstrate alignment with and impact on institutional outcomes.

Think of ACRL when you develop your proposal. We can serve as a contractor to support your project in the following ways:

You may think of other ways ACRL could support you through our existing programs and services. Or perhaps you would benefit from having ACRL involved in a new way, as a full partner to offer more substantial support. To pursue any of these options as you develop your FITW proposals, be in touch with Kara Malenfant, ACRL’s senior strategist for special initiatives at kmalenfant@ala.org or 800-545-2433 ext 2510.

Teams Selected for Second Year of ACRL “Assessment in Action” Learning Community

Assessment in Action LogoACRL has selected 73 institutional teams to participate in the second year of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA). The program is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and carried out in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The teams, representing all types of institutions, come from 34 states and 1 Canadian province. For a list of currently confirmed institutions, see the AiA program webpage.

In their applications each institution identified a team, consisting of a librarian and at least two additional team members as determined by the campus (e.g., faculty member, student affairs representative, institutional researchers or academic administrator). They also identified goals for their action learning projects.

“The top applications were distinguished by the team composition, their readiness and the quality of their project goals. We also looked for strong institutional support to help the teams see their projects through to completion.” said Terri Fishel, vice chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee and library director at Macalester College. “The application reviewers sought action learning projects with the greatest potential to contribute to the greater library and higher education community.”

The proposed topics for selected institutions include:

  • How does use of the libraries’ online resources correlate with measures of student success such as higher retention rate and higher GPAs?
  • What are the most effective instructional methods for teaching evidence-based practice in health sciences curricula? How are outcomes different with traditional (face-to-face) library instruction and with a flipped classroom learning experience?
  • For non-traditional students in nursing and science classes, how effective are library interventions at meeting information literacy needs? How close is our institution to meeting the goal that all students are information literate upon graduation? What impact can the library claim?
  • Does the library program to support first-year experience (creating book displays on  multidisciplinary approaches identified in the General Studies curriculum and a corresponding assignment) help first-year students develop a basic understanding of our college’s approach to the liberal arts?
  • How much of an impact does the library space have on student learning? What is the nature of that impact and what is the value of different kinds of study space to our students, (individual v. collaborative, noisy v. quiet, and technology rich v. areas free of technology)?
  • Did IL instruction change student behavior during the research phase of each assignment? Did it contribute to student confidence and belief that they can succeed in college? Does increased individual contact with librarians impact their engagement in the research process?
  • Do undergraduate students enrolled in our English as a Second Language academic reading and writing course demonstrate improved academic level information literacy skills necessary for a successful transition to required Composition I after participation in the library’s information literacy program?
  • Given our university’s commitment to MOOC’s, how has the use of asynchronous video lectures impacted student success (with a focus on persistence) and content mastery, looking at asynchronous learning objects?

To ensure project results are disseminated to the broader community, each institutional team will submit a final report and each librarian team leader will prepare and deliver a poster at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference. The AiA program, part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, employs a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network over the course of the 14-month long program, which runs from April 2014-June 2015. The librarians will participate as cohort members in a one-year professional development program that includes team-based activities carried out on their campuses. An important component of the AiA program is establishing a learning community where librarian team leaders have the freedom to connect, risk, and learn together.

“It is an honor to be working with librarian team leaders from such a diverse group of institutions pursuing these intriguing projects,” said Lisa Hinchliffe, co-lead facilitator in the AiA program and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “We are strongly committed to establishing an environment which supports the development of a community of practice and shared learning and look forward to building on the success of the first year of the AiA program with this set of participants.”

Learn more about the AiA program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference during the session Update on Value of Academic Libraries Initiative on Sunday, June 29, 1:30 — 2:30 p.m. and during poster sessions by first year participants on Friday, June 27, 2-4pm, and Saturday, June 28, 8:30-10:30am.

AiA is a three year program, and ACRL will be selecting additional institutions to participate in the 2015-2016 class. Stay tuned for an announcement in January 2015 with more details on how to apply for the next round.

Assessment in Action application extended to March 21, 2014

Assessment in Action LogoThe application deadline for the ACRL program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA),” has been extended to 5 p.m. Central, Friday, March 21, 2014. During this 14-month program, made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and described on the ACRL website, librarians will each lead a campus team in developing and implementing an action learning project which examines the impact of the library on student success and contributes to assessment activities on campus. They will be supported in this work by a professional development program with sequenced learning events and activities at key junctures. The AiA program, part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, employs a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network.

Read full details about participating in the second year and apply online by 5 p.m. Central, Friday, March 21, 2014. Contact ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives Kara Malenfant with questions.

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