Category Archives: Value of Academic Libraries

“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.

Reminder: March 7 Assessment in Action Application Deadline

Assessment in Action LogoACRL is seeking applications from all types of higher education institutions for 100 teams to participate in the second year of “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA),” 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 over the course of the 14-month long program, which runs from April 2014-June 2015.

Read full details about participating in the first cohort and apply online by 5 p.m. Central, Friday, March 7.

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