The first participants in ACRL’s Assessment in Action program presented results from their projects at poster sessions at ALA Annual in Las Vegas, and their results are also being disseminated in library publications and conference presentations. We’ re thrilled to see more value-related research making its way into the world, and will be featuring synopses of projects and a brief Q&A with team leaders here at the Value blog over the next year. You can also read full descriptive reports for this and other AiA projects, along with a synthesis of all the first year AiA projects


 

Bridging the Critical Thinking Gap: Assessing the Integration of Information Literacy into the Curriculum for At-Risk Students

Arizona State University created a new Critical Thinking course for at-risk freshmen in 2010. They built information literacy skills into the course curriculum as well as many levels of student learning assessment. They sought to demonstrate, with data, how the library’s involvement was contributing to the course learning objectives, and whether students who completed the course persisted at a higher rate than their at-risk peers. The data collected and analyzed for the project showed that at-risk students who successfully completed the critical thinking course with an integrated information literacy component demonstrated increased knowledge of and confidence in their information literacy skills, recognized the value of those particular skills to their current and future academic work, and persisted at a higher rate than those who do not take the course.

Julie Tharp, Undergraduate Services Librarian at Arizona State University

Julie Tharp, Undergraduate Services Librarian at Arizona State University

Q&A with Julie Tharp of Arizona State University

Q: What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?

A: I didn’t have much experience doing assessment, much less on such a grand scale, so it was a big learning curve. The training we received during our first 2-day workshop at ALA was invaluable where we learned how to follow the Assessment Cycle, and practiced writing Inquiry Questions, Learning Outcomes, etc. But I would say the greatest challenge was the process of hashing out and writing those details with my team.  A related challenge was figuring out what tools we were going to need to develop that would adequately measure whether our student learning outcomes were met.

Q: What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?

A: Do it! It is rewarding in so many ways: it is an excellent opportunity to learn how to do a complex assessment; work closely with key colleagues across your campus; make connections you probably wouldn’t otherwise (for example, I would not have been able to get direct access to people in our Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness to provide the persistence data, if not for the AiA project); and you realize firsthand how you truly are contributing to student success, and have data to prove it!

Q: What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action?

A: Momentum. My mindset/approach to every service I provide now is within the framework of its relationship to student success. And I have many ideas…

 

Assessment in Action: Libraries and Student Affairs working together

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May 082015
 

The first participants in ACRL’s Assessment in Action program presented results from their projects at poster sessions at ALA Annual in Las Vegas, and their results are also being disseminated in library publications and conference presentations. We’ re thrilled to see more value-related research making its way into the world, and will be featuring synopses of projects and a brief Q&A with team leaders here at the Value blog over the next year. You can also read full descriptive reports for this and other AiA projects, along with a synthesis of all the first year AiA projects


Cross Campus Collaborations for Student Success

Indiana University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Division of Student Affairs collaborated on the development of outreach events, educational activities and games to engage students, increase their use of the virtual and physical library, and pursue our shared mission of providing support for student success. The aim of the project was to engage students, increase student’s information literacy skills, and student use of library spaces, resources, and services, and hence increase the likelihood of students’ academic success. This project aligns with IUP Academic Affairs division’s strategic plan which promotes supporting academic success through extra-curricular activities and fostering a culture of assessment and collaboration between divisions.

Q&A with Theresa McDevitt of Indiana University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Q: What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?

A: Main challenges faced when doing this project swirled around the issue of how to integrate AiA objectives into the pre-existing and competing existing objectives and timelines of the already heavily committed team members.

Q: What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?

A: The number one recommendation is to “BE CALM AND SURVEY ON” Knowing nothing about other people’s projects I feel comfortable predicting that it is likely that what they will end up finding out something that is useful, but it might not be what they expected to find, and that it will be OK.

Sometimes something that seems like it was not a success at all can lay the groundwork for something very successful in the future.

Q: What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action?

A: The most important thing I gained was an appreciation of how people from different university divisions can all bring something unique and valuable to a project that can make it better than what you would do with your regular colleagues and a habit of always remembering to include some kind of assessment in all of my classes and outreach activities.

Theresa McDevitt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Theresa McDevitt, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Assessment in Action: Effectiveness of Library IL in a Composition Class

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Apr 282015
 
The first participants in ACRL’s Assessment in Action program presented results from their projects at poster sessions at ALA Annual in Las Vegas, and their results are also being disseminated in library publications and conference presentations. We’ re thrilled to see more value-related research making its way into the world, and will be featuring synopses of projects and a brief Q&A with team leaders here at the Value blog over the next year. You can also read full descriptive reports for this and other AiA projects, along with a synthesis of all the first year AiA projects

Led by librarians at Saint Mary’s College of California (SMC), this project aimed to achieve the information literacy learning goals as dictated in the College’s Core Curriculum, to be reviewed by Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). To this end, SMC librarians compared two versions of library instruction in ENGL5 “Argument & Research” sections to answer the primary inquiry question: “How effective are our methods of embedding the “information evaluation and research practices” and “critical thinking” learning outcomes into our library instruction?”

Elise Wong, Cataloging and Reference Librarian at St. Mary's College of Caifornia

Elise Wong, Cataloging and Reference Librarian at St. Mary’s College of Caifornia

Q&A with Elise Wong of St. Mary’s College of California

Q: What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?

A: I took over the AiA team leader role from my colleague who accepted another position in the middle of the Assessment in Action project. It was exciting for me to reestablish the pace and connection with other team members to continue the planning and implementation. However, my greatest challenge during the course of the project was coming to terms with the fact the results and analyses would not be ready at the completion of our AiA participation. Although our project was completed 2 months later, the sense of accomplishment was no less amazing!

Q: What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?

A: “Assessment” and “Student Learning” are the buzz words that every librarian should be aware of. I highly recommend libraries to collaborate with campus administrators and faculty members to establish a multi-level assessment initiatives from departmental to institutional level.

Q: What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action?

A: The most rewarding experience for me is the process of learning the different components of project planning and management. The cohort model is really effective in cultivating a sense of belonging and communities of practice as the cohort grew together intellectually

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