We asked participants in ACRL’s Assessment in Action (AiA) to share a few thoughts on their experience. Here is what Nancy Goebel from the University of Alberta Libraries had to say about her project: “Can the Personal Librarian program help make the University of Alberta Libraries more relevant and supportive for students in specific populations?”

Augustana Campus Faculty Portraits

Augustana Campus Faculty – Nancy Goebel

Abstract: The Personal Librarian for Aboriginal Students (PLAS) program aimed to deepen Aboriginal (native) students’ engagement with library services, collections and services. In the PLAS program, incoming Aboriginal students were partnered with a “Personal Librarian”.

Most weeks in the academic/project year students were emailed a short hint on how to do research and, always, an encouragement to contact their Personal Librarian. Participating students and Personal Librarians were surveyed at the end of the academic/project year.

  1. What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?  AiA was the biggest project, by far, that I have been involved in which included partners exclusively outside of the library and across multiple campuses.  I think that both of these factors will influence how I think about most of my work for the rest of my career.  I will more naturally consider how the project might be strengthened with non-library partners and considering the needs of multiple campuses adds complexity but is true to the full needs of the campuses’ users and that consideration is essential.
  2. What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?  I am a big advocate for pilot programs.  Not to say that everything can or should be spontaneous or not fully-planned but rather create opportunities for good ideas to have a chance to flourish.  To be efficient and effective with resources we must not be wasteful so good planning and creative thinking are core components in pilots too.
  3. What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action? AiA was not my first consideration of the importance of assessment in my career. However, it made a lasting impact in terms of the consideration of assessment now being front and center with all work that I do.  I think it is important to have evidence to support the work we do and also use evidence to inform what might be the best route to take even if it is not the preferred route by whatever constituent.

Thank you very much Nancy for the excellent post and congratulations on completing AiA!

 

Jamie Segno photoWe asked participants in ACRL’s Assessment in Action (AiA) to share a few thoughts on their experience. Here is what Jamie Segno from the Alvin Sherman Library, Research & Information Technology Center at Nova Southeastern University had to say about her project: “Library Boot Camp” Optional Research Workshops on Student Learning:

Abstract: Library Boot Camp is an optional research workshop offered six times per semester to help students improve their information literacy skills. By administering pre/post tests before and after each session, this project investigated the impact of Library Boot Camp on students’ ability to use library resources to effectively find needed information. Despite low attendance at the workshops, a preliminary comparison of the paired test results revealed nearly a 60 percent increase, suggesting the instruction was beneficial.

  1. What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?

At first, I felt overwhelmed.  However, I soon realized that I was not alone and did not have to reinvent the wheel.  I learned to reach out to our AiA facilitators, who possessed a wealth of knowledge, my cohort, who was a great source for ideas and encouragement, and my team, who could help accomplish tasks. In doing a literature review, I gained great insight on similar projects and even found instruments that we could use.  

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

Before deciding on your project, I would recommend to have several conversations with staff in other offices at your institution (i.e. academic advisors, administrators, faculty, etc.) to see what data they would be interested in gathering.  This will not only help you identify where your goals align, but it could help you design a project that they would find very useful.  This may help generate buy-in for the project (and your library) and could even lead you to potential team members. 

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

I’ve gained a lot of things through AiA such as an expanded network of colleagues and stronger partnerships within my institution.  Most of all, I now feel confident with the assessment process. Even when things didn’t go as planned, I now have great ideas on what to do next time!

Thank you Jamie for the wonderful update!

 

ALA Annual: Correlation study of library usage and student academic performance

 Library Impact on Students  Comments Off on ALA Annual: Correlation study of library usage and student academic performance
Aug 192015
 
Dr. Penny Beile, Associate Director, University of Central Florida Libraries

Dr. Penny Beile, Associate Director, University of Central Florida Libraries

At the Evidence-Based Discussion Group at ALA Annual in San Francisco, Dr. Penny Beile from University of Central Florida Libraries shared a project underway at UCF: “A correlation study of library usage and student academic performance.” The presentation that Dr. Beile gave at ALA Annual is available for download below.

Dr. Beile shared her rationale for undertaking this study, citing other recent work on the subject, and the methods, which track student interaction with library instruction, research consultations, and library resources such as study rooms, interlibrary loan, and library computers. The study is currently correlating student interaction with the library with student grades and over time will look at retention, time to graduation, and GPA at graduation.

This type of correlation study is useful for demonstrating the way the library impacts student success and can provide information for increasing or revising library programs and services. Publications regarding library impact on faculty research, student performance, and institutional reputation are  collected and posted on the Valueography: http://acrl.ala.org/valueography/. Check it out and recommend additional publications for inclusion!

PDF: A correlation study of library usage and student academic performance

 

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