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. Soon you’ll also be able to read a full descriptive report for this and other AiA projects, along with a synthesis of all the first year AiA projects. Stay tuned for an announcement on the VAL blog.
Small Steps: Alternative Teaching Models & Student Information Literacy Development
To address the concerns of faculty regarding the type and quality of sources students cite in research projects, the Pacific Lutheran study examines the impact of different models of information literacy instruction (one shot vs. multi session) on first-year students’ development of research skills. Results indicate that students receiving shorter, more frequent instruction sessions made greater use of library resources and employed a greater number of search strategies.
Q&A with Amy Stewart-Mailhiot, Instruction Coordinator and Reference Librarian
Q: What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?
A: My greatest challenge was finding balance – balance between the AiA project and my other responsibilities and balance in the distribution of project tasks. In a small library it can be easier just do things yourself, rather than put the effort into navigating shared responsibilities. This doesn’t really work in the community of practice model.
Q: What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?
A: The one piece of advice would be to build on established relationships. There may be more glamorous projects out there, but when you (and your campus) are new to assessment, it is wise to work with individuals you know well and who already support the work that you do. This allows you to build your skills in a supportive environment. As an added bonus, they are more likely to go out and ‘testify’ about your findings – you can’t buy that kind of PR.
Q: What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action?
A: My primary take away is a combination of increased confidence in my abilities and an assessment worldview. There are a number of smaller skills that I developed over the course of the 18 months, but this shift in the way I look at the work I do and the knowledge that I can do it will stay with me into future projects.