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. A little later in 2014, 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.
The Impact of Library Games on the Information Confidence of UNIV100 Freshmen, Radford University
Questions for the Project: After ten years of use in the UNIV100 Freshman Orientation course, does the library game positively impact a student’s information confidence? If so, is the Library Challenge Game or the Mobile Scavenger Hunt the most effective? Information confidence is the ability to overcome one’s reluctance to use library services and resources, known to affect a student’s academic success.
Q&A with Eric Ackermann, Head of Reference Services & Library Assessment
Q: What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?
A: Finding the appropriate match between what we wanted to know and what was practical or feasible to know. In other words, adjusting the ambitions or expectations for what one will learn from an assessment project to what one has the ability or resources to actually learn from it.
Q: What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?
A: Develop and maintain a good working relationship with your institutional research unit (or academic assessment unit if a separate entity). It will repay your efforts handsomely in many ways. For example, terms of valuable statistical advice and developing your quantitative expertise, access to student data within acceptable legal practices, and building a positive reputation for the library as an active participant in what is important on your campus.
Q: What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action?
A: An enhanced appreciation of the importance of the ability to communication your findings to a disparate group of potential stakeholders in a way that is both understandable and useful to each of them.