ACRL Report Shows Compelling Evidence of Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

 Assessment in Action  Comments Off on ACRL Report Shows Compelling Evidence of Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success
Apr 262016

Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus ProjectsA new report issued by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects,” shows compelling evidence for library contributions to student learning and success. The report focuses on dozens of projects conducted as part of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) by teams that participated in the second year of the program, from April 2014 to June 2015. Synthesizing more than 60 individual project reports (fully searchable online) and using past findings from projects completed during the first year of the AiA program as context, the report identifies strong evidence of the positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success in four key areas:

  1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy initiatives for freshmen and new students underscore that students receiving this instruction perform better in their courses than students who do not.
  2. Library use increases student success. Students who use the library in some way (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) achieve higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.
  3. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, and retention).
  4. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.

The three-year AiA program is helping over 200 postsecondary institutions of all types create partnerships at their institution to promote library leadership and engagement in campus-wide assessment. Each participating institution establishes a team with a lead librarian and at least two colleagues from other campus units. Team members frequently include teaching faculty and administrators from such departments as the assessment office, institutional research, the writing center, academic technology, and student affairs. Over a 14-month period, the librarians lead their campus teams in the development and implementation of a project that aims to contribute to assessment activities at their institution.

“The findings about library impact in each of the four areas described above are particularly strong because they consistently point to the library as a positive influencing factor on students’ academic success,” said  Karen Brown, who prepared the report and is a professor at Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science. “This holds true across different types of institutional settings and with variation in how each particular program or service is designed.”

In addition, there is building evidence of positive library impact in five areas, although they have not been studied as extensively or findings may not be as consistently strong:

  • Student retention improves with library instructional services.
  • Library research consultation services boost student learning.
  • Library instruction adds value to a student’s long-term academic experience.
  • The library promotes academic rapport and student engagement.
  • Use of library space relates positively to student learning and success.

In addition to findings about library impact, participant reflections reveal that a collaborative team-based approach on campus is an essential element of conducting an assessment project and planning for subsequent action. Kara Malenfant, contributor to the report and a senior staff member at ACRL, noted, “The benefits of having diverse team members working together are clear. They achieve common understanding about definitions and attributes of academic success, produce meaningful measures of student learning, align collaborative assessment activities with institutional priorities, create a unified campus message about student learning and success, and focus on transformative and sustainable change.”

Read more in the full report “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects.” The executive summary is available as a separate document, formatted to share broadly with campus stakeholders.

Join a free ACRL Presents live webcast to hear more from the report authors on Monday, May 9, from 1:00 — 2:00 p.m. Central time (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Mountain | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern.  Convert additional time zones online.) Submit your free registration online by Friday May 6, 2016. Login details will be sent via email the afternoon of May 6. The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

Register for March 24 C&RL forum on Assessment in Action special issue

 Assessment in Action, Events  Comments Off on Register for March 24 C&RL forum on Assessment in Action special issue
Mar 222016

C&RL Journal LogoCollege & Research Libraries Forum on Assessment in Action Special Issue

Live Thursday, March 24, 2016 – 12pm Pacific | 1pm Mountain | 2pm Central | 3pm Eastern

Length: 60 minutes

Register to receive reminders and information and/or view the forum live on YouTube.

Join us for a free, live panel discussion on Action Research with authors of articles in the March 2016 College & Research Libraries special issue on the ACRL Assessment in Action (AiA) program. AiA lead co-facilitator and issue co-editor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe will introduce the Forum. Brandy Whitlock and Nassim Ebrahimi will speak about their study: “Beyond the Library: Using Multiple, Mixed Measures Simultaneously in a College-Wide Assessment of Information Literacy,” and Phil Jones, Julia Bauder, and Kevin Engel will speak about their research: “Mixed or Complementary Messages: Making the Most of Unexpected Assessment Results.”

This C&RL Forum is your chance to engage live with the authors and have your questions answered. The discussion will be hosted in Google Hangouts and broadcast on YouTube. You will be able to view them at either location.

College & Research Libraries is the official scholarly research journal of the Association of College & Research Libraries.

Hashtag: #crlassess


Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe: Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction, University of Illinois
Julia Bauder: Interim Librarian of the College, Grinnell College
Nassim Ebrahimi: Associate Vice President of Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Planning, Baltimore City Community College
Kevin Engel: Science Librarian, Grinnell College
Phil Jones:  Humanities Librarian and Coordinator of Research Services, Grinnell College
Brandy Whitlock: Professor and Instruction Librarian, Andrew G. Truxal Library, Anne Arundel Community College

Special C&RL Issue Focuses on Assessment as Action Research

 Assessment in Action  Comments Off on Special C&RL Issue Focuses on Assessment as Action Research
Mar 022016

Mar 2015 C&RL cover

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released a special issue of the journal College & Research Libraries (C&RL) featuring a selection of seven action research studies by teams who participated in the ACRL program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA). Just over 200 institutions have participated in the AiA program, with a librarian from each leading a campus team in developing and implementing an action learning project that examines the impact of the library on student success and contributes to assessment activities on campus.

“ACRL is proud to showcase this scholarship from the AiA program as there are important findings which can be transferred to other settings,” said ACRL President Ann Campion Riley, acting director of university libraries at the University of Missouri. “This special issue of C&RL helps leverage our investment in providing research training and support so that others can be inspired to improve their own evidence-based decision making.”

The seven scholarly articles in this special issue describe action research undertaken using many types of empirical research designs and a wide variety of methods and tools. There is great diversity of institution types represented, with participants and issues of pressing concern as appropriate to their setting. This special issue aims to help C&RL readers learn more about action research as an approach to scholarship and includes an introductory essay providing a basic overview to action research. Hear from the editors and authors of the special issue during an online forum to be held at 2:00 p.m. central on March 24, 2016. More details on the forum will soon be available on the C&RL website.

“I am happy to see the flexibility provided by C&RL’s digital-only publishing model allow us to showcase findings from ACRL’s own AiA program in the journal,” said Scott Walter, editor-in-chief of C&RL and university librarian at DePaul University. “In the future, we hope to see additional connections made across the ACRL research and publishing programs in the open access environment.”

The guest editors for the special issue led the design and facilitation of the AiA program: Kara J. Malenfant, ACRL senior strategist for special initiatives; Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, professor in the University Library and coordinator for information literacy services and instruction at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Debra Gilchrist, vice president for learning and student success at Pierce College.

Published since 1939, C&RL is the open access, online-only scholarly research journal of ACRL. AiA, part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, is undertaken in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more on results from AiA projects, see the recently released ACRL casebook “Putting Assessment into Action: Selected Projects from the First Cohort of the Assessment in Action Grant” showcasing 27 short reflections by first year AiA team leaders on the inquiry methods they used in their assessment projects. Also forthcoming is an ACRL report synthesizing the second year AiA projects and leadership of campus assessment teams. Find more in the Assessment in Action Bibliography listing dozens of journal articles, conference presentations, and other public reports related to the AiA initiative.


© 2014 ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha