Assessment in Action: Libraries and Student Affairs working together

 Assessment in Action, Communicating Value  Comments Off on Assessment in Action: Libraries and Student Affairs working together
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

 Assessment in Action, Communicating Value  Comments Off on Assessment in Action: Effectiveness of Library IL in a Composition Class
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

Teams Selected for Third Year of ACRL “Assessment in Action” Learning Community

 Assessment in Action  Comments Off on Teams Selected for Third Year of ACRL “Assessment in Action” Learning Community
Apr 282015
 

Assessment in Action LogoACRL has selected 55 institutional teams to participate in the third year of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA). The program is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and carried out in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The teams, representing all types of institutions, come from 24 states, the District of Columbia and Australia. For a list of currently confirmed institutions, see the AiA program webpage.

In their applications each institution identified a team, consisting of a librarian and at least two additional team members as determined by the campus (e.g., faculty member, student affairs representative, institutional researchers or academic administrator). They also identified goals for their action learning projects.

“The top applications were distinguished by a clear connection between the team’s project goals and institutional priorities as well as strong institutional commitment to support the team’s project during the course of the AiA program,” said Lynn Silipigni Connaway, vice chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee and senior research scientist at OCLC.

The proposed topics for selected institutions include:

  • Does the point-of-need integration of library instructional materials and services into the blended learning environment improve the quality of nontraditional student papers in undergraduate courses with a research component?
  • What is the contribution of the library internship program on student learning and career development?
  • What impact can an enhanced library program based on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy have in curricular experiments designed to develop knowledge, skills, and habits of mind?
  • How do students’ co-curricular interests (leadership, entrepreneurship, service, etc.) impact the perceived importance or satisfaction with the library’s services, collections, and facility?
  • What is the impact of an information literacy instructional program for students preparing for an experiential learning experience, co-op? What is the perceived application of information literacy skills by both employers and students on co-op, and what is the relationship to student retention?
  • Can we find a correlation with students’ library usage and student success (grades, retention, and completion rates)? What relationships will we find by incorporating library data points (reference interactions, physical space usage, instruction sessions, library research consultations, and collection usage) into the customer relationship management tool currently used by key departments on campus such as advising, financial aid, and student communication?
  • Do students who attend research data services workshops and/or data management classes demonstrate improved knowledge of and practice of effective data management practices following training/instruction? How does students’ work with data, data sets, and/or databases in analog and/or digital form affect their ability to think administratively, critically, pragmatically, and technically about how they use, manage, and store data? How does access and use of collaborative research data infrastructure impact student’s capacity for and effectiveness in working within research teams?

To ensure project results are disseminated to the broader community, each institutional team will submit a final report and each librarian team leader will prepare and deliver a poster at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference. The AiA program, part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, employs a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network over the course of the 14-month long program, which runs from April 2015-June 2016. The librarians will participate as cohort members in a one-year professional development program that includes team-based activities carried out on their campuses. An important component of the AiA program is establishing a learning community where librarian team leaders have the freedom to connect, risk, and learn together.

“The variety of projects and diversity of institutions is inspiring,” said Lisa Hinchliffe, co-lead facilitator in the AiA program and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It is an honor to be working with such dedicated librarian team leaders, and the facilitators are pleased to see the AiA community of practice continue to develop and grow with this third year of participants.”

Strong results from AiA teams are already evident in the January report synthesizing more than 70 projects from the first year with an accompanying executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders and a searchable online collection of individual team project descriptions. A second year of AiA is well underway with an additional 70 institutional teams who will be submitting their final reports in June and presenting posters at the ALA Annual Conference in 2015.

AiA is a three-year program, and ACRL will use this third year of the AiA grant to inform how it can best support the community in developing and carrying out assessment projects going forward. The IMLS grant funded the majority of the costs for developing the AiA program and for delivering it the first two years. The third year of the grant marks a transition year to determine if this program is sustainable or if other models better address the needs of the community.

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