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.
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.