NILOA issues statement on importance of documenting learning

 General, Publications, Student Learning Outcomes  Comments Off on NILOA issues statement on importance of documenting learning
May 112016
 

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) recently issued a policy statement Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters. It outlines the warrant for multiple, systematic approaches to obtain evidence of authentic student achievement and addresses some well-reasoned concerns that poorly designed assessment efforts can distract from rather than enhance the quality of teaching and learning.

In this new statement, NILOA argues that improving student and institutional performance must be a national priority as what educators call the “assessment movement” and the information it generates are foundational to addressing some of the greatest challenges the country currently faces. It offers a succinct summary of what the assessment movement has achieved thus far, drawing on NILOA’s work in the field over the past decade, and concludes with five principles that can spread and accelerate assessment work worthy of the promises colleges and universities make to their students, policy makers, and the public. Read more in the press release and full policy statement.

Request for Proposals: Action-Oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

 General  Comments Off on Request for Proposals: Action-Oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success
Apr 282016
 

ACRL seeks proposals for the design, development, and delivery of a new ACRL “Action-Oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success.” With oversight from the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee and input from appropriate ACRL staff, the selected researcher(s) will investigate and write a research agenda that provides an update on progress since the publication of Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report and examines important questions where more research is needed in areas critical to the higher education sector. The focus of the research agenda will be on institutional priorities for improved student learning and success (i.e., retention, persistence, degree completion).

This action-oriented research agenda will be informed by scholarly literature as well as advances in practice, such as those documented by participants in the Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success program. The goals of the research agenda include: a) directly communicate the ways in which libraries align with and have impact on institutional effectiveness, and b) engage in language around student learning and success that resonates with higher education stakeholders.

Work will begin in late July 2016 with a final document of publishable quality, 60-100 pages in length, due by May 1, 2017. Read more about project objectives and scope along with proposal specifications in the full request for proposals. Proposals are due by June 2, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. (CDT).

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.

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