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.

Update from the ACRL Liaison to SCUP

 Communicating Value, Events, General  Comments Off on Update from the ACRL Liaison to SCUP
Apr 182016
 

Libraries continue to be a topic of discussion among members of the Society for College and University Planners [SCUP]. As ACRL’s liaison to SCUP, I attended the 50th annual SCUP International Conference [July 11-15, 2015, Chicago, IL] and most recently the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference [March 30-April1, Newark, Delaware]. I also was delighted to be part of a team that received SCUP’s 2014-15 M. Perry Chapman Prize, supported by The Hideo Sasaki Foundation, and presented results of its funded research at both conferences. Here, I offer a few insights about interest in libraries shared by architects, designers, planners, academic administrators, vendors and faculty also participating in SCUP activities.

The Annual conference last year celebrated SCUP’s half century during which its membership grew from 311 to over 5,300. It was comforting to learn from among its commemorative activities that the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan was designated as the permanent home for SCUP’s archives and that this recognized the value to future researchers of evidence of SCUP’s contributions in the evolution of higher education planning.

Libraries were included in several conference activities. They are increasingly seen as dynamic venues in planning change on campuses, primarily in redesign of their physical presence, but also they are becoming associated with challenges of planning for management of “big data.” For example, among merit awards for excellence in architecture, Williams College was commended for its Sawyer Library [designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson]. Conference sponsors featured libraries in their advertisements [e.g. renovation of Brown University’s John Hay Library [Shawmut Design and Construction] and University of Southern New Hampshire’s Library Learning Commons [Perry Dean Architects], and vendors promoted products for planners involved in re-inventing campus libraries. Libraries were featured on conference tours [e.g. DePaul University’s Richardson Library and the Chicago Theological Seminary at the University of Chicago]. At least four conference sessions focused on libraries, typically presented by architects, planners and/or librarians. Georgia Tech was focus of two discussions about the re-design of academic libraries and the value of aesthetics in stimulating creativity; the New York Public Library illustrated importance of grounding community for life-long learning nourished by open digital resources.

With my co-recipients of the Chapman Prize, W. Michael Johnson and Michael Khoo, I presented results of our research at a well-attended session entitled, “Measuring Patterns of Student Interactions to Improve Learning Environments by Design.” The interactive presentation generated interest in the “Proxmap” approach we developed that gathers quantitative data through processing video images of student behaviors in informal learning spaces that in turn we propose are useful for assessment of designed spaces as related to learning. Throughout the year-long inquiry we maintained a blog and our final report is now available through SCUP, see: http://www.scup.org/page/resources/perry-chapman-prize/2014-2015team . Michael Johnson and I gave a variation of our presentation during the Mid-Atlantic Regional conference and were encouraged by even more questions and feedback about possible applications as well as interest to extend our applied research. A proposal for presenting another look at our research has been accepted for delivery at the 51st Annual SCUP Conference to be held in July 2016 in Vancouver, BC Canada.

I am also pleased to report that librarians have been associated, among academic planners, with addressing challenges of managing data. I was invited to present an opening overview of the future of data for a one-day symposium that the SCUP Mid-Atlantic Region is hosting in May in Baltimore on “Big Data: Academy Research, Facilities, and Infrastructure Implications and Opportunities.” I look forward to participating in this program that will also feature my co-presenter T. Scott Plutchak, Director, Digital Data Curation Strategies, University of Alabama at Birmingham [formerly director of its medical libraries], Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University, and Philip Bourne, First Associate Director for Data Science, National Institutes of Health, among others. For more information or to pre-register see http://www.scup.org/page/regions/ma/2016/one-day/20160513

I recommend SCUP events and publications to academic librarians. It is always stimulating and informative to engage with professionals from other disciplines and backgrounds. Those who focus on academic planning and campus design issues are kindred spirits and welcome learning more about libraries and our strategies for addressing challenges of common interest—improving the student experience, advancing research, practicing integrated planning, designing and building infrastructures in higher education to name a few. I continue to be impressed by the diverse expertise among participants in SCUP and the high quality of its numerous venues around North America.  I appreciate the privilege of representing ACRL and advancing librarianship within SCUP, and urge others to share the pleasure of doing so by participating in its international or regional conferences or contributing to its communications.

Danuta A. Nitecki
Dean of Libraries and Professor, College of Computing and Informatics,
Drexel University
April 8, 2016

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