Assessment in Action

Yeshiva University: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

(No) Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

Student Engagement

Student Success

Academic Intimacy/Rapport

(No) Enrollment

(No) Retention

(No) Completion

(No) Graduation

(No) Articulation

(No) Graduates' Career Success

(No) Testing (e.g., GRE, MCAT, LSAT, CAAP, CLA, MAPP)

(No) Other (please describe)

Primary Library Factor Examined (select one or more)

(No) Instruction

(No) Instruction: Games

(No) Instruction: One Shot

(No) Instruction: Course Embedded

(No) Instruction: Self-Paced Tutorials

(No) Reference

(No) Educational Role (other than reference or instruction)

(No) Space, Physical

(No) Discovery (library resources integrated in institutional web and other information portals)

(No) Discovery (library resource guides)

(No) Discovery (from preferred user starting points)

(No) Collections (quality, depth, diversity, format or currency)

(No) Personnel (number and quality)

Other (please describe)

Students' face-to-face interactions with library staff at the service points in the library

Student Population (select one or more)



(No) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

(No) Other (please describe)

Discipline (select one or more)

(No) Arts

(No) Humanities

(No) Social Sciences

(No) Natural Sciences (i.e., space, earth, life, chemistry or physics)

(No) Formal Sciences (i.e., computer science, logic, mathematics, statistics or systems science)

(No) Professions/Applied Sciences

(No) English Composition

General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

(No) Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)



Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test

(No) Rubric

(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) Research Paper/Project

(No) Class Assignment (other than research paper/project)

(No) Other (please describe)

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores


(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 3

Executive Summary (150 words open)

  • How does the project align with your institution’s priorities and needs?
  • Why did you choose the outcome and library factor as areas to examine?
  • Why was the team composition appropriate?

  1. The Yeshiva University Libraries’ (YUL) project complements institutional assessment efforts by improving academic support across programs and disciplines, and contributes to an institutionally mandated “collaborative culture” by demonstrating accountability to stakeholders and establishing the Libraries as a key partner for future assessment efforts.

    The libraries are heavily used by students as places for quiet study and collaboration. YUL administration is committed to providing an environment supportive of students’ academic success; however, anecdotal information indicated that some students occasionally felt intimidated or felt a lack of welcome at service points within the Wilf Campus libraries. Our project addresses the question: How do the multiple dimensions of students’ experience of interactions with library staff impact academic rapport, student engagement, and student success?

    Collectively, members of the team contribute a range of perspectives, extensive knowledge of the subject population, advanced degrees in social science research, teaching of doctoral-level courses in assessment, and implementation of program-level assessment.

  • What are the significant contributions of your project?
  • What was learned about assessing the library’s impact on student learning and success?
  • What was learned about creating or contributing to a culture of assessment on campus?
  • What, if any, are the significant findings of your project?

  1. The goal of Phase I (2014-2015) was to accomplish initial planning for the multi-year project; develop and evaluate methods/measures; obtain approvals; and gather and analyze baseline data. We learned that the library provides great services to students, who generally feel they are treated well by library staff. Most students who have interacted with library staff feel encouraged to seek help in the future, although data indicate a need to broadly market library services to the many students who have not. Our data also highlight some policies and practices we can target for intervention and assessment during Phase II, when we will analyze for differences from our baseline data, seeking to understand the impact of our interventions on student learning and success. The collaboration among team members will continue into future phases, and these relationships have already spawned cooperation in areas of shared interest beyond AiA.

  • What will you change as a result of what you learned (– e.g., institutional activities, library functions or practices, personal/professional practice, other)?
  • How does this project contribute to current, past, or future assessment activities on your campus?

  1. After completion of the remaining Phase I measures and analysis, we will develop, implement, and assess interventions suggested by our baseline data, exploring possible correlations with student success and engagement data. Potential interventions include increasing “approachability” through spatial reconfiguration of the service desks and working with front-line staff to better demonstrate both willingness to take responsibility for dealing with student concerns and more careful listening, two positive behaviors that were scored less than optimally by students in our baseline data.

    Through this ongoing AiA project, library staff have gained valuable assessment expertise and built and strengthened relationships with key faculty members and administrators from the Office of Institutional Research.

Please list any articles published, presentations given, URL of project website, and team leader contact details.

  1. Articles/Presentations:
    Investigating Student-Staff Interactions (presentation), New York Metropolitan Area Library Council (METRO) Reference Special Interest Group, November 2014


    Team Leader:
    Linda Miles
    Librarian for Public Services & User Experience
    Yeshiva University
    500 West 185th Street
    New York, NY 10033

How do the multiple dimensions of students’ experience of interactions with library staff impact academic rapport, student engagement, and student success? This project employs enhanced statistics tracking and multiple survey and interview instruments. Baseline data indicate students generally feel they are treated well by library staff and also suggest areas for improvement. Moving forward, additional survey and interview data will fill out the baseline data set and specific interventions will be designed for Fall 2015 implementation.
PosterFinal50PercentReduced.pdf Students’ Experience of Interactions with Library Staff: Foundation for Engaged Learning