Assessment in Action

Defiance College: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

(No) Student Engagement

(No) Student Success

(No) 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

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)

(No) Other (please describe)

Student Population (select one or more)


(No) Graduate

(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)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

Pre/Post Test


(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

Student Portfolio

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) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

(No) Other (please describe)

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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 CORE curriculum at Defiance College stems from the larger college mission and learning outcomes. Within the CORE itself are four major learning outcomes. The five embedded information literacy sessions in the CORE115 course were designed to specifically align with and address each of these outcomes, and they do just that. This allows the sessions and the course to function as a part of the larger whole, moving toward an integrated curriculum.

    The AiA Team was an appropriate composition as it included two librarians who have knowledge of information literacy skills and expertise in the use of those skills to promote life-long learning; the Director of Student Academic Support Services who brought a vested interest in the research as the data and results; an Associate Professor who gave faculty representation and allowed for greater reach of the project; and an undergraduate accounting student who assisted with data analysis.

  • 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 significant contributions of our project were many.

    Larger Library Community: added data to support the great need for information literacy instruction and provided one model that may be replicated for assessing information literacy instruction

    Our Own Library: designed a flexible and effective information literacy program based on this project.

    Students on Our Campus: modeled action research and the place it has in academia.

    The library's impact on student learning and success must be assessed to guide future decisions and to make us a more relevant part of the academia.

    Creating a campus culture of assessment was one of our primary goals. We've discovered it is a slow process, happens best at an individual level, and needs one group to step out and lead.

    Perhaps the most significant finding of our project was the need for better communication among the instructors of the course. This lack certainly affected our data.

  • 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. Changes:
    1) A grant is being written to fund a Center for Teaching Excellence.
    2) Increase the pedagogy training for instruction librarians.
    3) Continually assess the information literacy program and maintain a flexible model changed based on future assessment.
    4) Need for an Institutional Researcher.
    5) Change library’s user interface in some areas to better facilitate use of library tools.
    6) Continue to be collaboration across departments on our campus.
    7) Need for a Director of Assessment.

    This project is a catalyst for future assessment activities on our campus. Until this project, most assessment rhetoric came from the Education Department and was largely ignored as belonging only to them. Now, the mindset, for better or worse has become "If the library can do, why can't we?". I expect not only more assessment in the future, but more actionable research.

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

  1. There are some upcoming conference presentations based on this project.

    Michelle Blank will be presenting "Planning the "Ask": Effective Strategies to Use the Story the Data Tells to Shape Your Message" at OhioNET's Dive into Data Conference in July 2015 and at OPAL's Annual Conference in August 2015.

    Michelle Blank and Alex Hauser will be presenting "I've a Feeling We're Not in High School Anymore: Information Literacy as a Bridge for Transitioning First-Year Students" at OhioNET's Dive into Data Conference in July 2015.

    Alex Hauser will be presenting "Research Consultations: Creating Personalized, One-on-one, Library Instruction" at OPAL's Annual Conference in August 2015.

    Michelle Blank has been invited to consult concerning assesment and action research.

    Team Leader:
    Michelle Blank
    701 N Clinton St
    Defiance. OH 43512