Assessment in Action

Utah Valley University: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

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: 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

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

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

(No) 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)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test


(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) 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)

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. UVU recently adopted a series of Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs). One of the ELOs concerns information literacy standards. The UVU Library's instruction program also conforms to ACRL information literacy standards. Our project, pairing a PSY 1010 course and a library research course, provided an opportunity to try and meet both standards in a way we'd never tried before.

    CLSS 1050, the library research course, has been taught by librarians for years but has never been a part of a learning community. A learning community allowed us to see the direct impact (if any) our class was having on courses in other disciplines. The AiA project allowed us to explore that question.

    The librarians on the team provided important institutional knowledge about the library research course's objectives and composition, as well as knowledge of the ACRL standards. The partners from institutional research were experts and interpreting data, a critical skil for our project.

  • 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. Our project demonstrated:

    1. The learning communities pairing library research courses with introductory courses in other disciplines are not effective for disseminating information literacy skills.

    2. Students did not apply skills they had learned about evaluating and using information on other assignments unless explicitly required.

    3. Librarian efforts are better expended on other means of instruction.

  • 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. Because the learning community did not work as planned, instruction librarians at UVU are now exploring an embedded librarian model in upper division research courses. UVU only employs 13 librarians at present, and we need to make the best use of our time.

    The semester after the learning community, I embedded myself in an upper division English writing and research course. Based on student feedback during and after the English course, I can say that embedding librarians works much better than a learning community. Being in the classroom in a course students have to take for their major gave me a lot more credibility. Students paid closer attention when I offered advice about their research projects and consulted me outside of class more often.

    The two experiments--learning community and embedded--have given our librarians a lot of food for thought as to the future of our instruction program.

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

  1. Annie Smith, MLS
    Reference/Instruction Librarian
    Utah Valley University

    Utah Valley University Library
    800 W. University Parkway
    Mailstop 145
    Orem, UT 84058