Assessment in Action

University of South Dakota: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

(No) Student Engagement

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

Instruction: One Shot

(No) Instruction: Course Embedded

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) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

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

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

Other Librarian

Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)


(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

Pre/Post Test


(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

Research Paper/Project

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. Our project is aligned with our institutional graduation requirements for upper division critical writing and information literacy standards. Our outcome was chosen based on the course instructor's desire to improve student use of scholarly resources and proper citations. The health sciences were chosen as partners because of the existing strong relationship between the department and the library, with the specific course and instructor recommended by the department head. We included staff from the Teaching Learning Center based on their previous experience with assessment and the potential for future partnerships in faculty training on assessment activities.

  • 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. An immediate contribution was increased understanding by librarians of the final product (research paper with citations of scholarly articles) students produce after receiving library instruction. This is giving us a better sense of what issues students struggle with the most. Future instruction will be adjusted to address these needs. This may suggest a need to develop sometime of assessment of student learning that addresses what students retain over time and not just at the end of the class or course they receive the instruction in. In order to make the kind of contribution the library would like to make to campus assessment activity it is necessary to continue to develop good working relations with teaching faculty. Our most significant finding so far is that the students struggle with website citations in particular. We are continuing the study one more year so should have more to report at the end.

  • 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. Assessment is an ongoing process and the study changed or has the potential to change practice as the relationship between the research team members continues to develop.Participation in the Assessment in Action project is one part of multi-faceted efforts to make assessment part of the cultural climate in the library. Other activities include working with library departments to put together an assessment plan and various assessment related professional development activities attended by multiple staff members.

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

  1. Team Leader:

    David Alexander

    414 E. Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069


USD-AiA2015.png Assessing the Impact of Information Literacy Instruction on Student Citations