Assessment in Action

University of Alberta: 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

(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

(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)

(No) Other (please describe)

Student Population (select one or more)


(No) Graduate

(No) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

Other (please describe)

Discipline (select one or more)



Social Sciences

Natural Sciences (i.e., space, earth, life, chemistry or physics)

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

Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

Student Affairs

Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

(No) Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)


(No) Interviews

(No) 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) 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. There are a variety of institutional priorities and initiativs which exist to support Aboriginal students. While offering support that is library-specific in the AiA project, we did try to parallel the principles of increasing student engagement as a principle area of focus.

    We developed many outcomes for the project but focused on the very general one for the AiA process/poster thinking that this would provide a bigger picture sense of the development of the initiative’s transfer-ability and relevance. Decreasing library anxiety for these students by increasing their awareness of library services, collections and facilities was a constant consideration. As well, of course, the encouragement to be in contact with Personal Librarians.

    The team composition turned out to be excellent. Persons who work directly with students, who could generate the demographic downloads and reports we needed, and who could provide insight into the research were all included.

  • 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 PLAS project contributes to the furthering of the creation of Personal Librarian models in academic libraries. As well, it serves as a unique program for a population to which a library might want to provide targeted service. While we worked with Aboriginal students in the PLAS program, they could have been any grouping of students.

    Regarding the library's impact on student learning and success, we looked at the participation rate of the students and feel affirmed that they saw value in the program for their university life and use of the library.

    Creating to a culture of assessment on the campus, specifically outside the library system, was a way to develop important relationships and gain significant insights into the needs of students at a bigger picture.

    Finding include that students visit the library more, use the collections more, and use library services more because of the program.

  • 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. We are pleased to announce that the Library Administration has approved the continuance and even growth in the initiative! In the coming academic year it will serve the same audience (Aboriginal students), however, during this year relationships will be built with campus partners who serve international students and "academic at risk" students (perhaps students with a certain grade average or who were once required to withdraw and are returning to higher education). The program will be expanded to these populations in the 2016-2016 academic year.

    We will continue and, in fact, broaden the assessment efforts associated with the initiative. It is anticipated that other assessment methods will be considered. We hope to have focus groups and do interviews and hope to survey past participants regarding their perception of the longer-term impact on them regarding their participation in the PLAS program.

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


    1) Texas Library Association
    Considerations for Implementing a Personal Librarian Program
    Austin Texas, April 16, 2015

    2) Council of Pacific and Prairie University Libraries meeting
    Personal Librarian for Aboriginal Students
    Sept 18, 2014

    3) American Library Association (Assessment in Action poster)
    Does the Personal Librarian Program help make the University of Alberta Libraries
    more relevant and supportive for students in specific populations?
    June 26, 2015



    Nancy Goebel
    Head Librarian
    Augustana Campus
    University of Alberta
    4901-46 Ave
    Camrose, AB, Canada
    T4V 2R3
    ph: 780.679.1189
    fax: 780.679-1594

Personal_Librarian_Poster_2015-06-04__1_.pdf Does the Personal Librarian Program help make the University of Alberta Libraries more relevant and supportive for students in specific populations?