Assessment in Action

Southern Methodist University: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

(No) Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

(No) Student Engagement

(No) 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: Games

(No) 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) 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

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

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

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) Rubric

(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) 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. Southern Methodist University implemented a new curriculum with Information Literacy learning outcomes required for all undergraduates. To measure our effectiveness, librarians at Central University Libraries’ measured the impact of flipped instruction on students’ perceptions of the library and retention of IL concepts in first-year composition classes. Using a pre-test/post-test design we assessed whether online instruction of IL concepts completed before face-to-face sessions increased knowledge and retention of IL concepts, and improved comfort with the library tools and librarian assistance. Students answered a pre-test, completed the interactive online tutorial, participated in a hands-on class, and completed the post-test. Our team included: Elizabeth Killingsworth, Director of Fondren Library and Team Leader; Hollie Gardner, User Experience Librarian; Zoltan Szentkiralyi, Library Director of Assessment; Patty Alvey, University Director of Assessment; Diana Blackman, Director of Discernment and Discourse Program, and Brad Boeke; Director of Academic Technology Services.

  • 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. As a result of this project, we have a stronger culture of assessment within the information literacy program and Central University Libraries as a whole. By presenting a cohesive IL curriculum with an online component to the composition faculty, we built a stronger collaboration with faculty who are now active partners in shaping IL instruction and who are very enthusiastic about flipped instruction. Significant findings from the pre-test, post-test study indicate that students have increased confidence in finding articles and books. Students are also significantly more likely to use the catalog and library databases as their primary research tool. While the findings do not show significant improvement in retention of most LI concepts, learning to design and implement this research study provided the knowledge, tools, and campus relationships for future assessment projects.

  • 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. Thirty-four students completed both the pre- and post-test. Student responses showed a statistically significant increase in their confidence finding a book or article, and in their likelihood of using the library catalog, library databases, or discovery search as their primary research tool. Students’ ratings of ease/ likelihood increased on average one point on a 5 or 6 point scale, each with p-values less than 0.001. No correlation was found between flipped instruction and increased understanding and retention of IL skills. We concluded that IL instruction during first-year writing courses provides foundational knowledge, but is not sufficient for a student’s undergraduate career. Therefore, our recommendation is to strategically schedule IL instruction throughout the curriculum in upper-level classes in order to build upon foundational knowledge and teach new discipline-specific skills. Further study could determine if the demonstrated increased preference for library resources as a primary research tool persists beyond the first year.

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

  1. Killingsworth, E., & Gardner, H. (2015) Does flipped instruction have an impact? A pre- and post-test study of first-year students. Poster presented at the American Library Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

    Killingsworth, E., & Gardner, H. (2015, August) Curriculum Mapping to Support Information Literacy Instruction. Presentation at the Cross Timbers Library Collaborative Conference, Commerce, TX.

    Elizabeth Killingsworth, team leader, Director of Fondren Library and Head of Research Services, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University, 214-768-3686