Assessment in Action

Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus: Project Description

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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)

Other (please describe)

Student Learning:Program

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) Undergraduate


(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

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

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

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

(No) Library Administrator

(No) Other Librarian

Other (please describe)

Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey


(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)

Other (please describe)

Capstone Project

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 Graduate Communication Certificate Program ( was initiated at the request of the Graduate Student Government Association (SGA) in order to establish a structure for improving communication skills. The program and AiA project aligns well with the institutional priorities of Georgia Tech across two critical areas: professional development and interdisciplinary support for graduate students. The cultivation of communication skills is considered of paramount importance at the graduate level, based on the expressed needs of the graduate community and explicit requests from prospective employers. Assessment of the program to determine the efficacy of the initiative is critical in demonstrating its value to the graduate community and campus administration. The outcome chosen is designed to provide “evidence” of the effectiveness of the program, both in terms of an improvement in the graduate students’ ability to create and/or deliver professional communication products, and in their self-rated increased confidence with professional communication skills.

  • 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 AiA project helps demonstrate the contributions of the Graduate Communication Certificate Program to Georgia Tech graduate students and to the campus. Participants in the pilot self-rate an improvement in professional communication skills, and express increased self-confidence and lowered anxiety with professional communications. Additionally, participation in the program precipitated continued interaction with expert-led assistance/services. The synergy of the multiple campus units partnering to provide the program allows for a robust curriculum and a wide range of available expertise to support participating graduate students. The librarians involved in developing/offering communications-related workshops are seen as a vital part of this campus pool of experts.

    There is an established culture of assessment on the Georgia Tech campus, and decision-making is often tied to the data gathered. Initial assessment of the program will help demonstrate its value, and the success of the program could lead to additional program-based (not one-shot) graduate professional development offerings.

  • 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. The pilot project provided some insights on the program and on future efforts. At this point, there is a need to continue gathering qualitative data beyond the pilot stage (which included just three graduate students), and to investigate additional assessment options/tools in order to corroborate the initial findings and demonstrate the value of the program. For the program itself, several recommendations became evident from the initial data analysis. Expanded workshop selections and scheduling options should be explored; and re-tooling some of the demo/lecture workshops to more interactive formats should be considered. As these modifications are being investigated, looping in the industry voice to ensure continued relevance to needed workplace skill sets would be prudent. As the assessment continues, more formal institutional recognition options (e.g. transcript notation) for participants could be explored -- if a significant body of evidence points to improved professional communication skills for participants in the program.

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

  1. Team Leader:
    Lori Ostapowicz Critz
    (404) 385-4392