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Assessment in Action

Knox College: 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)

(No) Other (please describe)

Primary Library Factor Examined (select one or more)

(No) Instruction

(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)

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)

Undergraduate

(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

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

(No) Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

Survey

Interviews

Focus Group(s)

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)

survey, interview, focus group, seat use observation and gate count

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 research gained insight into the study preferences of Knox College students enrolled in STEM courses, especially in regard to use of the campus libraries. Using mixed methods research, we asked student patrons how and why they used the science library and what factors would increase their use. The Knox College Strategic Plan (2014) looks toward exploring “innovative campus learning spaces that facilitate collaborative learning, information literacy, and technological fluency.” We feel it is an ideal time to involve students in this process, and the data collected will contribute to the renovation of the science branch library.

    The Knox College team was led by Anne Giffey, with invaluable support from colleague Ryan Lynch. The campus Director of Assessment, Director of the Library, and the Assistant Professor of Chemistry rounded out the team, bringing insight into assessment and trends in STEM education.

  • 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. While the original intent of our project was to correlate library space and resource use to student academic performance and retention, we scaled the project to a library use study. The data allows us to assess both the niche that the current science branch library fills and the future requirements a renovated facility must have to encourage and sustain student success.

    The data collected by mixed methods research revealed the following student study preferences:
    • Study alone most of the time
    • When not studying alone, study most often with one other person
    • Want private group study that remains in touch with community
    • Utilize different levels of ambient noise for study, both individually, communally, and socially
    • Use the science branch library for several academic activities
    • Appreciate the convenience of the science branch library as a common space

  • 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. This project increased the library’s focus on user input, resulting in a plan for a library advisory student group. User input will inform all future library assessment efforts to continuously redefine a productive and relevant campus library environment.

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

  1. For more information: http://knox.libguides.com/AiA
    Anne Giffey, team leader
    Assistant Librarian for Public Services
    Knox College Library
    2 E. South St.
    Galesburg IL 61401
    agiffey@knox.edu

Our research gained insight into the study preferences of Knox College students enrolled in STEM courses, especially in regard to use of the campus libraries. Using mixed methods research, results indicate preferences for a variety of study spaces to accommodate quiet, communal, and collaborative study for individuals and groups. The data allows us to assess both the niche that the current science branch library fills and the future requirements a renovated facility must have to encourage and sustain student success.
Filename
Knox_College_AiA_2015_poster.pdf The Seats Don’t Lie: Study Preferences of STEM Students