Assessment in Action

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus: 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

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

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)

Other (please describe)

Collaborations with non-academic departments

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

(No) English Composition

General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) 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

Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

Other (please describe)

Academic Advising

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test

(No) Rubric

Other (please describe)

Library custom question included in survey sent to Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences incoming freshman

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)

Referral brochure

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

Other (please describe)

Department that has referred student

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. This project aimed to work with campus areas outside of the classroom to identify freshman students who can benefit from library services. In order to do so, librarians worked with staff and faculty from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Office of First Year Experience, and academic advising to best decide how to reach students at-risk of leaving the university. As a result of these collaborations, a brochure was developed for student referrals and distributed from various channels throughout the spring 2015 semester. Students receiving the brochures could submit them to the library with questions and set numbers were included to determine from which department students were being referred.

    While the referral process did not lead to any measurable data, the project was successful in opening communication and building partnerships with campus departments including the Office of Student Affairs and ultimately led to mutual opportunities that were previously unexplored.

  • 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 goal of identifying and providing library based intervention services to at-risk students connects directly to the University of Pittsburgh’s aspirational goals and strategic priorities to “Consistently Deliver Excellence in Education”. By embedding a custom library question in a survey sent to incoming freshman at the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the University Library System contributed to the assessment culture on campus and learned how to work with academic advisors to reach students in need of library services. Communicating this project and process to library staff helped create awareness and engage staff in the the library system’s role in retention and institutional priorities.

  • 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 conversations between the library and faculty and staff from non-academic departments. As a result of our collaborations and new referral process, we’ve been able to further our knowledge of how non-academic department units reach students and how to tailor our materials to these departments.

    The University Library System has become involved in additional events on campus reaching undergraduate students outside of the library including freshman orientations and student resource fairs. In the future, we plan to measure if these services have helped increase awareness of library value and the likelihood of student retention by surveying those departments with which we have collaborated.

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

  1. This project was included in the University Library System’s FY 15 strategic plan. Additionally, presentations were provided for library staff, liaison librarians, and at the University Library System’s spring 2015 faculty assembly meeting.

    Questions or requests for more information about this project can be directed to the project leader:

    Leslie Eibl
    Liaison Librarian
    207D Hillman Library
    3960 Forbes Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15260


The University of Pittsburgh’s project explored collaborations between the University Library System and staff from the Office of First Year Experience and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Academic Advising unit with the goal of reaching first year students at risk of leaving the university. This poster highlights how a process was developed for referring students visiting non-subject academic units to the library through new outreach efforts with these departments.
LEiblAiAPoster.pdf Collaborations with Non-Subject Department Units: Reaching Students Outside of the Classroom