Assessment in Action

University of Mississippi: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

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

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) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

(No) Other (please describe)

Discipline (select one or more)



Social Sciences

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

General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

Institutional Research

(No) Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)



(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)

Syllabi and reading lists

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

(No) Other (please describe)

Course evaluations and grade data

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. One of the University’s core values is to provide the best and most accessible undergraduate education in the state of Mississippi. Our project aligns with this value because it looked at a program designed to reduce the costs for students, making college more accessible, and student outcomes, which relates to the quality of education received.

    Our team members were selected to ensure the success of this project. In addition to the team leader, we had two librarians, both familiar with library resources and an interest in assessment techniques; the associate director of institutional research, to help us determine ways to assess our project; and the Assistant Dean for the College of Liberal Arts who is overseeing the textbook replacement program.

  • 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 overall goal of the College of Liberals Arts project was to save students money. The students saved an average of $70-$86 each. Our project provided additional information about how the use of free alternative textbooks affected student learning. Our findings indicated no reliable differences in student learning or engagement to our students between using traditional textbooks and the free alternatives. This supports other literature in the field and provides justification for the pilot to continue. We also learned the importance of building in an assessment plan at the start of the project and building relationships with all participants, not just the project administrator in order to have access to the people who can provide the data.

  • 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. As departments and divisions across campus develop initiatives that can benefit from the library’s resources and faculty expertise, it will be important for the library to determine, at the onset, how to be proactively involved. Based in part on this project, and the growing need to support scholarly communication efforts on campus, the library is developing ways to support OER and increase the use of library resources as course materials.

    As a result of this project, and the partnership with the College of Liberal Arts the library has been invited to participate in a statewide effort to expand the use of OER at public higher education institutions.

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

  1. Team Leader - Jocelyn Tipton,, 662-915-2340

AiA_Poster_-_final.pdf Student Engagement Using Free Alternative Textbooks