Assessment in Action

Temple University: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

(No) 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: 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) 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

Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test


(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

Research Paper/Project

(No) 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. Temple University is committed to measuring and improving student learning and success in all of its academic programs. We chose to focus on the library’s collaboration with the General Education program, as it represents one of the largest and most deeply integrated components of our overall instruction program. Information literacy is one of the core competencies of this program, and librarians interact with students at various points throughout the curriculum. Our AiA project attempts to further examine two points of contact with students in that program: both our integration with First Year Writing and with General Education breadth courses. Our team composition reflects the university-wide commitment to assessment of student learning, bringing together a key partner from our Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and a faculty member in the General Education program, in addition to library staff who are engaged in assessment activities.

  • 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. Our participation in the Assessment in Action program has provided a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with our university partners in new ways. Our project will serve as a model for future assessment projects within the library, and will contribute to the growing body of knowledge about librarian roles in outcomes-based assessment of student learning. Our efforts have reinforced the library’s role as a key partner in assessment on campus, and allowed us to further partnerships with our Institutional Research and Assessment colleagues. While our findings do not allow us to make a quick and easy decision about what to do next, we will continue to explore our results and plan for future iterations of the project. One key takeaway for the librarian team members is that rubrics are a rich (albeit tricky!) method for performing authentic assessment of student work, and we hope to continue to work with student artifacts.

  • 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. While most of the assessment work I have done previously relied on polls, surveys, and self-reported reflections, this project allowed me to work directly with actual student papers. I plan to continue to explore opportunities to add this valuable assessment method to my toolkit, and to share with my colleagues the advantages of working with faculty to perform this and other kinds of authentic assessment. I am also excited to continue collaborations with the faculty member I partnered with for the project, as well as with colleagues in our Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

    Our AiA project is part of an ongoing university-wide effort to assess the General Education program. General Education went through a full program review in 2013, and review documentation named the Libraries as a partner in information literacy instruction. This project demonstrates our continued commitment to enhancing student learning in that wide-reaching program. Documentation about our project will also appear in the university’s forthcoming Middle States Periodic Review Report.

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

  1. Caitlin Shanley (team leader)
    1210 Polett Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19122

    “Building Capacity, Measuring Success: Assessment in Action at Temple University Libraries”
    Lightning talk, presented by Caitlin Shanley
    Philadelphia Library Assessment Discussion group
    Drexel University, April 7, 2015

At Temple University Libraries, we reach a large number of students through integration in the General Education program. This poster reports on our rubric-based assessment of student papers in a GenEd American Studies course. We explored whether students performed better on information literacy outcomes after receiving a brief library workshop, and looked for differences between students who did and did not receive First Year Writing library instruction.
Shanley_AiA_poster.pdf A Place Called the Plateau: Assessing the Short- and Long-Term Impacts of Information Literacy Instruction