Assessment in Action

NorthWest Arkansas Community College: 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

(No) Student Engagement

Student Success

(No) Academic Intimacy/Rapport

(No) Enrollment



(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

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

English Composition

(No) 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

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

Pre/Post Test


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) Degree Completion Rate

Retention Rate

(No) Other (please describe)

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. The NWACC Library, in partnership with the English Department and Office of Institutional Research, tracked student attendance at all information literacy sessions held for ENGL 1013, English Composition I. We hoped to determine whether attendees completed the course with significantly higher grades and/or returned to NWACC the following semester at a significantly higher rate than non-attendees.

    We learned that attendees did perform significantly better in ENGL 1013 than non-attendees; additionally, the retention rate for attendees was significantly higher than the rate for non-attendees.

    This study was very limited in scope and therefore does not allow us to say with any certainty that the library's IL instruction was the cause of attendees' success. We look forward to future collaborations with the English Department to learn more about the effects of our IL sessions and to determine how and when our instructional services can be of most benefit to students.

  • 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. This project is one of the first that the library has undertaken to track the impact of our information literacy instruction services. In that regard, the simple acts of collecting, studying, and reporting data to our colleagues throughout the college is a huge step for us – it’s a way of communicating to other stakeholders that we take student learning seriously and want to be active participants in facilitating student success and retention.

    Our study was a great opportunity to work with the leaders of the English Department and to communicate our desire to play a greater role in information literacy instruction. This collaboration has strengthened ties between our two departments and has resulted in better communication about other library services (including collection development) and the creation of new services (most notably, new embedded library services for online classes).

  • 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. We are interested to learn whether there are similar differences in attendees' and non-attendees' grades and retention rates in other semesters. We already know which sections of ENGL 1013 had IL sessions in Spring 2015, so we could see whether students in those sections performed better and returned at a higher rate than students in sections that did not come to the library.

    Our study does not account for students who attended IL sessions for courses other than ENGL 1013. To get a more complete picture of the impact of our IL sessions, we'd need to take attendance at all sessions, and may consider doing that in future semesters.

    Our partners in the English Department are interested in our study's limited findings and want to communicate these findings to the rest of the English faculty. We hope this results in more IL requests and more direct collaboration between librarians and faculty members.

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

  1. Project website:

    Team leader:

    Joseph Askins
    eLearning Librarian
    NWACC Library
    1 College Drive
    Bentonville, AR 72712

AiA_-_Final.pdf Do the NWACC Library’s Information Literacy Instruction Sessions for English Composition I Have a Measurable Effect on Student Success and Retention?