Assessment in Action

University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

(No) Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

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

(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)

Other (please describe)

Information Literacy Skills, exploring if there is a progressive increase as students move from enrollment to completion

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

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

Other (please describe)

Not discipline-specific

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

(No) Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

Student Affairs

Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

(No) Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)


(No) Interviews

(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)

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 3

Inquiry Question (150 words open)

What was the project's primary inquiry question?

  1. Do students at Pitt-Greensburg demonstrate a progressive increase in their information literacy skills as they move through their coursework toward degree completion?

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 University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg has used MAP-Works for the past six years in order to increase retention rates and student success. The campus allowed the library to add several information literacy assessment questions to the fall transition and check-up surveys in order to supplement the data generated from a proprietary information literacy assessment instrument. Through MAP-Works the library has been able to reach all cohorts of students, including upperclassmen, which will help in tracking the development of students’ skills longitudinally. The campus is ready to start using the data generated from MAP-Works for assessment in more sophisticated ways, and the library would like to be a lead collaborator in these efforts.

    As Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, Jackie Horrall is interested in collecting data related to assessment of student learning. Sheila Confer is the campus coordinator of MAP-Works and oversees the promotion and implementation of the tool.

  • 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 major finding of the project is that there is a progressive and statistically significant increase between the information literacy skills of first-year students and upperclassmen. The results of this project will be used in conjunction with the results of the proprietary information literacy assessment tool to pinpoint particular skill areas that need further development (e.g. documenting sources). In addition, the results will be used to develop tiered information literacy learning outcomes (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advanced) to develop more nuanced ways of assessing students' progressive skill development and to better tailor our teaching and learning activities. Furthermore, the results have been used to begin evidence-based discussions with teaching faculty about information literacy, which will hopefully lead to more collaboration related to information literacy in the disciplines.

  • 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. Due to issues with the implementation of a new version of MAP-Works, the campus began searching for a new retention and success tool. The library was recognized as a legitimate stakeholder in this search, since we use it to assess student learning. This is indicative that the library is viewed as a partner in the campus's assessment efforts.

    This project has changed the way that the librarians approach information literacy-related teaching and learning activities and discussions about these activities. When developing new instruction sessions or revamping existing sessions, we now turn to the evidence that we've collected through multiple assessment tools in order to inform the decisions we make about content delivery (i.e. what we teach and how we teach it) and classroom activities.

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

  1. N/A

Our project investigates the use MAP-Works transition and check-up surveys as vehicles for information literacy assessment. The use of these surveys will allow us to track students’ progress longitudinally and hopefully increase the data we are able to collect from upperclassmen.
PittGreensburg_AiA_Poster.pdf Assessing Students' Information Literacy Skills Using MAP-Works