Assessment in Action

University of California-Santa Cruz: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

(No) 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

Instruction: Course Embedded

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)

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)

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)


(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

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)

Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

Other (please describe)


Page 3

Inquiry Question (150 words open)

What was the project's primary inquiry question?

  1. Do Composition 2 students demonstrate Information Literacy proficiencies in their major research projects when supported by a self-paced online tutorial in lieu of in-person IL instruction?

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. In preparation for our 50th anniversary in 2015, the campus articulated new strategic goals including one dedicated to student success. One action associated with that goal was to articulate campus-wide measures of success.

    In 2013, the University Library adopted an exclusively online instruction approach to supporting lower-division library instruction. We needed to assess how well our tools supported student learning outcomes. Composition 2 courses formerly represented our highest demand for in-person, one-shot library instruction. Developing research skills is a required course outcome for these classes.

    Library team members were members of the Undergraduate Experience Team charged with managing lower-division instruction. One Writing faculty partner was relatively new and had a mandate to better articulate program outcomes. The other had a long history of partnering with the Library to develop customized course guides and tutorials to support her Writing classes. Our Institutional Research partner was committed to effectively articulating Information Literacy standards across the curriculum in the context of Program Learning Outcomes.

  • 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. Project partners each described student outcomes around research skills in a different way. The work we did to find commonalities and express our goals in terms of a national standard (ACRL IL Competencies) was prerequisite to our ability to assess student research assignment artifacts.

    We learned more about the learning outcomes than we did about how well our library online tools contribute to them.

    Our campus has a robust culture of assessment. This project allowed us to become better integrated into it.

  • 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. The Writing Program was preparing to revise its course outcomes early in this project. The new outcomes include formal Information Literacy outcomes informed by ACRL IL Competencies for the first time.

    Program Learning Outcomes for Information Literacy are described at the capstone level for most academic departments. This was an important step to describing baseline competencies for undergraduates having their first exposure to university-level research. This baseline is essential to building strategies to reach the capstone outcomes.

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

  1. Dream of a Common Language: Developing a Shared Understanding of Information Literacy Concepts. Deborah A. Murphy, 2016 ARL Assessment Conference (accepted)

    All Hands on Deck: Collaborative Assessment Toward Student Success​. Deborah A. Murphy, 2017 ACRL Conference (proposed)

    Project URL:
    Team leader: Greg Careaga,

Over 100 Writing 2 students completed a research project along with a process coversheet and bibliography. We applied our own rubric—aligned with seven ACRL IL outcomes—to the coversheet and bibliography. A majority of students were proficient at articulating an information need and finding relevant sources, but were less than proficient at all other measures. We will revise the W2 online tutorial to improve students’ abilities to meet IL outcomes.
UCSC_AIA_final.pdf Evaluating Research Projects to Measure Information Literacy Outcomes for Lower-Division Writing Students