Assessment in Action

University of Miami: 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

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) 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) Undergraduate

(No) Graduate

(No) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

Other (please describe)

Intensive English Program (English as a second language)

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

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

(No) 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) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) Research Paper/Project

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

Other (please describe)

Survey feedback

Page 3

Inquiry Question (150 words open)

What was the project's primary inquiry question?

  1. Our inquiry question took many iterations over the course of the project. Our final inquiry question was whether or not collocating services is perceived as helpful by our students. This inquiry question would act as the first step in exploring how to provide services to support students transitioning into the university environment. It would also help us explore collocating services by providing an opportunity for a pilot of some of the services we would offer in our Learning Commons, which was currently in the planning stage.

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. Our university has undergone a change in leadership after our president retired. Our new president has outlined a number of strategic areas where our university will focus its efforts. One such area is interdisciplinary collaboration and educational innovation. Collaboration between the Libraries and the Writing Center in an action learning project emulates the spirit of collaborative problem-solving and our work has resulted in service innovations that help promote student learning. We chose to study collocated services in preparation to meet the evolving needs of our students who will be engaged in more interdisciplinary work. As a future partner in the forthcoming Learning Commons, the Writing Center was a perfect partner for the pilot data project. Additionally, the assignment description for the course being examined required writing and research skills, making the Writing Center a good partner for the project.

  • 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. One of the most impactful findings of the project was the lack of previous research education among our students. Most of the students in the sample had little to no previous education in research techniques and methods. Students had more experience and previous experiences writing papers. As a result, student comfort in regards to conducting research is lower than student comfort with writing papers. Students also expressed gratitude for collocating services. As result of this study, further examination of previous research education could help shape future library instructional programming and design. Additionally, by assessing both research and writing together, the Writing Center and the Libraries were able to coordinate assessment activities that can help shape services and promote referrals.

  • 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 the sample size was too small to recommend institutional changes, this project has nonetheless impacted the practice of assessment and future research foci. The AiA action research project served as a first step for further future collaboration between the Writing Center and the Libraries, particularly as the Writing Center relocates in the Richter Library when the Learning Commons is established.

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

  1. For more information, please contact Ava Brillat, Learning & Research Services Librarian for English, Theatre, and Classics at the University of Miami at or by phone at 305-284-4058.

The University of Miami Libraries and the Writing Center paired up during the spring semester of 2016 to provide intensive lab sessions to specific class sessions for students in the Intensive English Program (IEP). As a result, students felt supported and used more library resources. In language learning scholarship, bridge programming has been a main focus to help students transition from a language-learning program into university programming. By collaborating with the IEP program, UM Libraries and the Writing Center were able to pilot bridge programming to support student learning and encourage further transition into university programming. While the sample size is small, results of bibliographic analysis and student interviews reveal students feel a high sense of self-efficacy as well as a sense of inclusiveness from the pilot bridge programming sessions.
AiA2016ALAAnnualposter.pdf Bridging the divide: pilot programming to support students in Intensive English courses