Assessment in Action

University of Southern California: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

(No) Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

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

(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)

Collections (quality, depth, diversity, format or currency)

(No) Personnel (number and quality)

(No) Other (please describe)

course reserve materials and circulation

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)

all disciplines

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

Institutional Research

(No) Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test

(No) Rubric

Other (please describe)

analysis of existing data

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) Research Paper/Project

(No) Class Assignment (other than research paper/project)

Other (please describe)

student enrollment in courses that include library instruction or course reserve materials, materials checkouts

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores


(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. How does library engagement affect the grade point averages (GPAs) of sophomores and juniors at the University of Southern California?

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. One of the goals in USC’s strategic plan is “strengthening ties between our libraries and academic programs” in order to “create conditions for student success.” I intend to use the results of this study to strengthen these ties and make the case that the libraries are creating conditions for student success, and to improve them where possible. I chose the population of sophomores and juniors because a lot of local and wider research focuses on freshmen and seniors, and GPA because it is a widely used proxy for student success. Having someone from Institutional Research on our team was essential - he has access to confidential, student-level data. Our Collection Assessment Librarian also connected us to vital data, and the Assistant Dean of Student Development will be key in communicating our message to the right stakeholders on campus.

  • 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 contributions of this project, as stated in the aims of Assessment in Action, are local. No significant findings can be extrapolated to other institutions or contexts. One of the most valuable outcomes of this project was strengthening the relationship between the libraries and institutional research. A good lesson was that the initial research question could be answered in a neat, pat way, but piecemeal, through data analysis of different aspects of the question.

  • 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. What’s represented in the poster is just a small part of what we learned and will continue to learn about students as we continue to analyze data. We will develop specific and more appropriate interventions for specific groups of students, such as first-generation and transfer students, as we learn more about them.

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


This project investigates the correlation between University of Southern California sophomores’ and juniors’ GPAs and their engagement with the libraries, as defined by checkouts, enrollment in a course that received library instruction, or enrollment in a course whose instructor placed items on reserve at the libraries.
Assessment_in_Action_Poster_-_Galoozis_-_USC.pdf Meeting in the Middle: The Relationship Between Sophomores’ and Juniors’ Library Engagement and GPA