Assessment in Action

Seattle University: 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

Academic Intimacy/Rapport

(No) Enrollment


(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

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)

Outreach to a specific population (transfer students).

Student Population (select one or more)


(No) Graduate

(No) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

Other (please describe)

Transfer students

Discipline (select one or more)



Social Sciences

Natural Sciences (i.e., space, earth, life, chemistry or physics)

Formal Sciences (i.e., computer science, logic, mathematics, statistics or systems science)

Professions/Applied Sciences

(No) English Composition

General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

(No) Teaching Faculty

Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

Variety of Learning Commons Partners

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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


Degree Completion Rate

Retention Rate

Other (please describe)

Demographic data from Institutional Research

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Inquiry Question (150 words open)

What was the project's primary inquiry question?

  1. - Will Transfer students’ awareness of the Learning Commons Partners services and programs result in a higher rate of engagement and connection?
    - Can new collaborative partnerships with Institutional Research and SU’s Director of Retention Initiatives help improve our assessment methods and demonstrate (statistically) our impact?

    We wanted to connect our collected data from students with data from Institutional Research to see what else it could tell us about the impact of our outreach efforts to transfer students. We also made changes to our program and wanted to see if there was a change in students’ rating of our efforts. All of our individual learning commons partners collect data about our services but this was an opportunity to collect and analyze data in common along with broader campus data.

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 institution has been concerned over the last few years with issues of student retention as well as the transfer student experience. SU realized that we have put more attention and resources in our traditional four year students when in fact transfer students are a significant component of our student body. Our library and learning commons partners believe our work with students has the capacity to positively impact their retention and success. We also want to ensure that new transfer students understand what we offer and how they might benefit from seeking us out. Our email outreach program is a way to offer both connection and information to students that might only be at SU for a few years. Our learning commons partners already work together closely so we want to expand our ability to find evidence of potential impact by working with Institutional Research and our Retention Specialist.

  • 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. We made progress in learning about how to use additional data from Institutional Research to connect with our own in order to explore more dimensions of student experience. At this time, there don’t appear to be strong correlations between different sub-groups of transfer students (i.e. gender, class standing). Because data collection and analysis was at such a late point in the process, we still have the work of communicating our methods and findings on campus to make our contribution to assessment work and culture.

    Transfer students feel time challenged to use our services and don’t always see that they have a need for them. But they do appreciate the information and see it as valuable enough that they think we should continue running our program. Their strongest recommendations for improving our program is to increase the social/interactive/personalized aspects and to have more information about us during the Transfer Orientation activities.

  • 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. As we communicate our findings thus far, we hope to learn even more about how we might improve our data collection and analysis efforts and tie into other campus activities in related areas. We’d like to build in yearly analysis of our collected data with IR data to build some momentum and possibly apply it to other areas of our work, either as individual learning commons partners or collaborative group efforts.

    We’ll also look for ways to improve our program based on student feedback and keep using assessment data to better understand what does and doesn’t work as we fine-tune our approach.

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

  1. Lynn Deeken – Team Leader – Director of Public Services and Coordinator of the Learning Commons Partnership
    Angie Jenkins – Director of Learning Assistance Programs
    Mark MacLean – Director of the Math Lab
    Chris Granatino and Rebecca Bliquez – Library Research Services and Instruction
    Jen Heckler – Writing Center Director
    Jennifer Cruz – Student Data Analyst

Since 2013, Seattle University’s Library and Learning Commons has been running an email outreach (aka, Personal Librarian) program for new Transfer Students. Utilizing previous student feedback, we further personalized our program and assessed student reception to those changes. We also connected our data to Institutional Research data to look for evidence of our potential impact on factors related to student success and retention.
Final_AiA_Poster_-_SU_Transfer_Outreach.pdf Transfer Partners Program: Analyzing Impact of Outreach to New Transfer Students