Assessment in Action

St Catherine University: 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

(No) Instruction: Games

Instruction: One Shot

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)

(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

(No) English Composition

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

(No) Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(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

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 3

Inquiry Question (150 words open)

What was the project's primary inquiry question?

  1. Does the timing, frequency, and teaching methods of information literacy instruction impact the information literacy skills of first term students?

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. Librarians at St.Catherine University have been involved with The Reflective Woman (TRW), our first term shared experience course, since its inception through our information literacy instruction. Through this instruction, the library supports the University’s Liberal Arts Learning Goals of critical and creative inquiry and purposeful lifelong learning by empowering students to locate, manage, critically evaluate, and integrate information to support academic inquiry. This directly influenced our primary outcome of interest: TRW students who receive information literacy instruction periodically throughout the semester at the point/time of need successfully demonstrate in their final paper their ability to evaluate and incorporate quality sources.

    Our team consisted of several instruction librarians as well as representation from the TRW faculty and our Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment office. This allowed for an optimal mix of expertise in information literacy, assessment planning, and course expertise.

  • 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. This project contributes to our understanding of the information literacy skills of our first year students. Prior to this we only had institutional level student survey data on some self-reported information literacy activities, but with a clearer idea of where our students are we can identify areas of focus for our instruction. This aligns with the University’s emphasis on using data to inform planning and decision-making, and this project has laid the foundation for continued initiatives in support of the University’s commitment to assessment.

    While our new method of instruction did not prove to create a statistically significant difference in student scores on either an information literacy test or rubric evaluation of student work, our findings suggest that many students are still developing their information literacy skills at the end of their first semester of college. This provides supporting evidence that information literacy will need to be reinforced throughout the college curriculum.

  • 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. Taking our assessment results into consideration, we will be adjusting our information literacy instruction to try and better meet the needs of our students by determining which of our Student Learning Outcomes should be the primary focus with our first year instruction, and work on creating lessons plans and activities to address those specific outcomes directly. We will also begin to work on identifying strategic points throughout the college curriculum to insert additional information literacy instruction in order to build upon the foundational skills developed during TRW.

    As we continue to change our information literacy instruction, we will be using this data as a benchmark for future assessment within TRW so that we can determine if we are making significant changes to help improve students’ information literacy skills.

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

  1. A presentation proposal has been accepted for the Minnesota Library Association annual conference in September 2016.

    Team Leader contact information:
    Anne Beschnett
    Research and Instruction Librarian
    St.Catherine University
    2004 Randolph Avenue
    St. Paul, MN 55105

The St.Catherine University Library explored whether the timing, frequency, and teaching methods of library instruction impacted the information literacy skills of first term students in a shared experience course. Pilot classes received three library instructions sessions, while control classes received a traditional one-shot session. Information literacy skills were assessed with a pre-test/post-test and rubric evaluation of student papers.
St.Catherine_University_Library_AiA_Poster.pdf Scaffolded vs. Traditional One-Shot Information Literacy Instruction in a First Term Common Experience Course