Assessment in Action

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) 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

(No) Instruction: Games

(No) 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)

(No) Collections (quality, depth, diversity, format or currency)

(No) Personnel (number and quality)

Other (please describe)

Library and research resources

Student Population (select one or more)

(No) Undergraduate


(No) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

(No) Other (please describe)

Medical Students

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)

Professions/Applied Sciences

(No) English Composition

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) Other (please describe)

Osteopathic Medicine

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

(No) Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

(No) Other Librarian

Other (please describe)

Director, Center for Institutional, Faculty and Student Success Biostatistician

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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

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

(No) Other (please describe)

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Inquiry Question (150 words open)

What was the project's primary inquiry question?

  1. How important are information literacy skills to achieving success as a medical student? We believe knowing how to use and access information is a primary skill and seek to determine if our students could benefit from 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. VCOM's mission is to prepare globally-minded, community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically under served populations who engage in research to improve human health. Critical inquiry and information literacy are important skills needed by medical students as they progress through a four year medical curriculum and later in their future careers as physicians.

    VCOM medical students receive no required instruction in information literacy. Students enter medical school and leave with varying degrees of information literacy abilities. By surveying students in their first year to create a baseline defining where students are with literacy skills and with continuing surveys through four years, we hope to amass results that can be used to consider including a more formal approach to obtaining research and information literacy skills.

    The Library, the Center for Institutional, Faculty and Student Success and a Research Biostatistician form a team possessing expertise in different areas of education that contribute to assessing, implementing and evaluating the information literacy skills and strategies of medical students.

  • 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 significance of this study is that it follows students through four years. It also links student abilities to faculty expectations.

    The Center for Institutional, Faculty and Student Success is and has been a willing partner in this endeavor since student success is its primary focus. The Library, as initiator of the study, has benefited from the expertise of the other team members with special evaluative skills. All departments involved are enthusiastic about participation and working on a collaborative project.

    Assessment as it contributes to the education of medical students is what we are all about. The opportunity to work with team members from different VCOM departments has created an advantage of perspective with regard to the project.

    Because the surveys will start in the fall of 2016 and end in 2020 there are no compiled results besides a well thought out implementation. However, we expect to find useful information from the first survey to use to modify the survey for the next year.

  • 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. We hope to move from no formal instruction to lobbying for inclusion of library skills training as part of the curriculum. We will begin with optional student self-directed library skill acquisition from tutorials developed by the library and move to actual presentations within the classroom.

    VCOM currently conducts annual needs assessment surveys from faculty and medical students. These surveys focus on use of resources held or subscribed to by the Library: print books, online books, databases, etc. The present study should present results that are more realistic as to skill level and progression in comparison to the present surveys.

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

  1. Elaine Powers

This longitudinal study focuses on information literacy and is a collaboration of team members who have expertise and viewpoints outside of the library with the library to assess and evaluate how to achieve the overall goal of providing a proficient level of information literacy for medical students. A manageable assessment tool in the form of a series of surveys has been created to test and retest the skill level of students, given each year of their four year medical education period. The same survey will be given to faculty to provide some comparison. Student surveys will then be linked to two faculty surveys: one regarding the importance of information literacy for students and the other asking faculty about student abilities with information literacy. Results will be used to determine whether inclusion of a more structured approach to literacy is needed to insure student success.
ALA_AiA_InformationLiteracySkillsforMedStudentsOverFourYears_FINAL_2016_egp2.ppt Information Literacy Skills of Medical Students Over Four Years Linked to Faculty Assessment