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Assessment in Action

Bentley University: 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)

Other (please describe)

Student confidence

Primary Library Factor Examined (select one or more)

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)

Research consultations

Student Population (select one or more)

Undergraduate

(No) Graduate

(No) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

Other (please describe)

Business

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)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

Other Librarian

Other (please describe)

Library staff

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

Survey

(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

Research Paper/Project

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

Other (please describe)

Business plan

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

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. Do business students, in the integrated business project course, have more confidence in using library resources as a result of their research consultation with a reference librarian?

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. Bentley Library Assessment Team was created to determine the library’s contribution to student achievement, faculty research, and institutional affordability. Our central question for the AiA program was focused on student achievement and understanding the effect the library has on it. Specifically we asked, Do business students, in the integrated business project course, have more confidence in using library resources as a result of their research consultation with a reference librarian?

    Librarians collaborated with business faculty to develop secondary research assignments. Vital to the project were companies that provided real-world business problems requiring research and analysis. Librarians worked with over 400 students, consulting with about 7.5% of them. At the conclusion of the project, students were sent surveys to measure their confidence in using business databases. The result was a 36% increase in the level of confidence students felt when applying learned research methods after consulting with reference librarians.

  • 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. Research consultations are social encounters. They are ideal for encouraging the teaching and counseling roles of librarians. While librarians recognize that we often act as counselors at the desk or in a research consultation, it was surprising to discover that some students also see librarians in that role. When asked, What did you find valuable in your one-on-one or group consultation with the reference librarian?, replies were not just about the discovery of library resources, or the newfound confidence in using them, but students also remarked on how useful librarians were in helping to motivate them. Research consultations not only meet the immediate research needs of students, but also prepare them to use information independently and discover new ideas in an intimate setting of knowledge and support.

  • 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. According to the Standish Group 2015 Chaos Report, three major reasons a project succeeds are user involvement, executive management support, and a clear statement of requirements. As a result of this study, Bentley Library learned that students gained a better understanding of the value of library resources – both human and print – and in so doing gained confidence in their ability to do research. Management supported funding for this research project. Faculty found a place for this study within their teaching goals. AiA helped keep the project on target and supported new learning.

    Through this research, we were able to demonstrate that the library is integral to the academic mission of the university, that students value the expertise of librarians, that faculty respect collaboration with librarians, that all resources are essential to the development of intellectually curious and well-skilled students. This project is just the beginning of continuous assessment efforts.

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

  1. Hope Houston, AiA Team Leader
    Associate Director and Manager of Reference Services
    Bentley University Library
    Waltham. MA 02452
    hhouston@bentley.edu
    781-891-2450

Bentley Library Assessment Team was created to determine the library’s contribution to student achievement, faculty research, and institutional affordability. Our central question for the AiA program was focused on student achievement and understanding the effect the library has on it. Specifically we asked, Do business students, in the integrated business project course, have more confidence in using library resources as a result of their research consultation with a reference librarian? Librarians collaborated with business faculty to develop secondary research assignments. Vital to the project were companies that provided real-world business problems requiring research and analysis. Librarians worked with over 400 students, consulting with about 7.5% of them. At the conclusion of the project, students were sent surveys to measure their confidence in using business databases. The result was a 36% increase in the level of confidence students felt when applying learned research methods after consulting with reference librarians.
Filename
H_Houston_AiAPoster_May2016_Final.pptx The impact of library research consultations on business students