Assessment in Action

University of New Mexico-Main Campus: Project Description

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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: Games

(No) 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

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

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) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

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)

Other (please describe)

Student responses to online tutorial

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 do students perceive and understand information formats? Understanding why various information formats exist and how they are created is central to the Information Creation as a Process frame from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy. Students use this understanding to select evidence when constructing arguments, conducting original research, learning new ideas and creating new knowledge. They also use this frame to create and communicate through format.

    This project asked students to reflect on the difference between two basic formats before and after watching an online presentation about information formats (part of a larger flipped tutorial). The student response data was analyzed for meaning – what preconceptions about the nature and purpose of formats were students bringing with them to the English composition classroom? How did those conceptions change?

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. The University of New Mexico aims to educate students for success in a wide variety of professions. In every profession, students will be expected to produce information formats, from emails to legal briefings to design specifications to websites to scholarly publications. An understanding of information formats, why they exist and how they are created, will help students understand, evaluate, and eventually, produce the professional formats required of them in their careers. We chose this outcome in order to set a baseline for our understanding of current student perceptions format – a place from which to improve and proceed.

  • 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 most significant finding and contribution of our project was the discovery that student understanding of formats is rudimentary and often mistaken. It has also confirmed that format is a troublesome concept: complex, unintuitive, and challenging. Students struggled to differentiate two common formats and articulate a clear understanding of format.

    The greatest lesson learned from our project was that assessment takes a great deal of time. The project shifted gears midway through the year as one of the key partners unexpectedly retired. The data gathered in the first semester was insufficient to continue with our initial plan. However, we were able to use the principles of assessment learned through the Assessment in Action program to pivot onto another, related, assessment project.

  • 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 have established a baseline for ongoing assessment of our information literacy program, as well as relationships with two departments which will continue to grow. This type of assessment will improve instruction and eventually the library’s engagement with larger assessment efforts will measure our instruction program’s impact on student retention and graduation rates.

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

  1. Lori Townsend
    University of New Mexico
    University Libraries

This poster presents a preliminary analysis of early undergraduate perceptions of information formats, specifically books and journal articles, and how those perceptions change after students watch a brief instructional video about information formats. The video is part of a larger flipped curriculum developed to support ENGL 120, a core English composition course at UNM.
AIAPoster.pdf Student Perceptions of Format