Assessment in Action

Webster 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

(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)

(No) Other (please describe)

Student Population (select one or more)

(No) Undergraduate


(No) Incoming

(No) Graduating

(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

(No) Other (please describe)

Discipline (select one or more)

(No) Arts

(No) Humanities

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

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) Library Administrator

(No) Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test


(No) Other (please describe)

Single-case research design.

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)

recommendations given to improve search results on a given research scenarios.

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 3

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. Webster's mission is to ensure high-quality learning experiences and one of our core values is to sustain a personalized approach to education through close relationships with faculty and staff. This project addressed the University's mission by exploring the impact librarians have on student learning through individualized research consultations. To address the core value of a personalized approach, our team chose to investigate students' perceptions of their experiences with librarians embedded in their courses. The project's primary inquiry question was: how do required research consultations impact student learning in a graduate-level course? The team consisted of one librarian, a faculty member in the School of Education, and the Head of Institutional Research. The size of the team was appropriate due to the small population of students (ten total) that we studied.

  • 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. Perhaps the most significant contribution of this project was opening the lines of communication about assessment and library impact both in and outside of the library. Through this project, the team learned that such collaborations not only benefit the library, but also help faculty understand how their students experience research and inquiry within their curriculum. Moreover, the project reinforced the notion that librarians and faculty could be more strategic about the way research skills are introduced, reinforced, and evaluated throughout a program of study. Finally, the project a illuminated the importance of closing the assessment cycle by reporting results and making decisions based on those results. Preliminary data from this study show that students do benefit from one-on-one research consultation and they value the personal attention from librarians.

  • 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. Though we are still analyzing and reporting data, our team believes that this project will promote more collaborations between librarians and faculty beyond the traditional one-shot instruction session. Librarians will perform more outreach to promote embedded research services in classes as well as collaborate with faculty to scaffold research skills throughout curricula. This will result in more programming that provides faculty a place to meet with librarians in order to design research assignments and align the appropriate research instruction with those assignments.

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

  1. Assessing Library Research Consultations: A Mixed-Method Approach (Lightning Talk)
    Library Assessment Conference, 2014

    John Watts
    Undergraduate Learning Librarian

    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    4505 Maryland Parkway, Box 457001
    Las Vegas, NV 89154-7001
    Phone: (702) 895-2354

Assessing Course-Embedded Research Consultations Using Multiple Methods

This poster describes three assessments used to identify librarian contributions to student learning during course-embedded research consultations. First, presenters designed a research journal kept by students to record their search strategies. A single-case research design was used to compare students’ research skills before and after the consultation. Finally, a focus group was conducted to gain insight into the student experience during consultations.