Assessment in Action

Saint Mary's College of California: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

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: Games

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)

(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)



Social Sciences

Natural Sciences (i.e., space, earth, life, chemistry or physics)

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)

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) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test


Other (please describe)

Project SAILS information literacy test.

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

Research Paper/Project

Class Assignment (other than research paper/project)

Other (please describe)

Post-session reflections.

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. Led by librarians at Saint Mary’s College of California (SMC), our project aimed to achieve the information literacy learning goals as dictated in the College’s Core Curriculum, to be reviewed by Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). To this end, SMC librarians compared two versions of library instruction in ENGL5 “Argument & Research” sections to answer our primary inquiry question:

    How effective are our methods of embedding the “information evaluation and research practices” and “critical thinking” learning outcomes into our library instruction?

    The SMC Campus team consisted of nine members: four librarians, four Composition faculty members, and the Director of Educational Research. The team composition was chosen due to the research subject. The Director of Educational Research reviewed our rubrics and recommended best practices for designing assessment methodologies for this project.

  • 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. Our project builds on the collaboration between the library and the English Composition program. The project contributes to the campus-wide assessment initiatives to measure the institutional learning outcomes for the undergraduate programs. The assessment projects conducted by librarians over the years have set an example for the rest of the campus to follow the culture of assessment in higher education. Information literacy is a key contributing factor to student success. Library information literacy instruction is the most logical channel to educate students to strengthen their skills in achieving “Critical Thinking” and “Information Evaluation and Research Practices” learning goals at SMC. The project explores new ways in library instruction to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice, and measures how well students transfer what they learned from course to course.

  • 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. Based on the qualitative and quantitative assessments from the data collected, librarians will use the results to guide changes to library classroom instruction that will improve student achievement of the learning outcome. The project hopes to demonstrate that the two learning goals “Critical Thinking” and “Information Evaluation and Research Practices” needs to go hand in hand in contributing to student proficiency in information literacy. The library hopes that the successful collaboration with the Composition program will serve as incentive to promote future assessment initiatives to administrators and faculty of the schools, departments, programs, and courses on campus.

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

  1. Elise Y. Wong
    Cataloging and Reference Librarian
    Saint Mary's College of California

Measuring the effectiveness of library information literacy instruction

Our project aimed to strengthen the connection between English Composition courses and library instruction sessions to achieve information literacy learning goals. To this end, SMC librarians compared two versions of library instruction in ENGL5 “Argument & Research” sections to measure the effectiveness of embedding the “information evaluation and research practices” and “critical thinking” learning outcomes into our library instruction.