Assessment in Action

Institute of American Indian Arts: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

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

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) 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

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

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test


(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)

(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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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. Assessment of student learning is a requirement for all departments at our institution. This project not only served as our assessment project for AiA, but has also served as our campus assessment project for the last two years.

    In an earlier assessment (before joining AiA) we found students were not using a large number library and academic resources even though we were providing library instruction to these students. This preliminary look at bibliographies encouraged the librarians to change teaching techniques. Bibliographies were a direct measure of changes librarians were making in teaching techniques.

    The project’s question became: Do students engaged in active learning and with librarians embedded in their classes make use of quality information sources?

    The initial composition of the team changed and eventually became appropriate. The core of the team included librarians and the institutional researcher. Faculty members were consulted and included in pertinent conversations.

  • 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. This is the library’s first full-circle assessment of student learning. The project showed that changing teaching techniques was important. It is also an example that can be replicated, showing how teaching faculty can work with librarians in their classes.

    The assessment project showed that by changing teaching techniques librarians can have a positive impact on students’ research processes.

    The campus is seeking re-accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). During the re-accreditation visit process, the NASAD team highlighted the library’s assessment project and recommended it as a model for other academic departments on campus.

    Not only was changing the teaching techniques important, but we learned from our data collection that students use more academic and library sources soon after their library instruction class, and use fewer academic and library sources in their final papers.

  • 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 are going to continue the assessment of bibliographies for one more semester and we have requested that the faculty allow librarians to work with students as they are working on their final projects.

    The project answered some questions and caused us to change our method of teaching. It also led to more questions that are the basis for our next assessment projects. Our questions are: What are faculty expectations across campus for quality sources? Students are using library books but not databases, why? Do subscription database provide students with the diversity of information they need for Indigenous studies research? Why should students be required to develop library skills? Embedding in classes is a big commitment, what is the most efficient and effective use of librarians in the classroom?

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

  1. Presentations:
    Valerie Nye “Poster Session: Cite Me!” Tribal College Library Institute, Bozeman, MT. June 2, 2014

    Annie Epperson and Valerie Nye “Diverse Roles of the Library in Student Success.” Colorado Academic Library Association Summit 2014, Virtual. June 19, 2014

Cite Me!: What Sources are Students Using for Research?

Do active learning bibliographic instruction sessions impact the types of sources students use in their bibliographies? Librarians worked with faculty and students in a required general education course. Using a rubric, librarians assessed the types of sources students cited following a lecture for library instruction and an active learning for library instruction.