Assessment in Action

Lasell College: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

(No) Student Learning: Course

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

(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)

Senior Capstone Work

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

(No) English Composition

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

Other (please describe)

All disciplines

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

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

Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test

(No) Rubric

Other (please describe)

Citation analysis of capstone research papers

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

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. Since our college is moving toward a new general education multi- disciplinary core curriculum, it was considered an optimal time to assess the graduating seniors’ information literacy skills. Since the institution focuses on real world experience, we wanted to explore the seniors’ critical thinking skills in terms of research. The project’s primary inquiry question was “Do we graduate students with sufficient information literacy skills to successfully enter into the workplace or graduate school?” Prior to this project, we had sufficient data regarding our entering first year students. This is our first attempt to review the library skills or our seniors. Our team consisted of the Director of the Writing Center, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center and the Director of Center for Intergenerational Studies. They all play an integral role in assessment and research on our campus.

  • 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 assessment project provides the faculty with a brief snapshot of students’ research skills and their ability to think through the steps of creating a research project or literature review. Our graduating seniors are constantly thinking and learning as they mature into adulthood. They like to be challenged and do not like to think of their academic work as “ busy work”. Therefore it is important to them that projects are explained or modeled. Since each department performs their own assessment, this project was one of the first that attempted to assess all seniors. Our findings included that assessment tools such as focus groups, electronic surveys, and citation analysis are most helpful when used together.
    Student research is geared to their appropriate major therefore a psychology student will explore academic journals while a fashion design student is more likely to use books.

  • 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. As a result of this project, the library will offer more open workshops on: citing sources, research,and understanding literature reviews. The library will also offer sessions for transfer students and students who have missed an English 101 or 102 session. We will attempt to meet with a variety of department chairs in order to discuss our specific involvement with that discipline. The Humanities chair invited the librarians to a department wide meeting in order to discuss the findings of this project. Librarians will have a clearer vision of what students need for research assistance and how to describe this need to concerned faculty. While teaching in library instruction classes, we will attempt to break an assignment down into single steps in order to clarify any confusion.
    Since this assessment is considered a baseline on senior capstone work, this project will create a model for additional years of citation analysis. As the librarians assess the first year students in English 101, this will work to complete the process before students graduate.

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

  1. Please contact Jill Shoemaker at for any additional information.

Assessing Graduating Seniors' Information Literacy Skills

Three methods of assessment were utilized in order to create a baseline level of seniors’ library skills. First, senior capstone research papers were evaluated using a rubric. Second, approximately 50% of the students responded to a 14 question survey. Third, twenty students, participated in a focus group. The data demonstrated that students’ information literacy skills vary with the requirements of their discipline.