Assessment in Action

Greenfield Community College: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

(No) Student Engagement

Student Success

(No) Academic Intimacy/Rapport

(No) Enrollment


(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

(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)

(No) Arts

(No) Humanities

(No) Social Sciences

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)

Assessment Office

(No) 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)

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)


(No) Interviews

Focus Group(s)


(No) Pre/Post Test


(No) Other (please describe)

Focus groups will be conducted next year, not a part of current AiA report.

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) Research Paper/Project

Class Assignment (other than research paper/project)

(No) Other (please describe)

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores


(No) Degree Completion Rate

Retention Rate

Other (please describe)

GPA & retention rate to be collected next year. Will not report on this for AiA.

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. In the last five years, science department requests for library purchases and instruction have exploded. Library staff was becoming increasingly curious to find out a) if all our new science information literacy instruction was working and b) if we needed to make any adjustments to our services or collection to serve this population. Additionally, GCC has recently passed a set of ten general education abilities (one of which is information literacy) and there has been a push to assess if students are achieving these desired outcomes.
    A librarian, Liza Harrington, had already partnered with Biology faculty, Amanda Hyde, to try and figure this out, when AiA came along. We worked closely with Judi Greene-Corvee, the Director of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment, to investigate: How do existing library services (the BIO 126 information literacy program, library resources, and reference help) support the student learning outcomes designed by librarians and science faculty?

  • 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. Students are getting where we hoped – and exceeding our expectations. They showed increased confidence and felt that library instruction helped them to complete research assignments and the course.
    We found that the value is in the assessment process, as much as the results. Intensive collaboration – between librarians & BIO 126 instructors; between all of the BIO 126 instructors; between BIO 126 instructors & the science department; between the AiA team and campus assessment folks – we are all better able to understand and support each other. The library has gone from not teaching in any science courses, just 5 years ago, to teaching 30 science classes this year (27% of all total library instruction).
    We also learned practical assessment skills. We used a rubric for the first time. We used multimodal techniques to see student work, student perceptions, faculty/librarian perceptions, and institutional perspectives, giving us a fuller picture of student learning.

  • 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. On the small scale, we made several changes to our information literacy program for BIO 126. On the larger scale, we now have a path to lay the groundwork for both better student attainment of information literacy skills, and for future assessment of these skills. Our plan is to have the library work with the campus-wide library information literacy advisory committee to create an institutional set of information literacy outcomes, which connect to our general education abilities. Additionally, the AiA team will help the science department create their own information literacy learning outcomes for the department (and/or use the library-created outcomes) and map all science courses to the desired outcomes. This can cut down on duplicate and/or a lack of information literacy instruction, and also ensure students are getting the needed higher-level skills prior to graduation or transfer.

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

  1. A full report of our findings can be found on our library website, at

    Presentations have been made on our campus and at ALA Annual, as required as part of the project. Our project was presented at the summer meeting of the Western Massachusetts Health Information Consortium. Additionally, a group of AiA community college librarians have applied to run a panel session at ACRL 2015.

    The team leader information is:
    Liza Harrington, Librarian
    The Nahman-Watson Library
    Greenfield Community College
    One College Drive
    Greenfield, MA 01301


Collaborating to assess science information literacy: An Assessment in Action project

The GCC library collaborated with science faculty to assess scientific information literacy. We developed learning outcomes, designed & implemented an information literacy program, and collected data to determine student abilities & attitudes on entering & exiting our introductory biology course. We discovered that, on the whole, students are gaining the skills, knowledge, and confidence we had hoped. Several areas for improvement were also recognized.