Assessment in Action

Michigan Technological University: 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)

Other (please describe)

Student Confidence

Primary Library Factor Examined (select one or more)


(No) Instruction: Games

(No) Instruction: One Shot

Instruction: Course Embedded

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

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

(No) 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) 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

Other (please describe)

student confidence ratings

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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. Michigan Tech adopted information literacy (IL) as one of eight undergraduate student learning goals in 2012. Over time the learning goals are required to be integrated and assessed in degree programs and the university’s General Education program. The primary assessment method chosen by the university’s Assessment Council is to use AAC&U LEAP VALUE modified rubrics to perform direct assessments of student work. This development was timely and served as the foundation for our AiA project. Our primary research question was: How does library instruction and collaboration with faculty to meaningfully integrate information literacy contribute to student learning and confidence? The focus was a required first-year general education course. The project team consisted of librarians and teaching faculty for the social sciences course. Information Literacy instruction was provided through a series of short online video tutorials. The assessment methods used were rubric analyses of student research papers and a confidence survey.

  • 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. Framing this year’s baseline assessment work as an AiA project fostered deeper conversations and connections between librarians and faculty members, the assessment office, and campus administrators. The professional development provided by AiA helped the library be viewed as as a central partner in assessment efforts. The baseline assessment target set was a score of “2” or above on the rubric. 73% of the papers assessed reached this target for the criteria “accessing and searching relevant information outlets” and 59% for “evaluating resources”. Also, the student confidence survey results showed after watching the library videos, 64% of respondents reported they were confident or very confident in their ability to locate resources for future assignments, and 66% of respondents reported they were confident or very confident in their ability to evaluate resources. We believe the assessment results show trends that indicate the videos are effective in getting students started with library research.

  • 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. The general education goal assessment process will be conducted annually. The library will continue to lead this effort for IL. Assessors for the rubric work consisted of three librarians and three faculty members. A significance test was performed on the scores given and it was determined there were no significant differences between librarians and faculty members. This indicates the modified rubric is likely a reliable tool and the librarian-led norming session was successful. We will continue to work closely with faculty members to best integrate IL into this and other courses. Early discussions indicate this will involve collaborating to modify course assignments, adding tutorials on other IL topics, and encouraging students to use one-on-one library assistance services. The library will also work to establish assessment methods outside of the university processes to more fully and directly assess the value of specific library efforts on student learning, confidence, and success.

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

  1. Margaret Phillips, Associate Director Education and Research Services,
    Jennifer Sams, Instruction and Learning Librarian,

    ACRL STS-IL Chat - February 2014
    “Assessment in Action - Tales from two AiA Projects”
    Margaret Phillips, Michigan Tech & Rebecca Miller, Virginia Tech

    Michigan Tech AiA Project website:

Demonstrating the Value of Faculty Collaboration and Library Instruction on Student Learning and Confidence

Librarians and Social Sciences faculty members collaborated to meaningfully integrate information literacy instruction into a first year general education course and analyze the impact on student learning and confidence. Impact was measured using a direct assessment method (rubric) as part of a university-wide assessment process and through the use of a survey to gather information on student confidence in accessing and evaluating library resources.