Assessment in Action

Santa Barbara City College: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

(No) 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

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

English Composition

(No) 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

(No) Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 2


Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

Pre/Post Test

(No) Rubric

(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) Research Paper/Project

(No) Class Assignment (other than research paper/project)

(No) Other (please describe)

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

Other (please describe)

Course completion rates

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. Basic Skills student success is a practical and urgent need at our institution and in California. Students taking Basic Skills courses are the most likely not to complete courses or persist from semester to semester. As yet no data supports our notion that the library environment and library instruction are tied to student success but we believe that, since supportive relationships foster persistence, strong and positive relationships with librarians can create a sense of belonging to the college community and, further, customized instruction can support strong information literacy skill development and successful course completion. Our project sought to understand if students within Developmental English courses who receive step-by-step information literacy instruction have better learning outcomes, as measured by evidence of more frequent and selective use of databases and successful course completion. Each team member is keenly interested in Basic Skills student success and we already had a productive working relationship.

  • 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. Highlighting Basic Skills student success and persistence, as well as showing generally positive results, contributes to our campus commitment to academic support of these students and the critical need for the library to be an integral part of promotion success among these students.

    We know that, with more time to collect and assess data, we will be able to identify and articulate the library’s import more effectively.

    Since the library has not yet been involved in large scale, this project has raised awareness of the library as capable and skilled in assessment.

    Findings included: student use of library increased; student confidence and ease started higher than expected and increased; awareness of multiple ways to contact librarian increased dramatically; students explored search strategies and learned about trustworthy sources to provide support for essay assignments. Importantly, students felt supported by librarians and welcomed in the library in ways they hadn’t before.

  • 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 will recommend that research skills be introduced and reinforced in each of the Developmental English levels because we feel confident that this is useful to students.

    Since we have found that the multiple workshop methods can enhance the notion of librarian as coach and support for student success, allow more reinforcement of learning skills, increase use of the library by teachers and students, and encourage positive perceptions of library, we can more effectively recommend this method to teachers in other disciplines when it matches the learning outcome.

    We intend to track student persistence and success among the students studied in this project.

    We aim to build assessment into all library instruction and explore ways to assess library services and use of resources. In future assessment projects that span more than one episode of instruction or point of use, we will aim to establish control groups.

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

  1. Url for background, data, findings, references, and poster:

My Library: Building Confident Developmental English library users

Librarians at Santa Barbara City College used a multiple workshop and coaching method with 359 Developmental English students in order to assess improvements in student confidence and skill in library and database use. Findings comparing pre- and post-tests as well as focus group data were positive. Follow-up will help us understand more clearly if self-confidence and experience in the library impacts persistence and success in subsequent English classes.