Assessment in Action

Southern Connecticut State University: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

(No) Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

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

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

(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)

Assessment Office

Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

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) Rubric

Other (please describe)

student and course data

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) Research Paper/Project

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

Other (please describe)

classes scheduled for library sessions

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

Test Scores


(No) Degree Completion Rate

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. SCSU is extremely focused on student success right now. The Student Success Taskforce has issued six recommendations to help bolster graduation and retention rates. We chose to examine how library sessions might have an impact on student success measures such as GPA and persistence because it’s important for the library to contribute to this institutional priority. Our primary research question was: Do students enrolled in classes that schedule library sessions experience improved student success metrics? (e.g. GPA, retention, engagement, iSkills score, etc.) The team composition was appropriate for this question as it consisted of the Library Instruction Coordinator (who has a stake in the instruction end of things), the Director of Assessment (who has access to all of the necessary institutional data), and the Director of the Liberal Education Program (who has a stake in the information literacy end of things, since it’s an embedded LEP competency).

  • 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. Our project has paved the way for collaboration between the library and the Office of Assessment and Planning to assess the library’s impact on university-wide concerns. We’ve learned that such assessment is not quick or easy, but that it is possible and necessary. Getting the library involved in our campus’s existing culture of assessment raises our profile and will ultimately demonstrate our value. Our preliminary findings are that first-year students in classes that schedule library sessions are better developing their information literacy skills than those who are not, and faculty across all departments who schedule library sessions see positive change as a result. In the future, we hope to show patterns linking library sessions to student success metrics, such as persistence and GPA.

  • 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 what we’ve learned, we know we need to be more programmatic about library instruction and its assessment. We will continue to collect data and develop the assessment tools we’ve piloted, which we hope will soon show us where our strengths and weaknesses lie so we can adjust our instruction accordingly. Although not part of the initial Student Success Taskforce, we will be able to share our results with the new Associate Vice President of Student Affairs in charge of student success efforts, who is being hired in response to the Taskforce’s recommendation to create a Student Success Center. Our assessment will make it much easier to demonstrate the library’s place the university’s commitment to student success.

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

  1. Team Leader Contact Details:
    Wendy Hardenberg
    Instruction Coordinator
    Hilton C. Buley Library 122-K
    Southern Connecticut State University
    501 Crescent Street
    New Haven, CT 06515
    (203) 392-5734

The Long and Winding Road: Connecting Library Instruction to Student Persistence

Do students enrolled in classes that schedule library sessions experience improved student success metrics? The literature suggests yes, but conclusive data is hard to come by. So far we’ve found that students in library sessions are better developing their info lit skills and faculty see positive change afterwards. The next step is to connect library data to institutional data and look for patterns or anomalies.