Assessment in Action

South Texas College: Project Description

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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) 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: Games

Instruction: One Shot

(No) 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

(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)

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)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)


(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

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)

Research paper grade

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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. Our primary inquiry question was: how does information literacy instruction impact student success in an English rhetoric course? We wanted to determine if students who received library instruction were more successful than those who do not. In 2013, South Texas College updated its comprehensive mission. The new mission statement emphasized creating educational pathways that lead to timely completion. We chose this particular topic because we hoped to show that information literacy is an important factor in student success. A student who is information literate will be more successful, and therefore more likely to complete a degree in a timely fashion. Our team consisted of five members: English faculty member, Distance Ed librarian, Assessment department member, Institutional Research member, and myself (Reference & Instruction librarian). This team composition was appropriate because our study overlapped various areas: face-to-face instruction, online instruction, English department, assessment, and research.

  • 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 team collected works cited pages (first and final drafts) and grades from twelve English rhetoric classes. Four classes had received face-to-face instruction, four online instruction, and four no instruction from the library. Works cited pages were scored with a rubric. Students were also given an information literacy quiz immediately after receiving instruction and a self-assessment survey at the end of the semester. There was a positive correlation between those students who scored highly on the information literacy quiz and high paper grades as well as high rubric scores. Students receiving online instruction showed the best improvement in the rubric scores from the first to the final draft. Students receiving face-to-face instruction scored slightly higher on the information literacy quiz. The self-assessment survey showed that students who received instruction felt more confident in their ability to use the library compared with those who did not receive instruction.

  • 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 learned that there are benefits to both face-to-face and online instruction. Therefore, we are looking to design an information literacy instruction program that incorporates both. We hope that this study will be a foundation for future studies. We were able to determine that information literacy is a key component to student success (i.e. better grades and works cited pages). However, our study was not able to determine that the library’s instruction program contributed to a student’s information literacy. The group that received no instruction from the library had the best works cited pages, as scored by the rubric. The English professor who taught those classes also has an MLS. We knew from the beginning this could be an issue. However, she was the only English faculty who volunteered her classes for this no-instruction group. Ideally, a future study would have the same professors classes included in all three groups.

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

  1. Joshua Wallace

Information Literacy and Student Success

What is the impact of information literacy instruction on student success in the classroom? The South Texas College library examined the impact of various modes (face-to-face, online, none) of library instruction given to twelve English Rhetoric classes. The study found that students with higher levels of information literacy skills are more likely to write stronger research papers and earn higher grades.