Assessment in Action

Pacific Lutheran University: 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

(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)

(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)

Other (please describe)

Instruction: Multiple Sessions

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

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

Page 2


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

(No) Other (please describe)

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. The primary focus of this project was to investigate if the number of information literacy (IL) instruction sessions a student participated in during a First Year Experience Program (FYEP) course positively influenced his/her development of the University’s Critical Reflection integrative learning objective (ILO). This campus priority was selected because of the direct relationship between the ILO and IL. The ILO was operationalized into the following components: demonstrated use of the library, use of a variety of sources, use of credible/reliable sources.

    The project team included representatives from the FYEP and the Assessment Office. The FYEP has been a leader in assessment efforts on campus, as well as a strong supporter and user of library instruction. Building on these established strengths and relationships provided the AiA project a solid foundation and increased faculty buy in.

  • 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. Classroom faculty at Pacific Lutheran University express concern about the type and quality of sources students cite in research projects. Evidence from our research indicates that a series of shorter IL instruction sessions is more beneficial for student learning than one long session. Data gathered from citation analysis of final projects and content analysis of student reflection surveys showed that students receiving multiple IL sessions used library resources at a rate of 80% compared to 53% for students in the one shot sessions. The multi-session students also reported employing a greater variety of search strategies to find a broader range of sources.

    Through this project, librarians have developed a greater understanding of the complexity of assessment and the need to have a clear assessment plan in place. Collaborating with more experienced colleagues and attending assessment scoring sessions in other units on campus offered increased visibility of the library’s initiatives.

  • 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. Participation in AiA has helped situate the library as an active participant in assessment efforts on campus. Evidence of this can be found in the recent accreditation report where the FYEP/AIA project received a commendation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities reviewers.

    In addition to this public recognition, the project has resulted in changes to our IL program. Data from the project has been shared with FYEP faculty and librarians are actively recruiting additional classes to take part in the multi-session model of instruction. This change will require close monitoring given current staffing constraints. Our findings also provide further support for instruction librarians to work closely with the academic departments to develop formal IL programs that target the keystone and capstone courses. Support for these efforts have been expressed by members of the General Education Council.

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

  1. More information available at

Small Steps: Alternative Teaching Models & Student Information Literacy Development

To address the concerns of faculty regarding the type and quality of sources students cite in research projects, this study examines the impact of different models of information literacy instruction (one shot vs. multi session) on first-year students’ development of research skills. Results indicate that students receiving shorter, more frequent instruction sessions made greater use of library resources and employed a greater number of search strategies.