Assessment in Action

University of Redlands: 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)

(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)

(No) Assessment Office

Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey


(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

Pre/Post Test


(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)

(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. Our College of Arts & Sciences is undergoing a revision of our general education program. It seemed like an opportune moment to capture incoming students’ information literacy skills and track their development over four years. The study will inform the “embedded experiences” element of the general education curriculum.

    Question: Do recursive information literacy practices lead to more successful information skills?

    Longitudinal goal: As a result of increased student engagement with information literacy, from the first year seminar through upper division courses, students will think and act more strategically as users, producers, researchers and disseminators of information.

    The AiA project has both long-term and short-term objectives:
    Identify recursive information literacy practices that lead to student success and achievement.
    Learn about our first-year students’ research practices.

    Our team was made up of the Library Director, Librarians, Director of Writing, Director of Institutional Research, and a member of the University’s assessment committee.

  • 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. Through a pre/post-test, administered in New Student Week and at the end of the semester, we have been able to determine what students do and don’t know entering their first year of college in relation to library-related research. Our preliminary results suggested that increased engagement with the library and librarians (multiple librarian-led instruction sessions as opposed to one-shots, and collaboration on assignments) during their first semester led to increased information literacy and library research knowledge and skills. Preliminary analysis of student interviews suggests that first year students do not necessarily delineate between research, reading, and writing skills and practices. What are the implications of this?

    The assessment culture at our institution is new and somewhat siloed. We hope our data will promote more cross-disciplinary conversations related to core competencies and specifically information literacy in general education.

  • 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 revise our first year seminar learning outcomes and aim for a more consistent information literacy curriculum across very different seminars. We will continue our assessment of first year students, also adding assessment in the second year (then the third and finally as students complete capstone projects). The project findings contribute to discussions of information literacy instruction across the curriculum. The project findings will complement assessment of general education requirements.

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

  1. Project website:
    ALA Annual 2014 poster website:


    Panel on Assessing Core Competencies in General Education. WASC Academic Resource
    Conference, Los Angeles, CA, April 23-25, 2014.

    “Assessment in Action: Information Literacy in the First-Year Seminar.” With Lua Gregory. Poster
    session, Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience, San Diego, CA, February 15-18,

    Team leader contact:

    Shana Higgins
    Interdisciplinary & Area Studies Librarian | Instruction Coordinator
    Armacost Library | University of Redlands
    909.748.8097 |

Building Foundations? Information Literacy in the First-Year Seminar

The goals of the University of Redlands project were to identify recursive information literacy practices that lead to academic success, and to learn about our first-year students’ research practices. In the process we learned that increased engagement with the library and librarians led to improved understanding of scholarly practices and ability to evaluate sources in specific academic contexts.