Assessment in Action

University of North Carolina at Charlotte: 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

(No) Student Engagement

(No) 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

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

(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

(No) Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

(No) Other (please describe)

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)

(No) Survey

(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test

(No) Rubric

Other (please describe)

enrollment statistics

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)

enrollment in section

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

(No) GPA

(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. UNC Charlotte’s Assessment in Action project was designed to align the library’s assessment work with the priorities of the campus, which have shifted from funding colleges and departments on an enrollment per capita basis to one focused on retention and graduation rates. Historically, the library has assessed its student-focused work by counting total numbers of research consultations or classes taught (and students attending). This project was designed to find ways to demonstrate a relationship between our work and the student success metrics that are driving campus policies. We also hoped to see if existing retrospective data could be used to conduct an initial assessment of how instruction already relates to retention and persistence. Our team consisted of the Head of Research and Information Services, the Instruction Coordinator, the Associate Provost (to ensure our focus on campus priorities), and an institutional researcher (to establish a secure, confidential data-analysis workflow).

  • 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. This project has been useful in demonstrating to colleagues within the library how we could use of the wide range of data we collect—but do not currently retain—in our day-to-day operations for comprehensive assessments of student success. Although existing instruction statistics were not complete enough to effectively assess retention and progress to graduation, we did learn how easily we can partner with Institutional Research to evaluate those metrics with any set of students identified. Sharing the results of this project with the liaison librarians showed them how keeping accurate statistics can help us demonstrate our own role in student success, as well as helping position them as assessment partners with their assigned colleges and departments. Sharing the results of this pilot and the Institutional Research workflow with other library units has encouraged them to begin planning ways of securely tracking the success of students who use library services.

  • 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. Campus assessment priorities are changing, and the library has an opportunity to stay engaged if we shift our own focus now. Retention and progression to graduation are too complex to be assessed as effects of narrow and precise interventions, so the library’s role must be established by using as many points of contact with the student as possible. Effective and accurate collection of student data at the point of library engagement will be essential to demonstrate any effect on student success, and secure, confidential collection of this data is needed to protect our students’ privacy. Altering the library’s internal dynamics is crucial: all library departments will need to share what we know about our student users in order to effectively measure something so broad as retention. The ultimate goal, of course, is to see how library engagement may help our students persist and succeed.

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

  1. Alison Bradley, Head of Research and Information Services
    J. Murrey Atkins Library - UNC Charlotte

Assessment Archaeology: Digging up old data for longitudinal assessments

As campus priorities shift from enrollment headcounts to retention and graduation rates, library assessments need to follow suit. Learn how one large academic library worked to convert data collected in traditional statistical reporting into material for a longitudinal study of student success, and the lessons learned for demonstrating library impacts on complex goals in the future.