Assessment in Action

Salem State University: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

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

Instruction: One Shot

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

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)

Professions/Applied Sciences

(No) English Composition

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

(No) Other (please describe)

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

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

(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)

Works cited

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) 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. The project aligned with two priorities of Salem State: the new requirement to include information literacy as a learning goal in parts of the revised core curriculum, and the requirement to assess all new core courses.

    The primary inquiry question was: What is the impact of information literacy on student work across various disciplines?

    The outcome and library factors were chosen by librarians and cooperating faculty.

    The team composition worked well because each element complemented each other. The instruction librarians did the main work of the project – teaching and evaluating information literacy. The Student Affairs administrator changed the curriculum of Summer Bridge to include a required, non-credit Information Literacy (LIB100) course in Summer Bridge 2014. The Faculty Assessment Fellow team member connected Salem AiA team members to the University Wide Assessment Committee, with whom they shared their knowledge of assessing information literacy.

  • 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. The most significant contribution from Salem AiA was the creation of a culture of assessment among instructional librarians and collaborating faculty.

    The team learned that Salem State AiA librarians have a significant role to play in teaching faculty what information literacy is, and how it might be assessed.

    The team and cooperating faculty members realized that linking learning to the teaching of information literacy is complicated, and would ideally involve more variables than we investigated.

    Specific results from the fall 2013 marketing project showed that students in treatment groups assembled higher quality works cited than students in control groups.

    The works cited for spring 2014 marketing students showed a marked improvement over fall 2013 works cited. The business librarian shared the results with marketing students.

  • 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 analysis of the fall 2013 marketing data, the business librarian and faculty member altered their teaching approaches.

    In spring 2014, the marketing professor required at least 10 credible sources for spring 2014 projects, while the business librarian developed and taught active learning and cultural sensitivity exercises.

    The marketing professor asked the business librarian to participate in the grading of marketing bibliographies in fall 2014.

    The business librarian will be offering information literacy workshops for other faculty in the Bertolon School of Business in 2014-2015.

    In April, Neil DeChillo, Assessment Fellow and Associate Provost, met with team members Dennis, Zoppel, and Isuster to discuss the AiA team conducting workshops for faculty who will be teaching courses involving information literacy learning objectives in the new core.

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

  1. The AiA team presented their work at Salem State University’s 2014 Pearls & Perils Conference on May 16, 2014. This is Salem State's major research day for faculty.

    The AiA team presented their project to a visiting team of librarians from Middlesex Community College (MA) on May 30, 2014.

    The team leader is mentoring AiA librarians in writing articles about their projects.

    A libguide is being created for the project:

    The team leader is Nancy Dennis, Science & Technology Librarian,; 978-542-6218.

Making Magic in Witch City: Improving Information Literacy at Salem State University

Salem State measured the impact of IL instruction on student work in marketing, nursing, and Earth Day research classes. Among the findings were that marketing students who had received IL instruction in fall 2013 created better works cited than marketing students who had not received IL instruction. As a result of these findings, the business librarian and marketing professor altered their teaching techniques and expectations of students in spring 2014.