Assessment in Action

Mercy College: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

Student Learning: Assignment

Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

(No) Student Learning: Degree

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

(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)

Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

(No) Other Librarian

Other (please describe)

Library Staff

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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) 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)

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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 project's primary inquiry question was, "How can the library most effectively adapt its information literacy instruction program to best address the growing presence of multimedia in student research projects?" We chose this particular route of inquiry in response to the increasing amount of multimedia in undergraduate student research projects and the absence of a unified presence in our information literacy instruction to address this. The project aligned well with institutional priorities and needs as it came at a time when our College was reconsidering the role of core competencies in its General Education curriculum, of which information literacy is one. Our team's mix of administration and faculty was very appropriate to both the requirements of the project and the larger considerations of the institution.

  • 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 project's investigation of information literacy skills refracted through the rising use of multimedia in research projects is significant as this is the wave of the future not only in student research, but in the careers these students will embark upon once they graduate. Through this project, we learned that the library's continued presence in imparting information literacy skills to our students is essential to student learning and success. This project enabled the library to establish a leading role in our institution's growing culture of assessment.

  • 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. Our findings in this pilot exploration of information literacy competency beyond strictly the printed word indicated marked similarities with earlier assessment of print-only research projects. Students still struggle in the same areas as before; namely, in areas of attribution. At the same time, the sources of available information continue to expand exponentially. As a result, the importance of incorporating this ever-broadening repertoire of information choices into our instruction becomes all the more essential for student success.

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

  1. Team Leader Contact:
    Brook Stowe
    Information Literacy & Assessment Librarian
    Mercy College, NY

Improving Information Literacy Skills in Undergraduate Multimedia Research Projects

With the ever-increasing number of undergraduate student research projects utilizing multimedia in addition to or in place of traditional text-only, libraries are scrambling to adapt information literacy instruction to best address this growing and challenging new need. This project traces the design and implementation of a pilot assessment program aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of information literacy instruction for 21st century student needs.