Assessment in Action

Central Washington University: Project Description

Page 1


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

Student Success

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

(No) Instruction: Games

Instruction: One Shot

(No) Instruction: Course Embedded

(No) Instruction: Self-Paced Tutorials

(No) Reference

Educational Role (other than reference or instruction)

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

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

Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

(No) Campus Administrator

(No) 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) Rubric

Other (please describe)

Grades and Number of visits to the tutoring center

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)

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 project decided to look at the impact the Academic and Research Commons, at Central Washington University, had on student success. For our project we integrated the Commons space and services into four English 101 classes and then looked at how students’ participation in these activities impacted student performance in English 101 and the students confidence levels regarding academic research and writing. We chose this particular area of focus because our Commons opened in Fall 2012 and prior to its opening there was very little discussion about what would be accomplished by bringing multiple services into one single space. At CWU we have seen a large emphasis placed on student retention as the school increasingly relies on student tuition dollars rather than state funding, and one of the key ways of increasing retention is getting students connected to services early in their academic careers.

  • 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. From our project we found that over 65% of students in our test group received a final grade of B or better in English 101 versus just 36.7% of our control group, and that students in our test group also left English 101 more confident about their writing and research skills than those in our control group. We have learned that there is a connection to connecting to students to these services directly through a class instead of letting them find these services on their own. Through our project we have found that there are people willing to collaborate with the library on assessment if we are the ones to actively seek them out; at this point we still need to be the ones to instigate assessment projects. This project has allowed us to think creatively about how to create new assessment projects, which demonstrate the library’s impact on student learning.

  • 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. After completing our project we are going to actively seek future collaborations with English 101 and find ways to get the commons directly involved in student learning in those classes. We also hope that the results of this project will encourage other departments on campus to find ways to link the Commons to their classes. Through our project we will continue to track the students in our test classes to see if they continue to use the Commons’ services and to see if they continue to stay enrolled in CWU as retention is of major importance to campus assessment activities.

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

  1. Courtney Paddick
    Academic and Research Commons Librarian
    Central Washington University
    (509) 963-2861

ARC to Success: Linking the "Commons" Model to Academic Success at Central Washington University

In Fall 2012, Central Washington University opened the Academic and Research Commons; a one-stop shop for student success. To assess our Commons, the ARC team developed special enrichment activities for a select group of students in English 101. Through the examination of student grades and responses on pre- and post- self-assessments, we have been able to assess how the unified space and services of the ARC positively impact student success.