Assessment in Action

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: 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) 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

(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)

Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) 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) 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. UW-Eau Claire's AiA primary inquiry question was: Do first year composition students learn when librarians collaborate with writing faculty to introduce information literacy (IL) concepts? This question arose because several members of the library faculty had collaborated with English faculty to integrate information literacy into first year composition. With the implementation of an information literacy lesson plan delivered annually to 2,000+ composition students, assessment of student learning was key to the growth of the library's information literacy instruction.

    This project aligns with institutional priories because information literacy is an element of the university's newly adopted liberal education core. This project aligns with library priorities because first year composition courses are a major point of contact for library faculty and UW-Eau Claire students, almost all of whom complete a writing course. The team's composition was included a librarian, administrator, and faculty member who are actively engaged in assessment.

  • 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. Our project contributed to campus knowledge of how the library impacts undergraduate learning in a major academic program. Findings indicate that that first year writing students are developing in the area of source evaluation; while they integrate a variety of evidence into their writing, they are developing strategies for communicating the meaning of a source and evidence. Developmental writers face greater challenges applying information literacy concepts in writing than students in standard composition courses. Finally, students whose end-of-semester reflection essays indicate they believe they achieved information literacy also produce research projects that receive higher scores on the information literacy rubric.

    Average rubric scores from the data sample show the library can advance our standard lesson plan for information literacy instruction in composition courses. The team members and the research scope gave our project a high profile and our campus colleagues are interested in the results and continuation of the research.

  • 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. The library and the Composition Program will use the data collected in ongoing assessment and development of the library's role in the Blugold Seminar for Critical Reading and Writing (UW-Eau Claire's award-winning first year composition course). Data collected will inform continued development of the library's one-shot information literacy lesson plan, as well as classroom activities developed to support continued development and application of information literacy concepts in student writing.

    This project is an element of the library's assessment plan, which is reported upon to the Director of Assessment for accreditation purposes. In the future, this project may support assessment of information literacy in the university's liberal education core.

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

  1. Team leader contact:

    Robin Miller, Assistant Professor
    Research & Instruction/Government Publications Librarian
    McIntyre Library
    105 Garfield Avenue
    PO Box 4004
    University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
    Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

    (715) 836-3132

Intersections of Information Literacy and First-Year Composition

This project examines how first-year composition students integrate information literacy concepts into research following instruction with librarians. Eight evaluators reviewed 10% of Exploratory Research assignments (n=200) submitted 2013/2014 by first-year writing students, using a rubric to assess student performance in Attribution, Communication of Evidence, and Evaluation of Information.