Assessment in Action

Anne Arundel Community College: Project Description

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Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

(No) Student Learning: Course

(No) Student Learning: Major

Student Learning: Degree

(No) Student Engagement

(No) Student Success

(No) Academic Intimacy/Rapport

(No) Enrollment

(No) Retention

(No) Completion


(No) Articulation

(No) Graduates' Career Success

(No) Testing (e.g., GRE, MCAT, LSAT, CAAP, CLA, MAPP)

Other (please describe)

Student Learning: Core Competencies

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)

Other (please describe)

Instruction: Librarian/Faculty Collaborations

Student Population (select one or more)


(No) Graduate

(No) Incoming


(No) Pre-College/Developmental/Basic Skills

Other (please describe)

Community College

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

(No) Library Administrator

(No) 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


Other (please describe)

Curriculum Map

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

Research Paper/Project

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. AACC’s Learning Outcomes Assessment (LOA) Plan calls for assessment of the college’s ten core competencies, including information literacy, among graduating students. Though it’s not possible to assess all relevant information literacy skills, we can use student artifacts to assess some, and we can gather information from our curriculum map and faculty to better understand when and how information literacy skills are taught and assessed. Our team wants to know: Do we have mechanisms in place at Anne Arundel Community College that allow students to develop appropriate information literacy skills by the time they graduate? The AiA team leader, head of instruction at AACC’s Truxal Library, also serves on the Committee for Teaching and Learning’s Subcommittee for LOA, charged with facilitating core competency assessment. The other members of the team include AACC’s Director of LOA and an English professor who serves as an Assessment Fellow, a peer resource for fellow faculty.

  • 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. Because data will be gathered over two subsequent semesters, there is not yet enough data to be able to report significant findings, but, once complete, we will mine the data extensively, especially to investigate any relationships between (1) evidence of student information literacy skills from student artifacts and the strength of a research assignment's directions, (2) evidence of student information literacy skills from student artifacts and student demographics, (3) frequency of faculty/librarian interactions and faculty confidence in assessing student information literacy skills, and (4) frequency of faculty/librarian interactions and course demographics (like course discipline, delivery method, and duration). In the overall plan to assess the college's ten core competencies, this is the first time we've used a combination of indirect and direct measures to assess one competency. The faculty survey is a piece we hadn't used in the past, but we may continue to use it in the future.

  • 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. Because of our assessment of information literacy as a college-wide core competency, we expect to see changes in our curriculum map. We know from assessing other competencies that the findings will necessitate a deeper discussion of the curriculum map, helping us to revise, when necessary, where in a program's curriculum students' information literacy skills are developed and assessed. As we communicate the assessment process and results to the college community, our assessment tools --specifically, an information literacy scoring rubric and an assignment checklist--will become more widely understood and used by faculty to revise their research assignments, to communicate to students their expectations about information literacy skills, and to score those skills as evidenced in student work. As the survey deployed for this project becomes more widely understood, faculty should become more aware of how the library can support their efforts to teach and assess information literacy skills.

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

  1. Professor Brandy Whitlock, Instruction Librarian & AiA Team Leader
    Andrew G. Truxal Library
    Anne Arundel Community College
    101 College Pkwy
    Arnold, MD 21012-1895

    Co-Presenter, “Coming Face-to-Face with the Future of IL Assessment: Why and How to Use Authentic and Performative Measures to Assess Student Learning”; Information Literacy Satellite Meeting, Facing the Future: Librarians and Information Literacy in a Changing Landscape, IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) World Library and Information Congress, Limerick, Ireland, August 14-15, 2014

    Whitlock, B. & Nanavati, J. (2013). A systematic approach to performative and authentic assessment. Reference Services Review, 41(1), 32-48.

Finding the Cocked Hat: Triangulating the Assessment of Information Literacy as a College-Wide Core Competency

AACC has initiated assessment of all college-wide core competencies, including information literacy. AACC’s Assessment in Action team employed a three-pronged approach to study institutional mechanisms that allow our students to develop appropriate information literacy skills, utilizing the college’s curriculum map, deploying a faculty survey and assignment checklist, and conducting authentic assessment of graduating students’ work.