Assessment in Action

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Project Description

Page 1


Primary Outcome Examined (select one or more)

(No) Student Learning: Assignment

(No) 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

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

(No) Instruction: One Shot

(No) Instruction: Course Embedded

(No) Instruction: Self-Paced Tutorials

(No) Reference

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)

Personnel (number and quality)

(No) Other (please describe)

Student Population (select one or more)

(No) Undergraduate


(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)

Professions/Applied Sciences

(No) English Composition

(No) General Education

(No) Information Literacy Credit Course

Other (please describe)

Library and Information Science, Experiential learning

AiA Team Members (select one or more)

(No) Assessment Office

(No) Institutional Research

(No) Teaching Faculty

(No) Writing Center

(No) Information/Academic Technology

(No) Student Affairs

Campus Administrator

Library Administrator

Other Librarian

Other (please describe)

Information Studies Doctoral Student

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Methods and Tools (select one or more)


(No) Interviews

(No) Focus Group(s)

(No) Observation

(No) Pre/Post Test

(No) Rubric

(No) Other (please describe)

Direct Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Student Portfolio

(No) Research Paper/Project

(No) Class Assignment (other than research paper/project)

Other (please describe)

Text analysis of qualitative data; quantitative data

Indirect Data Type (select one or more)

(No) Test Scores

(No) GPA

(No) Degree Completion Rate

(No) Retention Rate

Other (please describe)

employment status

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. "Preparing the new professionals: Assessing the impact of library internships on graduate student success". Academic libraries are frequent training grounds for MLIS graduate-students. Are student workers obtaining relevant marketable skills? What is the perceived value of applied training? Do mentors impact student employee success?
    A two-part mixed method survey allowed for both quantitative and qualitative data to be gathered.

    This study focused on the experience of forty former interns and fieldwork students from the last five program years, each who had concurrently earned the MLIS degree while working in the program studied. Participants are now working professionals, with an informed perspective on what role the internship had on student success, student learning, and subsequent career success. Results revealed consistent themes on training needs, professional development, and mentoring. Findings have informed the best practices for internships and other applied learning tracks.

  • 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 study identified student learning and professional success as positively connected to the internship or fieldwork. Data revealed consistent themes for both positive and negative perceptions of the program. This provides direction on best practices for training, professional development, and mentoring.

    All reported the applied experience prepared them for their current employment, and comments included “the experience was the single most helpful part of my time as a student!” and “it was a great experience and crucial for me landing a job in the industry”. Formal mentoring is valued as impacting student success. Working alongside a librarian is perceived as the most effective and valuable component of the experience, exceeding direct user contact. Strong emphasis was placed on the effectiveness of training and the long-term value of the practical skills learned. Students reported the experience provided them a network of professional contacts that continue to directly benefit their careers.

  • 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. Numerous changes have recently been made for the Intern and Fieldwork programs to further strengthen these valuable experiences, consistent with survey recommendations. A Librarian position of Intern and Fieldwork Supervisor has been created to provide the program more consistent attention and assessment. Group professional development opportunities are being developed to supplement individual experiences. A “Senior Intern” position has been added, with promotion to that title based on skills assessment and readiness to assume increased independent work and peer mentoring. The professional mentoring component of the program will be redesigned to best utilize those librarians cited as strongest in this area. Other units with student employees will have the opportunity to create a parallel assessment of their programs. Results will be used in program promotion. Ongoing assessment is planned, for continuous improvement.

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

  1. Team Leader Linda Kopecky co-presented "Assessment in Action Initiative [AiA]: The Wisconsin Connection" at the CUWL Annual Conference (June 5, 2014 in Madison), along with AiA representatives from UW-Green Bay and UW-EauClaire. The presentation shared UWM's experiences plus background on ACRL’s commitment to strengthening data-informed advocacy.

    Team Member Tyler Scott Smith presented "Steering Student Workers into Success" at the CUWL Annual Conference (June 5, 2014 in Madison). Based on the AiA project, the presentation focused on the history and vision for the mentorship aspect of the Intern and Fieldworker program, from reviewing the satisfaction levels of past members to further developing the program to ensure a richer learning experience.

    Team Leader Contact Details:

    Linda A. Kopecky, Head
    Research & Instructional Support Department
    UWM Libraries
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    2311 E. Hartford Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53211

    Office Tel: 414.229.3925

Preparing the New Professionals: Assessing the long-term impact of library internships on graduate student success

Academic libraries are frequent training grounds for MLS graduate-students. Are workers properly prepared with marketable skills? What is the perceived value of applied training? Do mentors impact student employee success? A study on the experience of student workers reveals consistencies with training needs, professional development and mentoring, and allows for the construction of future best practices for MLS graduate-student training.