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Assessment in Action @ SBCC 2013-2014: Assessment in Action

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SBCC Luria Library Project


A multiple workshop and coaching method with Developmental English students was used to assess confidence in library use and skill in database use as a result of treatment. Findings were generally positive. Follow-up will help us understand if self-confidence and experience in the library impacts persistence and success in subsequent classes.

SBCC Luria Library Project
In 2013, the Luria Library joined the first cohort of the program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” which is undertaken by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The program, a cornerstone of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Elizabeth Bowman, Librarian,
Ellen Carey, Librarian,
Robert Else, Head of Institutional Research,
Sheila Wiley, English Skills Faculty and Gateway Program Co-Director

Assessing the impact of the library on the success of basic skills students fills a specific, practical, and urgent need at our institution. California is transitioning from funding based on mid-semester enrollment numbers to funding based on end of semester course completion. Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) students taking basic skills courses are the most likely not to complete courses. The pressures on these students are increasing: less time allowed to complete classes, fewer chances to fail, and limits to financial aid.

Our project asked: Do students within English Skills courses [Developmental English] who receive step-by-step information literacy instruction and research coaching have better learning outcomes, as measured by course grade and completion?

The unstudied but evident value of the Luria Library, coupled with solid support from the institution, makes it a natural place to initiate an action learning project. A vital, well-regarded center of campus, the library is visited daily by nearly 5,000 of our 20,000 students. Ample anecdotal evidence of positive feelings about and appreciation of the library is available, yet there is no data to support our notion that the library environment is conducive to building not only skills but positive esteem, leading students to course completion and overall student retention. Our project also asked: Does research coaching from librarians help increase student self-confidence in completing course assignments that require them to apply information literacy competencies?

Library faculty have already developed close ties with English Skills faculty, and have experimented with ways to collaborate and infuse information literacy into assignments, as well as to build student confidence as researchers so that they might succeed in subsequent English classes.

California Community Colleges track Basic Skills students annually. See the results in the Student Scorecard 2014 for SBCC.