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Assessment in Action @ SBCC 2013-2014: Final Report

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Assessment in Action 2013-2014 Final Report

Assessment in Action 2013-2014 Final Report


The Project and the Team
Basic Skills student success is a practical and urgent need at our institution and in California. Students taking Basic Skills courses are the most likely not to complete courses or persist from semester to semester. As yet no data supports our notion that the library environment and library instruction are tied to student success but we believe that, since supportive relationships foster persistence, strong and positive relationships with librarians can create a sense of belonging to the college community and, further, customized instruction can support strong information literacy skill development and successful course completion. Our project sought to understand if students within Developmental English courses who receive step-by-step information literacy instruction have better learning outcomes, as measured by evidence of more frequent and selective use of databases and successful course completion. Each team member is keenly interested in Basic Skills student success and we already had a productive working relationship.

 

Contribution 
Highlighting Basic Skills student success and persistence, as well as showing generally positive results, contributes to our campus commitment to academic support of these students and the critical need for the library to be an integral part of promotion success among these students.
We know that, with more time to collect and assess data, we will be able to identify and articulate the library’s import more effectively.
Since the library has not yet been involved in large scale, this project has raised awareness of the library as capable and skilled in assessment.
Findings included: student use of library increased; student confidence and ease started higher than expected and increased; awareness of multiple ways to contact librarian increased dramatically; students explored search strategies and learned about trustworthy sources to provide support for essay assignments. Importantly, students felt supported by librarians and welcomed in the library in ways they hadn’t before.

 

Conclusions, Implications, and Recommendations 
We will recommend that research skills be introduced and reinforced in each of the Developmental English levels because we feel confident that this is useful to students.
Since we have found that the multiple workshop methods can enhance the notion of librarian as coach and support for student success, allow more reinforcement of learning skills, increase use of the library by teachers and students, and encourage positive perceptions of library, we can more effectively recommend this method to teachers in other disciplines when it matches the learning outcome.
We intend to track student persistence and success among the students studied in this project.
We aim to build assessment into all library instruction and explore ways to assess library services and use of resources. In future assessment projects that span more than one episode of instruction or point of use, we will aim to establish control groups.

 

Qs and As
1. What contributed to the success of the project?
One of our Team had prior experience with assessment and was diligent about keeping our efforts valid and accurate. The students were eager and appreciative of the attention by librarians throughout the process. The instructors working with us were enthusiastic, flexible, supportive, and grateful to try a new approach to support their students’ success.

2. What problems or delays did you encounter? How did you address or resolve these problems?
Our most significant issue was the smaller than hoped for number of respondents completing the post-tests, particularly during the first semester. In the future, we will set the date for post-tests with faculty farther in advance and assist, if necessary, if procuring computer lab space to facilitate the completion of the post-tests.

Our Institutional Research office has too many current projects for us to do a detailed analysis of pre- and post-test data (such as, comparing individual responses), so we didn’t get a chance to get a precise understanding of the data.

3. How has the project contributed to assessment activities on your campus?
Prior to this project, we had not worked with Institution Research collaboratively and we are poised to do more work with this department.

4. Thinking about your campus assessment [AiA] team, what factors contributed to a positive experience for the team members?
We are each, and as a group, committed to student success and each member had a positive and productive approach to our efforts.

5. Did your campus assessment team encounter challenges during the project?
We had minor challenges coordinating schedules for meetings.

6. How has your campus assessment project changed administrators’, faculty, and/or students’ perceptions of the value of the library?
It is unclear to date, though there will be several meetings with colleagues and administrators this summer and fall. We suspect that pursuit of the study as well as the findings will bolster our already-good reputation on campus as a department dedicated to student success and eager to understand our value. The findings are sufficiently valuable that we believe that we would be encouraged to pursue more assessment projects.

7. What have been the reactions of other library staff to your involvement in this project?
Our colleagues are supportive and encouraging.

8. How will your library and institution use the results of the project?
We intend to track student persistence and success among the students studied in this project.
We will recommend that research skills be introduced and reinforced in each of the Developmental English levels and we can more effectively recommend this method to teachers in other disciplines when it matches the learning outcome.

Having established ourselves as capable of and dedicated to assessment, we aim to build assessment into all library instruction and explore ways to assess library services and use of resources

9. How will the assessment activity created through the project be sustained on your campus?
Since the library has not yet been involved in large scale, this project has raised awareness of the library as capable and skilled in assessment.