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The ‘Understanding Library Impacts’ protocol: demonstrating academic library contributions to student learning outcomes in the age of accountability. Derek Rodriguez Doctoral Candidate, School of Information and Library Science The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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slide1

The ‘Understanding Library Impacts’ protocol:demonstrating academic library contributions tostudent learning outcomes in the age of accountability

Derek Rodriguez

Doctoral Candidate, School of Information and Library Science

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Program Officer, Triangle Research Libraries Network

9th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, August 23, 2011, York, England

undergraduate education in the age of accountability
Undergraduate education in the age of accountability

Concerns

Metrics

Retention

Graduation rates

Student learning outcomes

  • Access and cost
  • Attainment
  • Competencies of graduates
student learning outcomes
Student learning outcomes
  • Locally defined learning outcomes
    • General education and the academic major
  • Broad abilities and cross-discipline skills
    • e.g. Critical thinking, inquiry and analysis, information literacy, quantitative literacy, written communication
    • VALUE rubrics (Rhodes, 2010)
  • Discipline specific knowledge and skills
    • By academic major, e.g. History, Chemistry, Nursing, etc.
    • Tuning projects (Gonzalez & Wagenaar, 2005; ICHE, 2010)

- Rhodes, T., ed. 2010. Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and Tools for Using Rubrics. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

- González, J. and Wagenaar, R. (eds.) (2005). Tuning Educational Structures in Europe II. Bilbao, ES: University of Deusto.

- Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Tuning USA Final Report: The 2009 Indiana Pilot, 2010.

the challenge for libraries
The challenge for libraries

- Connecting library use to student learning outcomes

Student Learning

Student effort

Library use

Assessment

?

Program reviews

External frameworks

VALUE & Tuning

understanding library impacts explores library use as a component of student effort
‘Understanding Library Impacts’- Explores library use as a component of student effort

Student Learning

Learning

Activities

Library use

Assessment

Student effort

Program reviews

External frameworks

VALUE & Tuning

a focus for library assessment
A focus for library assessment

Capstone

experience

Expectations

Academic

major

Student effort

General education

design for pilot study spring 2011
Design for pilot study (spring 2011)
  • Population: undergraduate history majors enrolled at 2 sites, a liberal arts college and a liberal arts university in the U.S. (N=74)
  • Project: 20 – 40 page research paper using evidence from primary sources
  • Step 1: Constructed a learning activities crosswalk using syllabi and rubrics for research papers
  • Step 2: Students completed a web-based critical incident survey after turning in papers
  • Step 3: Reports were distributed to study sites via secure, database-driven web-sites
understanding library impacts explores library use as a component of student effort1
Understanding Library Impacts- Explores library use as a component of student effort

Student Learning

Learning

Activities

Library use

Assessment

‘Capstone’

project

Program reviews

Learning activities crosswalk

Critical incident survey

External frameworks

VALUE & Tuning

activities

Learning activities crosswalk

Activities

Capstone-related outcomes

Getting oriented

  • Discipline-specific skills
  • Locates secondary and primary sources
  • Distinguishes among types of sources

Choosing a topic

  • Thesis and argument
  • Develops original thesis statement
  • Advances argument in support of thesis using evidence from primary sources

Developing a thesis

Gathering evidence

  • Evidence and analysis
  • Evaluates and interpret primary sources
  • Uses secondary sources to provide context
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the methods of history

Finding other sources

Creating a bibliography

  • Writing and Citing
  • Communicates argument in a coherent, well-written paper
  • Follows disciplinary style and citation standards

Writing

critical incident survey developed and refined in qualitative studies 2006 2007
Critical incident survey- Developed and refined in qualitative studies (2006, 2007)

Deliverables and outcomes

Learning

activities

Helps and problems

Open ended questions and probes

Library use

Top-ranked

e-resource

- Electronic

resources

Local questions

Top-ranked traditional resource

- Traditional resources

Demographics and affect

Top-ranked service

- Services

Academic challenge

Top-ranked facility

- Facilities / Equipment

slide13

Outcomes related to the activity ‘Gathering evidence’

  • Locates secondary and primary sources
  • Distinguishes among types of sources
  • Advances argument in support of thesis using evidence from primary sources
  • Evaluates and interprets primary sources
slide14

Outcomes related to the activity ‘Writing’

  • Communicates argument in a coherent, well-written paper
  • Follows disciplinary style and citation standards
  • Advances argument in support of thesis using evidence from primary sources
  • Uses secondary sources to provide context
factors of use helps and problems
Factors of use (helps and problems)
  • Derived from qualitative studies and LIS literature
  • Gathered for ‘ranked uses’ only
  • Categorized for analysis
  • Example category: ‘Help finding information’
    • “I learned about information sources for my project” (help)
    • “I learned new skills” (help)
    • “helped me when I got stuck” (help)
    • “the assistance I received wasn't helpful” (problem)
    • “it was difficult to find someone to help me” (problem)
slide17

Challenges faced during the project

Site B, n=22

Site A, n=17

“Overwhelmed by various themes and layers of my research” (A-2)

“Putting all of my information together into a cohesive paper” (A-5)

“Time management” (A-8)

“Several of the books I needed were being rebound…” (B-3)

“Uncertainty about where to start” (B-10)

“I was worried about finding primary source material” (B-15)

“At a somewhat early point in the project, I realized that the scope of my project was much too wide …” (B-14)

slide18

Most important library uses, by type of use, n=37

“… those databases, JSTOR specifically, really helped me.” (B-4)

“Library space to work on my thesis both writing and research” (B-2)

“being able to get books from off campus” (B-3)

Alternate activity, if first choice hadn’t been available, n=29

understanding library impacts protocol contributions and implications
Understanding Library Impacts protocol- Contributions and implications

Student Learning

Library use

Assessment

Learning

Activities

‘Capstone’

project

Program reviews

- Credible connections between library use and expectations for student learning

- Generates rich data useful for advocacy and improvement

- Places library in important campus conversations about student learning

External frameworks

VALUE & Tuning

slide20

Next steps

Refining instruments; conducting reliability and validity testing

Exploring “patterns and predictions”

Continue evaluation with history majors at 4 more sites (fall 2011)

Future work

Evaluate protocol with other disciplines and settings

Explore integration with assessment systems and analytics projects

Questions?

Contact: Derek_Rodriguez@unc.edu

crosswalk broad abilities and discipline specific outcomes
Crosswalk: Broad abilities and discipline-specific outcomes
  • VALUE Rubrics (Rhodes, 2010)
    • Critical thinking
    • Inquiry and analysis
    • Information literacy
    • Written Communication
  • Tuning Outcomes for History (ICHE, 2010)
    • Historical knowledge
    • Thinking and analytical skills
    • Communication skills
    • Personal motivation

Rhodes, T., ed. 2010. Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and Tools for Using Rubrics. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Indiana Commission for Higher Education. Tuning USA Final Report: The 2009 Indiana Pilot, 2010.

slide22

Related capstone outcomes

  • Locates secondary and primary sources
  • Distinguishes among types of sources
  • Advances argument in support of thesis using evidence from primary sources
  • Evaluates and interprets primary sources
outcomes related to gathering evidence
Outcomes related to ‘gathering evidence’

Project outcome

Advances argument in support of thesis using evidence from primary sources

VALUE

Inquiry and Analysis

Analysis - Organizes and synthesizes evidence to reveal insightful patterns, differences, or similarities.

Activity

Gathering evidence

Tuning Outcome

Formulate and test plausible historical hypotheses and marshal an argument.