Project Outcome for Academic Libraries announces the publication of a new case study, “Closing the Loop: Using Project Outcome to Assess and Improve a First-Year English Composition Information Literacy Program,” authored by Katie Quirin Manwiller, MLIS. “Closing the Loop” outlines how Project Outcome’s standardized instruction surveys provided a path for systematically analyzing information literacy instruction at DeSales University’s Trexler Library, where Kate works as an evening public services and assessment librarian.
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In 2019, Trexler Library at DeSales University sought a way to assess their first-year English composition information literacy instruction as a program. Library staff hoped to understand the strengths and weaknesses of instruction in order to make appropriate improvements at the program level and close the assessment loop. To do so, Trexler librarians implemented Project Outcome’s Instruction surveys for the 2019-2020 academic year.
DeSales University is a private institution granting Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in traditional, online, and hybrid learning environments. It has a total enrollment of 3,438 students with 1,736 full-time undergraduate day students. Trexler Library serves students in each degree program. It is staffed with six degreed librarians and two part-time support staff. Three librarians act as information literacy instructors, with the Library Director working closely with them to plan and assess instruction. The instruction program focuses primarily on first-year English Composition courses, EN103 and EN104. These are consecutive courses but some students test out of EN103 and only take EN104. Instruction is also regularly provided to other undergraduate and graduate courses.
The Evening Public Services and Assessment Librarian, who is responsible for coordinating information literacy assessment, introduced Project Outcome to the other instruction librarians in the summer of 2019 as a tool to assess information literacy instruction as a program. Previously, assessment of instruction focused on the number of sessions taught each year supplemented by in-class activities. The instruction librarians used a variety of end-of-session techniques, including paper activities and web surveys, to assess their instruction. These assessments provided useful but largely anecdotal information, as they were not consistent enough in their content or implementation to be used to assess instruction at the program level. Project Outcome’s standardized Instruction surveys provided a way to systematically analyze Trexler’s information literacy instruction.
Project Outcome is a FREE online toolkit designed to help libraries understand and share the impact of essential library programs and services by providing simple surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Participating libraries are also provided with the resources and training support needed to apply their results and confidently advocate for their library’s future. Project Outcome’s standardized surveys allow libraries to aggregate their outcome data and analyze trends by service topic, program type, and over time. For the first time, academic libraries can see how the outcomes of their programs and services compare across their institution, Carnegie Class, and nation.
To start measuring the impact of your library, register for Project Outcome for Academic Libraries for free today!