Assessment in Action Project Reflection – Jess Burkhardt

Jess Burkhardt, Public Services Librarian at DeSales University

Jess Burkhardt, Public Services Librarian at DeSales University

The ACRL Value in Academic Libraries team asked recent participants in the Assessment in Action program to reflect on their work and we and we continue to be thankful for the generous responses of AiA participants.

Following is a reflection by Jess Burkhardt, Public Services Librarian at DeSales University Trexler Library on her project: Is video instruction or traditional, face-to-face instruction more effective for teaching Searching as Strategic Exploration to DeSales ACCESS students?

  1. What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?

Since DeSales University is small, our greatest challenge was designing a research project that established enough controls to generate data that revealed true correlation. Our post-traditional undergraduate classes are taught in the evenings and the class sizes are very small. We still broke each class into two groups so that there was a control group (one-shot instruction taught in-person), but unfortunately there was still a bit of variety in the classes to which we gained access and our sample size was too small to determine statistical significance. After a pilot iteration we revised and repeated our project.

  1. What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?

I recommend that everyone who wants to conduct an assessment project displays the same level of perseverance we encourage our students to display in their research endeavors. Break your project into steps, repeat as necessary, and follow through to the end (sharing with stakeholders/your campus).

  1. What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action?

My participation in Assessment in Action provided me with the confidence to pursue assessment projects in the future and the joy of sharing the results with my campus. Faculty and administration provided a great deal of positive feedback and encouraged me to do more assessment in the future. We are continuing our study. It’s nice to be able to know that our services are meeting student needs!



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