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Think Like a Researcher: Instruction Resources: Assessment

Teaching Research And Information Literacy (TRAIL) Curriculum Resources for Writing 10

Publications Related to TRAIL Project

Squibb, Sara Davidson, and Susan Mikkelsen. "Assessing the Value of Course-Embedded Information Literacy on Student Learning and Achievement." College & Research Libraries 77.2 (2016): 164-183.

A team at the University of California, Merced, collaborated to evaluate the value of integrating information literacy into introductory composition courses through a curriculum developed by librarians and writing faculty. Using a mixed-methods approach, the team investigated the impact of the curriculum on students’ learning and achievement at the end of their first semester of college. Students participating in the curriculum demonstrated greater gains than their peers in using suitable sources and presenting arguments and multiple viewpoints with evidence. This learning did not translate to higher student achievement as represented by course grades and grade point average.

Mikkelson, Susan, and Elizabeth McMunn-Tetangco. "Think Like a Researcher: Integrating the Research Process into the Introductory Composition Curriculum." The New Information Literacy Instruction: Best Practices. Eds. Ragains, Patrick, and M. Sandra Wood. Lanham, Maryland : Rowman & Littlefield, 2016.

Poster -- Assessment as Research Symposium

Librarians and Merritt Writing Program (MWP) faculty collaborated to embed information literacy into selected sections of Writing 10 known as TRAIL  - Teaching Research and Information Literacy.  The goal of the partnership has been to increase students’ ability to find and use information effectively and critically.  To assess the effectiveness of this curricular collaboration, librarians and lecturers evaluated students’ written reflections and final papers to determine if students were using suitable sources, supporting arguments with evidence, citing accurately, integrating sources satisfactorily, and thinking like researchers.  Feedback from instructors who used the curriculum also aligned with findings from students’ reflections and papers.  The results indicate that students in Writing 10 TRAIL sections benefited from the curriculum; yet they, and their non-TRAIL peers, require ongoing opportunities to work with evidence that extend beyond introductory composition courses.   UC Merced, 2 March 2016

Assessment in Action (AiA) Results

UC Merced librarians participated in year two of Assessment in Action (AiA).  They formed a campus team to evaluate the impact of embedding information literacy into introductory writing courses.  Results are summarized on the following poster presented at ALA Annual (26 June 2015).

Selected Sources - Literature Review

Four Areas:

  1. Student Learning & Student Achievement
  2. Value of Direct & Indirect Evidence
  3. Insufficiencies in One-Shot Instruction
  4. Library Instruction and Relationship to Student GPA

Student Learning & Student Achievement

Oakleaf, Megan J. The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report. Chicago, IL: Association of College and Research Libraries, American Library Association, 2010. Web.

Oakleaf’s Value of Academic Libraries provided direction by defining what surrogates could point to areas of library such as GPA serving as a surrogate for student achievement while faculty judgments could serve as a surrogate for student learning (19).

Value of Direct & Indirect Evidence (e.g. Student Papers / Student Reflections)

Scharf, Davida, Norbert Elliot, Heather A. Huey, Vladimir Briller, and Kamal Joshi. "Direct Assessment of Information Literacy Using Writing Portfolios." Journal of Academic Librarianship. 33.4 (2007): 462-477. Web.

Authors provide an argument for conducting authentic assessment by evaluating work found in student portfolios, in this case capstone seminar papers (465).  A useful rubric is included.

Suskie, Linda A, and Trudy W. Banta. “Chapter 12: Assessing Attitudes, Values, Disposition, and Habits of Mind.”  Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009. Web. 10 June 2015.

Suskie and Banta discuss the benefits of reflective writing for both assessment purposes and student learning.  Reflections can be useful assessments to determine students’ behaviors, attitudes, or values that cannot be captured through quantitative assessment strategies (185). Practical suggestions and strategies for effective use of reflections are offered.

Mery, Yvonne, Jill Newby, and Ke Peng. "Why One-Shot Information Literacy Sessions Are Not the Future of Instruction: a Case for Online Credit Courses." College & Research Libraries. 73.4 (2012). 366-377. Web.

Mery, Newby, and Peng from the University of Arizona discovered that though students made some gains in information literacy through receiving a one-shot session; students who took a full information literacy course had greater gains.  Suggests the value of library instruction that extends beyond limited face-to-face interactions with students.

Library Instruction and Relationship to Student GPA

Bowles-Terry, Melissa. "Library Instruction and Academic Success: A Mixed-Methods Assessment of a Library Instruction Program." Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 7.1 (2012): 82-95. Web.

Bowles-Terry examined GPA as a marker of academic success and found a positive correlation with statistical significance between library instruction and student GPA, at the point of graduation, for students who had received that instruction in upper-division classes (88, 91).  This did not hold true for students who only received library instruction in freshman-level classes (88).

Scharf, Davida, Norbert Elliot, Heather A. Huey, Vladimir Briller, and Kamal Joshi. "Direct Assessment of Information Literacy Using Writing Portfolios." Journal of Academic Librarianship. 33.4 (2007): 462-477. Web.

Scharf et. al found that there were positive relationships between information literacy performance levels and both course grades and cumulative grade point average (469) though they were not very high.  These correlations were based on data from senior students. 

Vance, Jason M., Rachel Kirk, and Justin G. Gardner. "Measuring the Impact of Library Instruction on Freshman Success and Persistence a Quantitative Analysis." Communications in Information Literacy. 6.1 (2012): 49-58.  Web.

Vance, Kirk, and Gardner through quantitative analysis found a positive and statistically significant relationship between library instruction and undergraduate GPA.  Students who had been in a course receiving library instruction were more likely to receive a higher GPA at the end of their freshmen year than a student who had not received library instruction through a course. (56) Authors note that the literature on the correlation between library instruction on GPA (and retention) is mixed.