Academic Libraries,
Information Literacy Assessment,
and Higher Education Accreditation
Cynthia Kane
Professor and Directo...
A Bit about Emporia State
University
Part of Kansas Board of
Regents system
Fall 2013: 3873
undergraduate students;
2160 g...
Background to Research
• Currently serving on HLC Steering
Committee and vice chair of Criterion III
subcommittee
• Sabbat...
What Is Information
Literacy?
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
Competency Standards (2000 with pending...
How Is Information Literacy
Addressed in Higher Education?
• IL general outcomes
• IL discipline-specific outcomes
• Credi...
How is Information
Literacy Assessed?
• Standardized assessments
– Project SAILS
– iSkills
– Credit-bearing courses: IDEA ...
Information Literacy and Other
Regional Accreditation
Associations
Middle States Commission on Higher Education:
Current C...
Information Literacy and Other
Regional Accreditation
Associations
New England Association of Schools and Colleges –
Commi...
Information Literacy and Other
Regional Accreditation
Associations
Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools – Commissi...
Information Literacy and Other
Regional Accreditation
Associations
Western Association of Schools and Colleges –
Accrediti...
Information Literacy and Other
Regional Accreditation
Associations
WSCUC – Western Association of Schools and
Colleges, Se...
What Does HLC Actually Ask
of Academic Libraries?
Criterion 3: Teaching and Learning:
Quality, Resources, and Support
• Cr...
Is HLC Asking Enough of
Us?
• What assessments of infrastructure, resources,
or “effective use of research and information...
And Why Should Anyone
Care?
Surveys and Methodology
Fall 2013
• 1st survey: Sent on library listservs; a general survey of
academic libraries and six ...
Surveys and Methodology
Fall 2013
• 2nd survey: Sent to library
directors/heads of instruction or
assessment of HLC-accred...
Surveys and Methodology
Methodology for both was a
combination of multiple-choice
questions and open-ended questions
• 1st...
Demographics of 1st
Survey (self-identified)
43 public institutions, 38 private
institutions, 2 “other” institutions (6
sk...
48
29
Does the regional accreditation association for
your college or university address information
literacy?
Yes
No
If “yes”, how is information literacy
addressed by the accreditation
association?
“Middle States stresses the importance o...
If “no”, how does the accreditation
association address other aspects of
information literacy?
“It really doesn't. It just...
Demographics of 2nd
Survey (self-identified)
• 50 public institutions; 47 private
institutions; 4 for-profit institutions
...
12
2
5
3
2
2
4
0
2
1
2
010
2
4177
11
7
7
2
6
1
1
1
10
10 1
1
3
Does your institution fit one of the following Carnegie Bas...
How would you rank the Higher Learning Commission's
comprehension of information literacy?
Very comprehensive
Comprehensiv...
Comments
“Some elements are included such as critical thinking and
evaluation of information.”
“I've not read anything fro...
Does your library currently use a standardized information literacy
assessment tool?
Yes
No
136
14
Instruments named:
• UL...
Were library student learning outcomes used in the most
recent Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit at
your inst...
If "yes", how were those outcomes used? If possible,
provide specific examples from the HLC New Criteria for
Accreditation...
8
6
26
30
16
19
22
Does your library use other student assessments for information
literacy at your college or university?...
7
55
45
Were the results of other student assessments of information
literacy used in the most recent Higher Learning Comm...
If “Yes”, How Were Those
Results Used?
• Our college has an assessment subcommittee for info lit and they created a
local ...
Recommendations
Administrators, Departmental Faculty,
Librarians/Library Faculty:
TALK and COMMUNICATE with one another! F...
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Information Literacy Assessment and Higher Education Accreditation Institutions, HLC Conference Presentation, April 12, 2014, Chicago, IL

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  • Good morning! Thank you so much for coming to this session at the start of this HLC conference. I’m Cynthia Kane, and I’m from the Libraries and Archives – specifically William Allen White Library – at Emporia State University, in Kansas. This is my second HLC conference, and it’s great to be back in the presenter mode!
  • You have probably seen in my abstract that this presentation will  focus on academic libraries' information literacy assessment of student learning outcomes in the context of higher education accreditation associations. Or, to put it another way – academic librarians, including me, have a huge variety of opportunities to contribute to student learning in colleges and universities. We still do quite a few library tours, but we also work directly with departmental faculty and students through library instruction sessions targeted toward specific classes, and specific assignments. If the relationships are good, we also may collaborate with departmental faculty to design subject-specific research competencies for undergraduate and graduate students. At ESU, we as library faculty teach a two-credit hour undergraduate course titled Information Literacy and Technology. This course is part of the General Education Curriculum and can be taken to fulfill the core skills requirement of Information Technology. I give you this background to set the stage and lead into some background about Emporia State University itself.
  • Now, I’m sure I am like many of you in this room! I did not exactly start my academic career with a background in assessment, or in my specific profession, even an interest in teaching! As technology and access to information increased exponentially with the advent of the Internet and World Wide Web, academic libraries found themselves in a position not only to manage information overload, but also to begin teaching students and often other faculty the most effective approaches to finding, evaluating, and synthesizing that very information for any project. That was my background from my professional start back in 1988 to the present day and my current position dealing with assessment issues at the ESU library. (continue to information on slide)
  • I’ve mentioned several times already this catchphrase, Information Literacy. How many of you here are familiar with this term? What does it mean to you in your current roles?
  • However, MSCHE has a revision going on currently of its Characteristics of Excellence. In the proposed revision presently open to feedback, there are 7 standards and no explicit mention of information literacy. The closest implicit mention is in proposed standard III, Student Learning Opportunities, which notes the need for a general education program designed for students to acquire “critical analysis and reasoning” and “technological competency” among other skills.
  • We can see that the third response is tied to theNew England Association of Schools and Colleges – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education standards, and of course the first response identifies the Middle States Association. The second response is in reference to the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
  • 30 responses, the highest category, identified with an internal post-test of information literacy competencies – I would want to dig further to find out if various post-tests were indeed created in-house and in line with information literacy outcomes highlighted as significant by the academic libraries, the departments, or both. 26 responses indicated an internal pre-test – again, I’d be interested in learning more about the pre-test and post-test paired together. Departmental information literacy student learning outcomes received 22 responses and student self-assessments received 19 responses.
  • Information Literacy Assessment and Higher Education Accreditation Institutions, HLC Conference Presentation, April 12, 2014, Chicago, IL

    1. 1. Academic Libraries, Information Literacy Assessment, and Higher Education Accreditation Cynthia Kane Professor and Director of Assessment ESU Libraries and Archives Higher Learning Commission Annual Conference April 12, 2014 Chicago, IL ckane1@emporia.edu
    2. 2. A Bit about Emporia State University Part of Kansas Board of Regents system Fall 2013: 3873 undergraduate students; 2160 graduate students Four schools/colleges: • Liberal Arts and Sciences • School of Business (AACSB accreditation) • School of Library and Information Management (ALA accreditation) • Teachers College (NCATE accreditation) Carnegie Basic Classification: Master's L: Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs) And… We are preparing for our own HLC site visit! March 23-25, 2015
    3. 3. Background to Research • Currently serving on HLC Steering Committee and vice chair of Criterion III subcommittee • Sabbatical research leave granted for Fall 2013 semester • Interest widened to the extent in which academic libraries, particularly information literacy assessments, are (or are not) involved in the regional accreditation process
    4. 4. What Is Information Literacy? Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Competency Standards (2000 with pending revision 2014) An information literate individual is able to: • Determine the extent of information needed • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently • Evaluate information and its sources critically • Incorporate selected information into one‟s knowledge base • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally • (2014 revision addresses “metaliteracy” and “threshold concepts”)
    5. 5. How Is Information Literacy Addressed in Higher Education? • IL general outcomes • IL discipline-specific outcomes • Credit-bearing courses (taught by librarians, or team-taught) • Individual library instruction sessions tied to assignments; research methods courses; other courses • Workshops/seminars
    6. 6. How is Information Literacy Assessed? • Standardized assessments – Project SAILS – iSkills – Credit-bearing courses: IDEA or other standard student ratings of instruction • Individual student/faculty evaluations – At end of instruction session, or end of term/semester • Examinations of bibliographies/reference lists from papers or projects • Internal departmental measures of IL outcomes
    7. 7. Information Literacy and Other Regional Accreditation Associations Middle States Commission on Higher Education: Current Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education embed information literacy in Standard 11, “Educational Offerings” “Several skills, collectively referred to as “information literacy,” apply to all disciplines in an institution‟s curricula. These skills relate to a student‟s competency in acquiring and processing information in the search for understanding, whether that information is sought in or through the facilities of a library, through practica, as a result of field experiments, by communications with experts in professional communities, or by other means. Therefore, information literacy is an essential component of any educational program at the graduate or undergraduate levels.”
    8. 8. Information Literacy and Other Regional Accreditation Associations New England Association of Schools and Colleges – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education Standard 7, “Library and Other Information Resources”: Information and Technological Literacy 7.9 “The institution demonstrates that students use information resources and technology as an integral part of their education, attaining levels of proficiency appropriate to their degree and subject or professional field of study.” 7.10 “The institution ensures that throughout their program of study students acquire increasingly sophisticated skills in evaluating the quality of information sources appropriate to their field of study and the level of the degree program.”
    9. 9. Information Literacy and Other Regional Accreditation Associations Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement 3.8, Library and Other Learning Resources 3.8.2. “The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources. (Instruction of Library Use)”
    10. 10. Information Literacy and Other Regional Accreditation Associations Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges Standard II: Student Learning Programs and Services IIB: Student Support Services C. Library and Learning Support Services 1.b. “The institution provides ongoing instruction for users of library and other learning support services so that students are able to develop skills in information competency.”
    11. 11. Information Literacy and Other Regional Accreditation Associations WSCUC – Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission Standard 2, Teaching and Learning – criteria for review 2.2a: Baccalaureate programs engage students in an integrated course of study of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare them for work, citizenship, and life-long learning. These programs ensure the development of core competencies including, but not limited to, written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and critical thinking.”
    12. 12. What Does HLC Actually Ask of Academic Libraries? Criterion 3: Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support • Criterion 3.D.4: The institution provides to students and instructors the infrastructure and resources necessary to support effective teaching and learning (technological infrastructure, scientific laboratories, libraries, performance spaces, clinical practice sites, museum collections, as appropriate to the institution‟s offerings). • Criterion 3.D.5: The institution provides to students guidance in the effective use of research and information resources.
    13. 13. Is HLC Asking Enough of Us? • What assessments of infrastructure, resources, or “effective use of research and information resources” are actually required? • What is required/desired from HLC academic libraries in terms of information literacy assessment? • What are the perceptions of HLC institutions‟ academic library deans, directors, and other librarians involved in information literacy assessments? • How do those perceptions compare to other regional accreditation associations?
    14. 14. And Why Should Anyone Care?
    15. 15. Surveys and Methodology Fall 2013 • 1st survey: Sent on library listservs; a general survey of academic libraries and six regional accreditation agencies (87 responses received) – Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) – New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE) – North Central Association of Colleges and Schools The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC) – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) – Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (WASC-ACCJC) – Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
    16. 16. Surveys and Methodology Fall 2013 • 2nd survey: Sent to library directors/heads of instruction or assessment of HLC-accredited institutions • SurveyMonkey e-mail invitation • 941 survey links sent • 149 responses (16% response rate)
    17. 17. Surveys and Methodology Methodology for both was a combination of multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions • 1st survey: Deliberately general to focus upon higher education accreditation associations • 2nd survey: Focus was upon HLC accreditation requirements in terms of academic libraries
    18. 18. Demographics of 1st Survey (self-identified) 43 public institutions, 38 private institutions, 2 “other” institutions (6 skipped this question) Average student FTE enrollment was 3916 for UG and 822 for G (78 respondents answered this question and 9 skipped it)
    19. 19. 48 29 Does the regional accreditation association for your college or university address information literacy? Yes No
    20. 20. If “yes”, how is information literacy addressed by the accreditation association? “Middle States stresses the importance of information literacy. See http://www.msche.org/publications/Developing- Skills080111151714.pdf” “Standard **.C.1.b: The institution provides instruction for users of library and other learning support services so that students are able to develop skills in information competency.” “Under Standard 4: The Academic Program they explicitly told us in their report that information literacy is important to them and they want us to focus squarely on it; under Standard 7: Library and Other Information Resources they praised the recent hire of an Instruction Librarian to provide structure and process to our information literacy program” “IL is discusseed [sic] only via the library not in the classroom evaluation of teachers” “Effective use of resources and information; academic integrity (no direct language indicating „information literacy‟ but implied.”
    21. 21. If “no”, how does the accreditation association address other aspects of information literacy? “It really doesn't. It just makes sure that students have the resources they need” “There is a section on Library & Information Resources and mentions of using library sources in teaching and learning. But the phrase „information literacy‟ is not used.” “The standard states that the library must supply resources and instruction for how to use those resources. I don't consider that the same as information literacy overall.” “I've been interviewed in every previous visit and the reviewer asked me „what do you want me to say‟ about the library. S/he would mention that faculty had positive comments but the final report usually didn't mention the library.” “No one came to the library nor addressed any questions about the library to the administration.” “report glowingly written”
    22. 22. Demographics of 2nd Survey (self-identified) • 50 public institutions; 47 private institutions; 4 for-profit institutions • Average student FTE enrollment was 4,084 UG and 880 G (99 respondents answered this question and 55 skipped it) • 12 institutions -- Assoc/Pub-R-S: Associate's--Public Rural-serving Small • 11 institutions -- Master's S: Master's Colleges and Universities (smaller programs)
    23. 23. 12 2 5 3 2 2 4 0 2 1 2 010 2 4177 11 7 7 2 6 1 1 1 10 10 1 1 3 Does your institution fit one of the following Carnegie Basic Classifications: Assoc/Pub-R-S: Associate's--Public Rural-serving Small Assoc/Pub-R-M: Associate's--Public Rural-serving Medium Assoc/Pub-R-L: Associate's--Public Rural-serving Large Assoc/Pub-S-SC: Associate's--Public Suburban-serving Single Campus Assoc/Pub-S-MC: Associate's--Public Suburban-serving Multicampus Assoc/Pub-U-SC: Associate's--Public Urban-serving Single Campus Assoc/Pub-U-MC: Associate's--Public Urban-serving Multicampus Assoc/Pub-Spec: Associate's--Public Special Use Assoc/PrivNFP: Associate's--Private Not-for-profit Assoc/PrivFP: Associate's--Private For-profit Assoc/Pub2in4: Associate's--Public 2-year colleges under 4- year universities Assoc/Pub4: Associate's--Public 4-year Primarily Associate's Assoc/PrivNFP4: Associate's--Private Not-for-profit 4-year Primarily Associate's Assoc/PrivFP4: Associate's--Private For-profit 4-year Primarily Associate's RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity) RU/H: Research Universities (high research activity) DRU: Doctoral/Research Universities Master's L: Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs) Master's M: Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs) Master's S: Master's Colleges and Universities (smaller programs) Bac/A&S: Baccalaureate Colleges--Arts & Sciences Bac/Diverse: Baccalaureate Colleges--Diverse Fields Bac/Assoc: Baccalaureate/Associate's Colleges Spec/Faith: Special Focus Institutions--Theological seminaries, Bible colleges, and other faith-related institutions Spec/Med: Special Focus Institutions--Medical schools and medical centers Spec/Health: Special Focus Institutions--Other health professions schools Spec/Engg: Special Focus Institutions--Schools of engineering Spec/Tech: Special Focus Institutions--Other technology- related schools Spec/Bus: Special Focus Institutions--Schools of business and management Spec/Arts: Special Focus Institutions--Schools of art, music, and design Spec/Law: Special Focus Institutions--Schools of law
    24. 24. How would you rank the Higher Learning Commission's comprehension of information literacy? Very comprehensive Comprehensive Neutral Somewhat comprehensive Not comprehensive 73 2233 16 2
    25. 25. Comments “Some elements are included such as critical thinking and evaluation of information.” “I've not read anything from them about Info Lit.” “I felt the team's knowledge of the work of librarians and the function of libraries was rooted in their undergraduate experiences from half a century ago.” “As of my last reading of their standards in 2012, I was somewhat underwhelmed with their comprehension of IL standards. I'd like to see more IL language and less „information economy‟ prose.” “They've at least heard of it.” “They see it as pervasive through out the institution but I'm not sure they get how it is actually taught.” “Not too sure what the HLC's position is” “At least it has never demonstrated any comprehension to me.”
    26. 26. Does your library currently use a standardized information literacy assessment tool? Yes No 136 14 Instruments named: • ULI: Understanding Library Impacts protocol • Patron Survey and core competency survey • Research Readiness Self Assessment (RRSA) • TRAILS • Research Practices Survey • Project SAILS • IPED, ALS, LIBQUAL, and WORP (now defunct) in the last 5 years
    27. 27. Were library student learning outcomes used in the most recent Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit at your institution? Yes No 91 14
    28. 28. If "yes", how were those outcomes used? If possible, provide specific examples from the HLC New Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components to illustrate the outcomes' use. • Yes, we used the data from library assessments to provide information on the following areas for the library's version of the self-study report which became part of the larger university self-study required by HLC. • Our college has an assessment committee who manages student outcomes and instructional changes based on outcomes. This information was reported in Criterion 4, but was mentioned throughout the Self-Study. We choose to provide broad summaries with how outcomes were addressed by faculty and changes incorporated into instruction. • To determine what we needed to change in our curriculum and aligning library collection • Data were reported regarding RRSA findings and "one minute assessment" data that are collected after in-person assessments to demonstrate student learning and also where further intervention is necessary. We wrote to the prior criteria in 2012 so I can't give examples for the new ones. • IL is an outcome in our new Core curriculum • CRITERIA FOR ACCREDITATION (2012) – 1.a, 1.b, 1.c, and 2.d: The school had recently completed a new statement of Core Values and launched an inclusive Strategic Planning cycle. Awareness of mission and values (including diversity) were consistently demonstrable role in the library's programs. – 2.b: Ten years of numerical data showing development of library resources to support instructional goals. Supported by examples. – 3.c: Narrative descriptions of successful librarian/faculty collaborations in teaching from the collections and of librarian/student collaborations in support for individualized learning/research methods. – 4.d, 5.a, 5.b, and 5.c: Numerical and anecdotal description of librarian participation in curricular and co-curricular activities. • I am honestly not sure. I was not consulted to assist with this assessment. • I am fairly new and was not privy to this part of the accreditation process. • We went through all of the outcomes and identified areas where the library and its services fit. We are currently in the process of self-evaluation in preparation for our next HLC visit in Feb 2015. • Visit was in October 2013. We began our new IL curriculum in August 2013. • Student learning outcomes were included in the library's annual assessment reports, which were included with other academic units' assessment reports in the electronic resource room for review.
    29. 29. 8 6 26 30 16 19 22 Does your library use other student assessments for information literacy at your college or university? Please check all that apply. Electronic portfolios Print portfolios Internal pre-test of information literacy competencies Internal post-test of information literacy competencies Examinations of bibliographies/reference lists from research papers/projects Student self-assessments Departmental information literacy student learning outcomes
    30. 30. 7 55 45 Were the results of other student assessments of information literacy used in the most recent Higher Learning Commission accreditation visit at your institution? Yes No N/A
    31. 31. If “Yes”, How Were Those Results Used? • Our college has an assessment subcommittee for info lit and they created a local generated survey for students. • Student Survey and Feedback Forms • Rubrics • We are in the beginning stages of library assessment- because we have not baseline, we surveyed faculty on their students' achievements after instruction. • Info literacy performance is integrated into the curriculum with added emphasis in methods classes • Personal interactions with students and faculty (all students are graduate students) • University-wide IL rubric • Faculty opinion • After presenting informaiton [sic] on Information Literacy, I give the students an assignment to complete and then I grade
    32. 32. Recommendations Administrators, Departmental Faculty, Librarians/Library Faculty: TALK and COMMUNICATE with one another! For all, avoid an “Us vs. Them” mentality. Find out more about IL outcomes and assessments (formal and informal) that may already exist either in the academic library or in academic departments for graduates For librarians: Learn as much as possible about the regional accreditation process as well as discipline- specific accreditation processes Go beyond the quantitative (how many books, journals, databases are available) and look more closely at the academic library‟s positioning within the university to contribute to student learning outcomes

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