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Moser and Riutta - Partnerships for Student Learning


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Mary Moser, Learning Commons Librarian, and Satu Riutta, Institutional Research Associate, both of Oxford College of Emory University, presented their findings from the Research Practices Survey at the Association of General and Liberal Studies conference in October 2009.

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Moser and Riutta - Partnerships for Student Learning

  1. 1. Bridging the Information Gap: Partnerships for Student Learning in the Digital Age Mary Murray , Learning Commons Librarian Satu Riutta , Institutional Research Associate Oxford College of Emory University, Oxford, GA
  2. 2. Presenters <ul><li>Mary Murray </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning Commons Librarian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Master of Library Science: Indiana University, Bloomington </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Satu Riutta </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional Research Associate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PhD, Political Science, Georgia State University </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Outline <ul><li>Context </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional Mission, Goals </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>- Example: The Research Practices Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships for Student Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and Discussion </li></ul>
  4. 4. Oxford College of Emory University <ul><li>Liberal arts college, 750 FTE </li></ul><ul><li>38 miles east of Atlanta, GA </li></ul><ul><li>A 2-year, undergraduate Liberal Arts-Intensive division of Emory University </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students graduate with Associate of Art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Majority continue to Emory to finish their baccalaureate degrees </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Liberal Arts-Intensive (LAI) <ul><li>Developed as part of strategic plan: 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophy and goals identified: 2007-2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instrumental + transformational education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dependent  engaged learners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>= Independent, lifelong learners </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Liberal Arts-Intensive (LAI) <ul><li>Knowledge and Understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Reasoning and Imagination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inquiry and analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Critical and creative thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Integrative Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Values in Action </li></ul>
  7. 7. Liberal Arts-Intensive (LAI) Office of Institutional Research Center for Academic Excellence Educational Programs Committee (Faculty, Campus Life, Library, Academic Services) Research Findings Oxford College: Research on Teaching and Learning Critical Learning Goals (Signature Outcomes) Pedagogy Curriculum Leadership Training Development
  8. 8. Assessment <ul><li>Oxford College’s Assessment Plan—Goals for Student Learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate clearly and effectively in writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand and be skilled in literature- based research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognize moral dimensions and demonstrate socially responsible leadership and ethical thinking </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Assessment <ul><li>Can be direct or indirect </li></ul><ul><li>Oxford College Library’s efforts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One-minute papers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research Practices Survey </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Assessment <ul><li>Think about a form of assessment that could be appropriate for your department and that you have the resources to enact. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Research Practices Survey <ul><li>What: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed by and for liberal arts institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informed by Information Literacy Competency Standards of Association of College and Research Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measures the impact of college on students’ research attitudes and abilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assesses experiences, attitudes, and proficiencies in conducting academic research </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Research Practices Survey <ul><li>Why: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxford’s commitment to improving students’ research skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LAI goals and philosophy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assessment: goals for student learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ An Oxford College graduate will understand and be skilled in literature-based research. Specifically, a graduate will be able to write a research paper that begins with a skillfully constructed thesis statement that is evaluated, supported and defended by appropriately interpreted and cited authoritative information sources.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Research Practices Survey <ul><li>When: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fall 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>256 respondents (34%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spring 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>274 respondents (39%) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>74 respondents took the survey both Fall 08 and Spring 09 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Analyze changes from freshman to sophomore year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fall 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>259 respondents (34%) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Research Practices Survey <ul><li>Quantitative Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information gap among first year students (Oxford’s freshmen compared to other freshmen) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How Oxford students change (taking assessment further) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Qualitative Results </li></ul><ul><li>How the data were supported by other forms of assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes we’ve made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty feedback and suggestions </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Quantitative Report—Information Gap <ul><li>How Oxford’s freshmen compare to freshmen at other institutions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data from Spring 2009 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>140 respondents (43% response rate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3,130 respondents from 36 other institutions </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Quantitative Report—Information Gap <ul><li>Oxford’s freshmen use library resources/services more frequently than freshmen elsewhere do. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit their school’s library more often for academic purposes: “once a week or more” (52% vs. 41%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek more often advice for research assignments from librarians: “almost always” or “often” (25% vs. 9%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Talked with librarian about research” more often: 3+ times (27% vs. 11%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Seeking advice from professors is roughly equally common: 49% vs. 43%) </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Quantitative Report—Information Gap <ul><li>Oxford’s freshmen approach research similarly and are subject to similar requirements and conditions as other freshmen. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They desire a course in research skills as much, or more (76% saying “a course in research skills would be useful”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also, library instruction covers as large a share of freshmen at Oxford as it does elsewhere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The number of papers requiring source utilization at Oxford seems similar to that elsewhere </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Quantitative Report—Information Gap <ul><li>Finally, Oxford’s freshmen use e-tools at least as frequently as freshmen elsewhere do. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are more frequent users of bibliographic software (31% vs. 23%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are more frequent users of Google Scholar (43% vs. 29%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are more frequent users of help screens or online tutorials: “almost always” or “often” (18% vs. 8%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An equally large share uses Internet search engines (Oxford: 84%) and online journals (87%) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Quantitative Report—Information Gap <ul><li>However , Oxford’s freshmen seem to have a more simplistic/less nuanced view of research. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ When two or more researchers disagree, one must be wrong” (Oxford 20% vs. others 7%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(interestingly, results correlate with SAT score) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Successful researchers understand things quickly” (Oxford 41% vs. others 28%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Good research yields clear results, poor research yields ambiguous results” (Oxford 68% vs. others 61%) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Quantitative Report—Information Gap <ul><li>Also, Oxford’s freshmen find research more difficult and seem not to have as good a grasp of research strategies and terms. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of such research strategies and terms: </li></ul><ul><li>- distinguishing between academic journals, popular magazines </li></ul><ul><li>- defining “peer reviewed” journal </li></ul><ul><li>- defining “citation” </li></ul><ul><li>- recognizing when citation is not required </li></ul><ul><li>- distinguishing between “scholarly” and “non-scholarly” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Quantitative Report—One Year Change <ul><li>How Oxford students change from freshman year to sophomore year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fall 2008 (sophomores thinking back to their freshman year experiences) Spring 2009 (sophomores thinking back on their current academic year experiences) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>72 respondents </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Quantitative Report—One Year Change <ul><li>Research Habits: </li></ul><ul><li>Library usage declines, though research as reason for it increases </li></ul><ul><li>Usage of library books for research increases; usage of all other print materials (acad. journals, encyclopedias, newspapers) declines </li></ul><ul><li>Students seem to start taking ownership of their research and become more independent researchers: they seek less help from others. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Quantitative Report—One Year Change <ul><li>There is a (small) decrease in the share of students perceiving the various parts of research difficult. </li></ul><ul><li>% Perceiving Somewhat or Very Difficult </li></ul><ul><li>(The 5 Most Difficult Areas) </li></ul><ul><li>Freshman Sophom. Year Year </li></ul><ul><li>Developing main argument or thesis statem. 42% 39% </li></ul><ul><li>Revising search strategy as necessary 42% 33% </li></ul><ul><li>Writing the paper 37% 31% </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing resources into logical structure 35% 26% </li></ul><ul><li>Narrowing your topic 31% 25% </li></ul>
  24. 24. Quantitative Report—One Year Change <ul><li>Areas that saw a greater decrease in perceived difficulty allow us to see what we’re doing well: </li></ul><ul><li>% Perceiving Somewhat or Very Difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Freshman Sophom. </li></ul><ul><li>Year Year </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining materials through interlibrary loan 22% 8% </li></ul><ul><li>Documenting sources 20% 11% </li></ul><ul><li>Determining whether a source is appropriate 18% 6% </li></ul>
  25. 25. Quantitative Report—One Year Change <ul><li>What the results tell us: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some students find research to be easier by the end of their sophomore year, but not as many as we’d like. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Areas that saw a small decrease (or none at all) are opportunities for focusing our instruction: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developing a list of sources to investigate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Developing main argument/thesis statement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deciding what information from sources to integrate </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Quantitative Report—One Year Change <ul><li>Understanding of research strategies and terms increases </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>- understanding that whether a source is scholarly is the best criterion for the appropriateness of the source </li></ul><ul><li>- defining “peer reviewed,” citation </li></ul><ul><li>- recognizing source types in a bibliography </li></ul>
  27. 27. Quantitative Report—One Year Change <ul><li>Finally, what does NOT change from freshman to sophomore year: </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoyment of research (share of those enjoying: 25%) </li></ul><ul><li>Beliefs about research (except that there’s a slight decrease in the share of students believing that successful researchers understand things quickly!) </li></ul><ul><li>- Also, two-thirds continue to think that “a course in research skills would be useful” </li></ul>
  28. 28. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Spring 2009 data </li></ul><ul><li>274 respondents </li></ul><ul><li>Freshmen and sophomores combined </li></ul>
  29. 29. Qualitative Report <ul><ul><li>Q43. What helped you improve your research skills ? Of the 90 respondents: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>24 mentioned practice/experience/required research assignments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>47 mentioned the course-specific library instruction classes they attended </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>19 mentioned their professors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>15 mentioned both librarians AND professors </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Sample Responses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Professor and Librarian instruction” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Required research assignments” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Practice, instruction from teachers and librarians” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Instructions and help from librarians as well as extra help from professors.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ My research papers that forces me to do research” </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Qualitative Report <ul><li>What the results tell us: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaching research is a team sport! </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Q44. What might have helped you learn more? The overwhelming majority told us: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More instruction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More practice </li></ul></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Sample Reponses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Doing more research papers” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ More assignments requiring research” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ More time for the instruction sessions” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ More library session on how to use the library resources” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ i think if there were more classes or i was able to do the research more frequently i would have been more successful” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ More instruction days at the library” </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Q49. What should be the Oxford Library’s top 2 or 3 priorities for the next 2 years? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better publicizing of the resources and services available to students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More research instruction, either in class or on an independent basis </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Sample Responses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ letting people know what the librarians offer” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ letting people know that they can schedule appointments to get help from the librarians on assignments” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Conducting more sessions on how to use library resources” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ making it clear exactly what the library has to offer its students” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ having research instruction sessions for as many classes as possible” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Continuing the sessions on how to conduct good research” </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Qualitative Report <ul><li>What we can learn: </li></ul><ul><li>The Research Practices Survey helps us identify new opportunities and new priorities </li></ul>
  37. 37. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Opportunities for Collaborating to Enhance Student Learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collaborating for student success : How can we work together to help our students? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting our services : We can’t assume that students know what’s available to them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Giving students ample opportunities to practice researching – as well as providing FEEDBACK on their research progress, like faculty give feedback on students’ writing skills </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Qualitative Report <ul><li>Sample Response: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One respondent answered the question, “What might have helped you improve [your academic research skills] more?” with: “More instruction and grading to see if I have made improvements ” </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Other Assessments <ul><li>Faculty surveys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty expressed interest in pursuing further collaboration with the library: “I would like to explore more extended cooperation with the library for my classes. Although the one-hour instruction sessions are extremely helpful, I feel that students would benefit from a semester-long cooperation with the library for particular projects.” </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Other Assessments <ul><li>Faculty surveys </li></ul><ul><li>“ My only concern in previous courses was that Andrea didn't have enough time to help my students; this semester, Andrea's teaching two classes instead of one was a great improvement over previous semesters. In the future, I will make sure my students get to spend at least two class periods in the library working with Andrea.” </li></ul>
  41. 41. Other Assessments <ul><li>One-minute papers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you learn? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What helped you learn? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Having a chance to search on my own” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What might have helped you learn more? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Getting to go through it myself” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ More time” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Actually having time to do research” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ A little more hands-on time with the programs” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ More hands-on, like the exercise at the end” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Other Assessments <ul><li>Focus group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The library needs to publicize its resources and services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chalking the quad </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publicity on dining hall tables </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mailbox fliers: NO! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  43. 43. The Next Steps <ul><li>Multiple instruction sessions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1 st : Searching for information + hands-on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 nd : Answering questions + more hands-on </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staged research assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Additional creative ways to advertize </li></ul>
  44. 44. The Next Steps <ul><li>Suggestions from faculty: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic library orientation in Freshman Seminar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further investigation: Link RPS data to classes students took; look at skills among different groups (such as int’l students) separately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introductory-level courses in all disciplines come to the library to learn resources and research techniques in that field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Map information literacy outcomes onto curriculum </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. Partnerships <ul><li>Use assessment and the opportunities it presents to close the loop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New partnerships that can be created </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New and creative ways to maximize provision of services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>**Let assessment results and STUDENT FEEDBACK point you in the right direction** </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Partnerships <ul><li>These data have catalyzed discussion with faculty about the extent to which: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Faculty may adopt information literacy goals as part of their own courses, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty and library staff may partner in pursuit of such goals, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The library staff may create their own plans and programs.” (Dean Stephen Bowen) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>**Flexible – No “One Size Fits All”** </li></ul></ul>
  47. 47. Partnerships <ul><li>Liberal Arts do not exist in a vacuum: Inform and be informed by departments across campus </li></ul><ul><li>It takes a village to raise a college student! </li></ul>
  48. 48. What Bridges Can YOU Build? Office of Institutional Research Center for Academic Excellence Educational Programs Committee (Faculty, Campus Life, Library, Academic Services) Research Findings Oxford College: Research on Teaching and Learning Critical Learning Goals (Signature Outcomes) Pedagogy Curriculum Leadership Training Development