Is Library Instruction Worth the Investment?

This post and poster have been co-authored by my former colleague Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon.

Our university like most universities are shifting to publicly demonstrating impact to their stakeholders. The library’s Teaching & Learning team faced the challenge of sharing the data we already collect in a way that is meaningful to external stakeholders. As part of the library’s instruction efforts, our unit collects both quantitative and qualitative data and packages it formally, in annual reports, or informally, for our own use. While our reports can be shared publicly, they do not tell the full story of our impact for those outside of the library leadership. Our team sought a way to quickly respond to the library-wide pressure to demonstrate our impact on student success without having to manipulate our data into a single reporting tool or strip away the complex relationships between our goals, activities, and outcomes.

We found a solution in the world of higher education assessment: the Transparency Framework designed by the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) to help institutions of higher education share evidence of student learning on their websites. Though designed for institutions as a whole, the Transparency Framework proved to be a flexible model to apply to our department and unit. It includes six components: Student Learning Outcomes, Assessment Plans, Assessment Resources, Current Assessment Activities, Evidence of Student Learning, and Use of Student Learning Evidence.

The Transparency Framework proved compelling due to its ability to link assessment with teaching and learning activities into one comprehensive story. In addition, our continual assessment activities mapped well to each of the six components. We did not have to create any new content or significantly revise our workflow in order to adapt the framework. After mapping our existing content to the framework and considering design and usability factors, we published our story on our Information Literacy Initiatives page.

Our design uses visual clues, like color associations and image mapping, in addition to the use of headings to provide visitors with a full overview of our program in a glance. By hiding detailed information in accessible toggle boxes, we allow users to explore additional information without losing sight of the bigger picture.

Our application of the NILOA Transparency Framework can be used as a model for other units within the library or for the library as a whole, promoting collaboration across varied functional areas to tell the full story of library assessment efforts. We’ve designed a self-inventory diagnostic worksheet to address the feasibility of the model and prompt you with questions as you consider local implementation.



One thought on “Is Library Instruction Worth the Investment?

  1. Pingback: OTR Links 05/03/2017 – doug — off the record

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