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Faculty Guide to Library Instruction : Assessment Results

This guide will introduce you to options available to incorporate information literacy instruction into your courses.

Project Sails

The Project Sails cohort test is a widely used, multiple item, objective-type test with strong-scale validity and reliability. It permits benchmarking by merging data from all of its’ participating institutions into a comparison base. The multiple-choice questions are based on ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries) standards that test students’ abilities to use library resources.

Spring 2013

Goal:

Establish the information literacy baseline of our students during the Spring semester 2013.

Outcomes Achieved: 

Total number of students who participated in this assessment: 194.

Students at Niagara University performed better than the institution-type benchmark on the following SAILS Skill Sets:

  • Developing a Research Strategy
  • Selecting Finding Tools
  • Searching
  • Using Finding Tool Features
  • Retrieving Sources
  • Documenting Sources
  • Understanding Economic, Legal, and Social Issues

The following skills sets were more difficult for Niagara University students:

  • Evaluating Sources  

Summary

Our students have a difficult time identifying the best tools in which to find appropriate research for their topics. They also struggle when evaluating which source would be the best to use from their results. Although our students scored higher than other institutions, our goal is to have each department’s students’ perform at the same level upon graduation from Niagara University.

This assessment assisted in targeting specific skill sets that need to be improved upon. One limitation of this survey is that it did not assess the critical thinking skills of our students. This skill is usually assessed in the completion of various assignments on campus. We anticipate continued success of our faculty-librarian collaboration in the alignment of embedding information literacy into course learning objectives when conducting research.