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Five Year Program Review 2010-2015

Using the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as a framework, the Harvey A. Andruss Library performed a Five Year Academic Program Review for the Years 2010 to 2015.

Principle 3: Educational Role

3. Libraries partner in the educational mission of the institution to develop and support information-literate learners who can discover, access, and use information effectively for academic success, research, and lifelong learning.

3.1 Library personnel collaborate with faculty and others on ways to incorporate library collections and services into effective education experiences 
      for students
3.2 Library personnel collaborate with faculty to embed information literacy learning outcomes into curricula, courses, and assignments
3.3 Library personnel model best pedagogical practices for classroom teaching, online tutorial design, and other educational practices
3.4 Library personnel provide regular instruction in a variety of contexts and employ multiple learning platforms and pedagogies
3.5 Library personnel collaborate with campus partners to provide opportunities for faculty professional development
3.6 The Library has the IT infrastructure to keep current with advances in teaching and learning technologies

Discussion

The Library has made a number of changes over the review period to enhance its educational role within the University.  Overall, the Library is proud of what accomplishments it could make during the review period and is dedicated to continuing to develop and support information-literate learners. The importance of developing the Library’s instruction program and the role of the librarians as educators first became evident when it was chosen to be one of four key issues in the Library’s new strategic plan. To get started, the Teaching Excellence Academy for Librarians (TEAL) was established to provide a forum for discussion and experimentation that, over a two year period, led to a change in priorities and, ultimately, more student-centered instruction, greater emphasis on assessment, and a more thorough and consistent method of data collection. Throughout the review period, the number of requests for information literacy instruction sessions increased, even though there was one fewer Library faculty member to teach classes. It seems that changes made to improve the program were effective. Even though the Library is pleased with these changes, efforts to strengthen the program will continue as time and staffing permit.

An important future goal is to prioritize the way in which courses with a critical need for Information literacy instruction are identified. Rather than continue to teach classes solely upon request, the Library will evaluate the curriculum to determine where the need for information literacy instruction is greatest, and then prioritize instruction for those students for whom the impact will be most significant. This process will also involve developing alternative methods of instruction, identifying unaddressed critical opportunities, and continued refinement of assessment tools/processes to better monitor student learning. Continued work with implementing multiple pedagogies and technologies is being planned as well. In time, the Library will develop a pedagogically sound program that provides targeted instruction to students who need it, based on providing the appropriate students with instruction and reducing the number of students who have received redundant instruction in previous classes.  Eventually, the Library hopes to address other goals, such as branching out to work with students and faculty in other high-impact areas of the curriculum that it currently does not reach, such as the Writing in the Disciplines (WID) program, while it continues to cultivate opportunities to collaborate in courses designed for undeclared students. Additionally, the Library plans to work more closely with faculty who teach online distance education courses to provide more support for those students within the online course management system. Partnerships with other campus entities to reach specific audiences is an ongoing goal.

3.1 Collaborate with Faculty for Effective Education Experiences

3.1 Library personnel collaborate with faculty and others on ways to incorporate library collections and services into effective education experiences for students.

ACTIONS

Library personnel collaborate with faculty and others in a variety of ways. Examples include:

  1. Consultation with subject faculty before each instructional encounter to plan for good timing and targeted student learning
  2. Consultation with subject faculty regarding new course proposals
  3. Selection of library materials to support specific topics, courses, delivery method, and programs, including materials on commonly studied topics and online resources for both distance and on-campus students
  4. Selection, organization, and sharing of appropriate tools and approaches through course guides and classroom activities; distribution of instructional materials through Library website, classroom management system, and handouts

OUTCOMES

As a result of Library faculty collaboration with subject faculty:

  1. Students are more likely to have well timed, manageable, targeted assignments, while still focused on broader learning.
  2. Faculty and students have access to materials needed for their study and research.
  3. Students have access to library materials to meet their needs, regardless of their location.

3.2 Embed Information Literacy Learning Outcomes

3.2 Library personnel collaborate with faculty to embed information literacy learning outcomes into curricula, courses, and assignments.

ACTIONS

Courtesy of the Provost’s mandate, a librarian has served on the campus-wide General Education Council since its inception in 2012. Information Literacy is one of the University’s ten General Education goals.

Library faculty regularly consult with Subject faculty to examine assignments and establish clear learning objectives for Information Literacy Instruction sessions.

Some Library faculty have created unique opportunities in their partnerships with Subject faculty. For example, one librarian works closely with students in the elective course History of Mathematics, incorporating two instructional sessions, individual office consultations with the librarian, and assessment.

Library faculty partnered with the Department of Academic Enrichment in the Fall of 2014 to offer Foundations of College Success. This was a two-credit course designed to enable students who have not yet declared a major to concentrate on prospective careers, paths to student success, and library research. The Library Director and Library faculty collaborated with the faculty course developer to create the research-related assignment and offer interactive instruction for over 800 students. The course is in transition, and the Library remains interested in continuing the successful collaboration.

OUTCOMES

One library faculty member was invited to be an Assessment Fellow by the Office of Planning and Assessment to aid the General Education Council in the analysis of data for the first three General Education Goals.  The library faculty member was tasked with leading a Specialist Group on Goal 2, Information Literacy, which will synthesize the campus-wide assessment data for Goal 2.

Subject faculty have sought advice from librarians when developing course proposals and student learning objectives to ensure that they will be approved for General Education points related to Information Literacy. Examples of this collaboration can be seen in the course proposals for FYS Liberal Arts Seminar, Introduction to Chemical Literature, History of Mathematics, and Writing in Biology.

Library faculty have collaborated with subject faculty to develop and improve information literacy components of assignments. A number of assignments have been reviewed and altered to make sure the level of sophistication in the assignments matches the level of the coursework. The timing of assignments also has been discussed, with an eye toward optimum learning.  Courses within the Colleges of Education, Liberal Arts, Science & Technology, Business, and a number of Enrichment courses in the Academic Achievement Unit have benefited from reevaluation. 

Students enrolled in History of Mathematics were able to pose quality, well-informed research questions following multiple interactions with the Librarian and subject faculty member.

Undeclared students in Foundations of College Success were able to satisfactorily complete an exploration exercise for both a career and major. Students exhibited a competent level of information literacy as indicated by classroom-based observation and follow-up conversation with course instructors.  In addition, the exercise was shared with some subject faculty in College of Science and Technology (COST), who adapted it for use with their first year students.

3.3 Pedagogical Practices for Educational Practices

3.3 Library personnel model best pedagogical practices for classroom teaching, online tutorial design, and other educational practices.

ACTIONS

One of the Library’s strategic goals is to strengthen the Librarians’ role as educators. To that end, the Teaching Excellence Academy for Librarians (TEAL) was established as a community of practice. The purpose of TEAL has been to enhance Library faculty’s knowledge and skills pertaining to information literacy instruction. The Library faculty have been involved with TEAL for two years. During TEAL meetings Library faculty have discussed instructional strategies, concepts, best practices, and their own experiences in the classroom.  The Library Director took the initiative to gather the Library faculty, enlist the collaboration of the Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) Center Director, and make the effort a priority. 

Library faculty collaboratively developed the General Library Research Tutorial (GLRT), an online library tutorial using the LibGuides platform, to introduce information literacy skills.


Library faculty have incorporated various technologies into their information literacy instruction classes to enhance instruction, including PollEverywhere, Google Docs, and embedded LibGuides surveys and forms.

OUTCOMES

As a result of TEAL, the Library faculty’s teaching is more student-centered, and more emphasis is placed on assessment; all librarians use a common form to record the achievement of their learning outcomes. Library faculty conscientiously reflect upon their teaching strategies, and often revise their approaches based upon outcomes from previous strategies, changes in class assignments, and literature in academic librarianship suggesting new approaches.  And, as an overall result, the Library faculty have, as a whole group, engaged deliberately in professional development that concerns their role as educators.

A number of BU subject faculty have used the GLRT to introduce information literacy skills to their students. Furthermore, librarians at other institutions have adapted the General Library Research Tutorial (GLRT) (with permission) for their own use. To date, 43 academic libraries worldwide have personalized the GLRT to use with students at their institutions.  

One Library faculty member received an honorable mention from TALE for her innovative use of technology in teaching.

3.4 Employ Multiple Learning Platforms & Pedagogies

3.4 Library personnel provide regular instruction in a variety of contexts and employ multiple learning platforms and pedagogies.

ACTIONS

Andruss Library offers diverse instruction in a number of settings to students in a wide array of disciplines, using appropriate technologies. In addition to on-campus instruction in classrooms in the Library and other campus buildings, the Library faculty have taught off-campus in support of the University’s curricula at various satellite locations including in the town of Sunbury and at the Geisinger Medical Center. In addition to broadly available instructional guides and video tutorials for asynchronous learning at undergraduate and graduate levels, one Library faculty member has also provided effective synchronous instruction for off-campus students via the classroom management software. For both face-to-face and distance education courses, many librarian-created materials are made available in BOLT, the local course management software, at the discretion of the course professor.

Library faculty created a community of practice, the Teaching Excellence Academy for Librarians (TEAL), to enhance their knowledge and skills of multiple learning platforms and pedagogies.

Library faculty, at times, visit subject faculty in their offices to provide instruction for specific purposes. Library faculty also offer research assistance to Subject faculty upon request via telephone, email, SMS, etc.  

Library faculty provide Research Assistance services in a variety of mediums to meet the research needs of students and faculty, regardless of time or place; these services include in-person research assistance, as well as assistance by telephone, email, SMS, and Instant Messaging.  

OUTCOMES

Students in face-to-face learning environments experience instruction that varies according to student need and includes individual and group work, active learning, reinforcement, and individualized pacing as necessary. Students enrolled in both face-to-face and distance learning environments have instruction available through their course management software via guides created specifically for their class and through instruction that is customized for their course level, content, and instructor’s learning goals.

Library faculty have modified and, in some cases, reinvented their pedagogies to address the needs of diverse students based upon TEAL readings and discussions. For example, Library faculty have used what they learned through TEAL readings and discussions to influence subject faculty regarding the timing and structure of assignments.

Subject faculty benefit from individualized instruction and research assistance from Library faculty members.

Students, faculty, and other Library users benefit from the convenience of individualized Research Assistance services delivered in-person, telephone, email, SMS, and Instant Messaging.  

3.5 Collaborate for Faculty Professional Development

3.5 Library personnel collaborate with campus partners to provide opportunities for faculty professional development.

ACTIONS

Library faculty have been collaborative in campus-wide initiatives for faculty professional development in the area of assessment.

Library personnel have hosted Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) sessions on several topics: to discuss fair use and copyright in the context of scholarly communication; to explore sophisticated information resources (e.g. American FactFinder); and to introduce educational technologies (e.g. Prezi).  Library faculty also offered several sessions in which they advised faculty members on information literacy assignments and discussed curriculum mapping of information literacy outcomes in a specific discipline. For two years Library faculty have shared advice for information literacy assignments at poster sessions hosted by the TALE Center for new faculty members. Library personnel also speak at the annual new faculty orientation.

OUTCOMES

As a result of long-term contributions to general education, one Library faculty member was selected to serve on the University’s Assessment Committee and was asked to be an Assessment Fellow for the evaluation of general education learning goals. As such, the Library faculty member will have influence on the development of the University’s assessment plan, and its Middle States reaccreditation. She and her colleagues have been charged with facilitating faculty assessment of general education learning, especially information literacy, communication, and critical thinking.

Subject faculty participate on a modest scale in workshops or other professional development provided by Library faculty. New subject faculty have the opportunity to develop and improve their information literacy assignments with their Library faculty liaisons. New subject faculty have embedded information literacy into coursework and developed assignments as a result of professional development directed at new faculty.

3.6 IT Infrastructure

3.6 The Library has the IT infrastructure to keep current with advances in teaching and learning technologies.

ACTIONS

In the 2012 LibQUAL results, students indicated dissatisfaction with the speed of many of the Library’s computers. The following year all the slower computers, roughly a third of the total, were replaced with faster machines.

The Library provides necessary technologies to enable patrons to request and receive Research Assistance services in a variety of settings (email, chat, and text messaging).

A classroom in the Library building is outfitted with 38 computers and an instructor station with overhead projector and screen and sound.  

Library faculty use a variety of teaching and learning technologies and pedagogical methods.

The Library building offers full Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi printing, and basic technical assistance within the Library.

During daytime hours the Library has access to .25 time of an IT support person, student workers, and help desk telephone/ticket system to provide support for students, faculty, and other patrons.   

OUTCOMES:

As of 2013, students have access to faster computers throughout the Library building.

Students and faculty regularly use various technologies (email, chat, text messaging) to request and receive research assistance.  If the individual subject faculty member has made arrangements with the Library faculty liaison, students can ask questions from within their classroom management system.

Subject faculty regularly bring their students to the library for Information literacy instruction knowing that each student will have a computer to practice the concepts that are taught.

Subject faculty judge the Library faculty’s pedagogical methods using technology to be sufficient for their purposes.  A Library faculty member received honorable mention for a campus innovation in teaching award for her use of technology in the classroom.  Subject faculty regularly request collaboration with library faculty regarding integration of various instructional technologies to keep classes interactive and challenging.

Students and other patrons use wireless technologies and basic assistance to learn and communicate independently or within a virtual class.

During the daytime, technology problems can often be addressed by the support system in place. When technological problems arise in the evenings, the Library has access to student workers with basic troubleshooting skills and after-hours emergency support.

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