By: Steve Borrelli
Before the term gets too far underway, I want to share some of the work Assessment Department Work completed in fall, and share some of what we have planned for spring.
First, spring Data Gathering Week will begin Monday, March 23, and run through Sunday March 29. Leigh Tinik has a couple of reminders planned, so keep an eye out for those. In the fall, we received data from all 25 participating library locations. Results from that collection period are available on the staff website.
This fall, Library Assessment began piloting the provision of institutional data to library researchers. This is in response to OPAIR’s (Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research) refocus and pulling back on providing similar services. To date, Assessment has successfully supported two projects. Leigh Tinik is leading this effort and will similarly support the upcoming Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates, by developing the sample and de-identifying results before sharing with the research team. Assessment is working with the Office of Privacy & Information Security to develop good practices in support of this work, and will be meeting with Records management to further develop internal practices. We want to be good stewards of student and university data and are putting considerable effort to shoring up our practices so that we can provide and advise on data practices with confidence.
In the fall, Assessment completed two space related projects I’d like to highlight. The first, an investigation of the impact of the Collaboration Commons, was presented at the recent Dean’s Forum. The study highlights elements of the design that positively impact students and their work. The study was led by Lana Munip, and included Laura Spess from Lending Services. Laura was a full research team member working with Assessment as part of a job enrichment. The second study analyzed results of the Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates and Graduate & Professional Students to consider if the data supports dedicating space in Pattee and Paterno Libraries for graduate students. The study included an analysis of over 30 common space-related questions. The evidence showed that non-STEM graduate students reported similar levels of library facilities use as undergraduates, and that overall, UP graduate respondents were as or more satisfied than undergraduates. This, coupled with the finding that over 80% of UP graduate students reported having a place on campus to work on their research and papers, suggested that there was little evidence to support dedicating limited space exclusively to graduate students. The team for this study included Susan Lane (Cataloging Dept.) as a job enrichment and Steve Borrelli, assisted by Lana Munip. Reports from both projects are available in the Assessment Archive.
In spring, external reporting gets into full swing, with ARL data due in January, and ACRL & IPEDS in February. Assessment plans to administer the Ithaka Survey of Undergraduates in March. Also beginning in March the Assessment Department plans to conduct an assessment of the impact of open-office environments on the LLS & Re-Pub units. We also hope to recruit a new department member.