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Reference & Instruction Dashboard: 2020-21: Program Assessment/Outcomes

A dashboard of statistics for reference and library instruction services

HEDS Research Practices Survey

In 2019-20, first-year Belmont students took a standardized survey at the beginning of the fall semester and again at the end of the spring semester. The HEDS Research Practices Survey explores the experiences and opinions of students concerning research. Its purposes are to:

1) study students' research experiences

2) use the findings to improve the ways we help students develop their research skills

3) determine what changes occur in research abilities as students progress through their academic careers

 See the report below for results. 


The survey will be deployed again at the end of spring 2022 to see if students have improved. The original cohort of students will be finishing their third year and will have likely experienced multiple research assignments and encountered library instruction at least once and possibly more. 

Program/Assessment Outcomes

Assessment methods for information literacy include the following:

  • Project Outcome student surveys - a standard survey given to students immediately following instruction to get their feedback
  • Faculty surveys - faculty in the BELL Core courses with instruction (FYS and FYW) are surveyed at the end of the semester to get their feedback
  • Classroom assessment techniques - librarians use various CATS to formatively assess their instruction 
  • HEDS Research Practices Survey - standard survey of students' experiences and opinions concerning research

Closing the Loop

Positive Outcomes: 

  • Both faculty and student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Students report learning something new and feeling more confident in their research skills, as shown in the charts below. Faculty report the quality of students' work improves as a result of library instruction. Both groups value the instruction they receive.
  • The HEDS survey shows that students are progressing in their knowledge and research skills as they progress through the curriculum, at least during their first year. The next deployment of HEDS (last spring 2022) will show if students continue to make progress through their third year. 

Areas identified for improvement:

While students and faculty value the instruction they receive, their feedback indicates they would like more instruction in the following areas:

  • Basic skills/library orientation - tours of the building and how to navigate the library website and databases.
  • Citation help - the most common request, especially from students, is more help citing their sources. 
  • Outreach - students mentioned not being aware of research help services and library resources. 
  • Follow-up or more course-integrated instruction - students would like additional opportunities to practice what they are learning in the library 'one-shot.'

Next Steps

The library faculty would like to use the assessment data we have gathered to inform a new Strategic Plan for Digital & Information Literacy that will address the areas identified for improvement above and will include more digital literacy topics that will better prepare students to use information in their personal and professional lives as well as their academic lives. Our next steps include: 

  • Meeting with campus stakeholders to discuss assessment data and areas for improvement
  • Developing a new Strategic Plan for Digital & Information Literacy

Outcomes of Events, Instruction, and Research

This chart shows aggregate data from all surveys given in 2020-21 to students after WELL Core events, course-integrated instruction, and research appointments.

Instruction Outcomes in Detail


This chart shows student feedback from a sampling of course-integrated instruction in the BELL Core, in the disciplines, and in the WELL Core.