Assessing and meeting the information literacy needs of incoming transfer students: Implementing ACRL’s assessment in action program

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jenny Dale, Reference Librarian and First Year Instruction Coordinator (Creator)
Karen Stanley Grigg, Science Liaison Librarian (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine the information literacy skills and needs of incoming and current transfer students.Design/methodology/approach: Three studies are discussed, two of which were generated from ACRL’s Assessment in Action program. In the first, incoming transfer students were asked basic demographic questions and were tested on several basic information literacy skills. A combination of quantitative analysis and rubrics was used to assess results. A pre-test, post-test method was used in a basic introduction to campus life course for transfer students. Finally, the 2014 cohort of transfer student were resurveyed to test research skills and report interactions they had with reference librarians and library instruction during the previous year.Findings: Initial observations suggested older transfer students, and students transferring from community colleges were least knowledgeable about basic information literacy concepts, and that students who had attended library instruction sessions were more knowledgeable. In the pre-test, intervention and post-test study, students did not show significant improvements in knowledge, but did show a significantly improved comfort level with library research. In the follow-up survey, second year transfer students who had library instruction during the previous year were significantly more likely to have sought out their subject liaison for consultations.Originality/value: Research studies that focus on the information literacy needs and skills of transfer students and adult learners is somewhat scarce, compared to that of incoming freshmen. It is of use to both academic librarians in institutions that accept incoming transfer students, and to community college librarians who may be designing handoff library instruction.

Additional Information

Publication
Reference Services Review, 45(3), 527-539
Language: English
Date: 2017
Keywords
Academic libraries, Library instruction, Information literacy, Assessment, Adult learners, Transfer students

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