Institutional Research and Planning

April 2022 News

April, 2022

Institutional Effectiveness Spotlight: Randall Library’s Impact

This article is part of a new series from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness that will highlight successful assessment efforts across UNCW’s campus. Managing institutional effectiveness is a critical component in our continuous improvement efforts. By focusing on these success stories, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness hopes to help administrative and academic units improve their assessment activities to further make positive impact for our students, faculty, and staff.  

Despite the pandemic, Randall Library has continued to make an impact to both the effectiveness of its operations and the services provided to library stakeholders. Through Randall Library’s assessment planning and reporting activity in Watermark Taskstream Accountability Management System, their efforts support UNCW’s institutional effectiveness.

The effective utilization of physical space is an important priority for the library. While the library has many metrics that inform on this goal, through assessment, it was found that there were two classrooms in the library that could be used as dedicated space for the instruction of information literacy. Additionally, faculty and student focus group feedback supported the creation of a private, neutral space for research consultations between librarians and faculty or students. Feedback also informed that this should be an innovative research consultation space that is comfortable and inviting; as a result, a reservable room was set aside for this purpose. These measures informed the library’s expansion project, which will add two classrooms and a technology classroom for information literacy instruction as well as a consultation space.

With a focus on providing students increased library support, evidence was collected to support the development of a functional and user-friendly website. After conducting multiple tests, collecting direct feedback from users, and evaluating website usage data, website functionality improved and accessibility increased. Evidence was also collected to increase library support directly to online courses in the Canvas learning platform. The library faculty were able to make evidence-based decisions that lead to the creation of class-specific modules and the “Librarian Custom Role” within Canvas. The “Librarian Custom Role” in online courses allows the subject librarian access to the course with the ability to add modules or content and the ability to directly interact with students. To date, the library has created 34 modules that are actively embedded in individual courses and the “Librarian Custom Role” was successfully implemented. In the future, the library also hopes to automatically incorporate subject guides into each Canvas course.

These are just two areas where Randall Library used evidence to support continuous improvement efforts and support overall institutional effectiveness. Using cyclical assessment practice allowed library faculty to determine critical needs and responsibly allocate their resources. By using evidence to enhance their spaces, services, programs, and collaborations, Randall Library is meeting users where they most need support and supporting the success of UNCW students.


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