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Thursday, June 27, 2013

How do CSE students and faculty use the library?

A few months ago, I took a slice of the 2011-12 academic year dataset we've been analyzing through the LDSS project and looked at it through a different lens. I compared students and faculty in the College of Science & Engineering (CSE) to their peers in other U of M colleges, and to each other. Krista Soria graciously repeated her regression analysis work investigating correlations between library use and other measures of student success for the CSE first year cohort.

This week I presented our findings as a poster at the American Society for Engineering Education annual conference in Atlanta. In summary, we found:

  • Positive correlations between library use and both GPA and Scholarship (as measured by the SERU instrument) for first year undergraduates in CSE

  • A much lower percentage of CSE undergraduates used library resources than did their peers in other colleges (65% of CSE undergraduates vs 79% of undergraduates in other colleges)

  • About the same percentage of CSE faculty and graduate students used library resources as those in other colleges

  • Patterns of use within each department yielded some unexpected results that have led and will lead to other avenues of investigation.

You can find both the poster and the research paper in the University Digital Conservancy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

AIR Forum 2013

A few weeks ago Krista and Shane presented at the Association for Institutional Research Forum 2013 in Long Beach. Here is their program listing and we hope to add the slides soon:

AIRUM Best Presentation: Linking Library Data and Student Success
Academic libraries, like other university departments, are increasingly asked to demonstrate their value to institutions. This study presents the results of analyses predicting the relationships between library usage and first-year students' retention, college experiences, and academic success at a large, public research university. Usage statistics were gathered across 13 different library access points and outcomes were derived institutionally (e.g., retention, grade point average) and aggregated through student surveys (e.g., academic engagement, scholarship activity).

Krista Soria (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities)
Shane Nackerud (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities)
Facilitator: Kevin Fosnacht

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Retention and how Libraries can support

Did you see this from Inside HigherEd,Research to Improve Retention, which lays out "12 research-validated risk factors." Obviously not all of these can be solved with resources/services of Libraries but a number can be. Here is the list:

1. Uneven formal academic knowledge and skills.
2. Lack of informal knowledge about being a college student.
3. Inadequate development of self-regulation skills.
4. Impaired self-efficacy and resilience.
5. A mindset believing in fixed rather than flexible abilities.
6. Inability to delay gratification.
7. Impaired ethical judgment.
8. Disengagement from the university environment.
9. Lack of interest in courses.
10. Issues in academic trajectory.
11. Psychological issues.
12. Financial concerns.

I continue to be interested in how we can be more explicit in "lifting the veil" on academic research such as -- how to pick a topic (not just a list of ideas), how to get started on research assignment, how to deal with frustration, how to make mistakes in research, how to troubleshoot problems/deadends, ethics in research, get out of the mindset of looking for a perfect source, etc. I know I assume a lot of background knowledge in the guides I make or sessions I teach. Seems, to me, like #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12 are issues the libraries (along with many other campus partners) could have a role in working on.