Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The University Libraries and High Impact Practices

A recent report prepared by members of our faculty addresses the University Libraries’ significant role in participating in the high impact initiatives identified by the AAC&U’s LEAP Report and adopted by UNCG in its Strategic Plan 2009-14. These practices are proven to impact student success positively. By collaborating closely with faculty and Student Affairs in these activities, the Libraries contribute significantly to student success and retention. This report provides examples primarily from the 2012-13 academic year.

The High Impact Practices

• First-Year Seminars and Experiences
• Learning Communities and Residential Colleges
• Common Intellectual Experience
• Writing Intensive Courses
• Internships
• Capstone Courses
• Undergraduate Research
• Service Learning
• Collaborative assignments
• Diversity/Global Learning

The University Libraries strongly support all of these high impact initiatives through a variety of programs, initiatives and resources:

• A dedicated librarian who focuses on the First-Year Experience for 50% of her time and is embedded in the curriculum. Nearly 200 class sessions are provided each year for first-year students. The Libraries also participate actively in Student Affairs first-year activities and recruiting events. The Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) Department collaborated with a professor in the English Department in using primary resources to develop critical thinking skills with over 200 freshmen.

• Assigned liaisons to all Learning and Living-Learning Communities. With over 25 communities this is a major initiative at UNCG. The Libraries collaborate closely with all LLCs and liaisons provide information literacy sessions, satellite reference and co-curricular programming.

• A strong print and electronic collection. The Libraries’ resources provide needed support for Writing Intensive Courses, Capstone Courses and Undergraduate Research. Most electronic resources are available 24/7 from any location. SCUA provides unique manuscript and archival resources, in both print and digital formats.

• A liaison for each UNCG department or program. Liaisons provide individual or small group research consultations for students and faculty, as well as information literacy sessions, collections information and general communication between the Libraries and the unit.
 
• Online research and instruction support. The Libraries develop LibGuides (online research guides) that identify and provide access to useful information resources. In addition, there are over 50 tutorials that students and faculty may use 24/7 from any location.

• Opportunities for students. Internships, primarily for graduate students in Library and Information Studies, are available in many departments of the Libraries. Each year the Libraries award an Undergraduate Research Award to recognize a paper or project that successfully uses information resources.
 
• Support for digital media. The Digital Media Commons, in collaboration with Undergraduate Studies’ Digital Action, Consultation and Training Studio (DACTS), provides resources and services for students to create and refine multimedia projects, an important 21st Century skill.
 
• Space for collaboration. The Libraries provide a variety of group spaces that students may reserve online to work on collaborative projects. Some rooms are equipped with technology, and all have white boards.

• A strong commitment to diversity. Diversity among the staff and diversity awareness in customer service practice is supported through staff assignments, hosting international guides, staff training and resource development.
 
The full report is available in the UNCG Institutional Repository.