Librarians Leading the Charge: Collaborating with Faculty to Design Evidence-Based Instruction

Research into Practice
CSU East Bay
Elise (Yi-Ling) Wong
Cataloging and Reference Librarian
Saint Mary's College of California Library


Librarians at Saint Mary’s College of California will present part two of their study, following their 2012 CARL conference presentation: “English Composition Students: How Are They Using Their Sources?” Having discovered through this research that students do have problems paraphrasing, quoting, integrating and citing their sources, Librarians, in collaboration with English Composition faculty, designed a new study to test out three instructional methods (behaviorist, cognitive and social constructivist) on teaching integration and citing of sources in six sections of advanced English Composition classes. Results of the three methods will be evaluated through pre/post test scores and correlated with a content analysis of the students’ research papers. The results of the content analysis will also be used to compare past studies’ results and presented to English Composition faculty in part three of the librarians’ study. All three methods and the lesson plans will be made available for faculty to use with the knowledge of how effective the methods are in relation to specific student learning outcomes.


Librarians at Saint Mary’s College have a long history of leading collaborative research and assessment projects with faculty from the English composition department.  In this comparison study which looks at three different methods—behaviorist, cognitive, and social constructivist -- of teaching integration and citing of sources into English composition research, librarians and faculty have the following goals:   

  • To extend the assessment process beyond the assessment data, using it to inform the process of improving librarian and English composition faculty pedagogy to accomplish the library’s information literacy and the English department’s Composition 5 student learning outcomes,
  • To use pre-post tests and content analysis of Composition 5 student papers to:

Assess different methods of teaching students how to integrate sources into their papers using paraphrasing, quoting, and in-text citations,

Assess newly revised learning objectives for the Library’s information literacy sessions and English Composition courses,

  • Share results of our campus work with the librarians, composition faculty and the broader academic community.

Building on past studies, led by librarians in collaboration with faculty, which revealed that students are not learning how to integrate sources, use MLA format, paraphrase and quote appropriately, librarians created three different lessons plans based on the learning theories of behaviorism, cognitivism and social constructivism to find out how well each of these types of instruction works to improve students writing and citing in the above areas. Data that will be gathered and analyzed includes: pre and post-tests scores and content analysis of papers from six sections of second semester English composition (Composition 5) classes. These results and the lesson plans will be shared with composition faculty, librarians and the larger academic community.

In our “Research into Practice” session librarians, Sharon Radcliff and Elise (Yi-Ling) Wong will describe their leadership role in developing a collaborative evidence-based practice with English faculty for research, assessment and application of these results to pedagogical design. After sharing the history, procedures and results of this study, librarian presenters hope to engage the audience in a discussion of their experiences in leading and participating in collaborative research and assessment efforts at their institutions. 

Presentation Materials


Date and time: 
Sun, 04/06/2014 - 8:00am - 9:15am


Madrone [LL]