First Year Course Programmatic Assessment: Final Essay Information Literacy Analysis

Holly Luetkenhaus, Steve Borrelli, Corey Johnson


Washington State University recently launched a new general education system with a foundational first year course called Roots of Contemporary Issues. Roots features a set of library research assignments and a culminating final essay, jointly developed and maintained by Roots instructors and librarians. A group of Roots instructors and a WSU librarian conducted a study to assess the achievement of the information literacy, and critical and creative thinking student learning outcomes associated with the research project. The group found that students were proficient at the first year level in terms of utilizing scholarly materials and source attribution. The students were less successful concerning argument building and source analysis; they struggled most with thesis development. Adjustments to the assignments were made in light of these results and the findings contributed to the larger university-wide assessment program.

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