Geneseo Learning Outcomes in Information Management

Students will demonstrate the ability to

  • Identify, access, and use the basic operating system features of a personal computer.
  • Identify, access, and operate the appropriate software for a given task.
  • Access and navigate the Intranet.
  • Access, navigate, and evaluate information and resources on the Internet.
  • Use a computer to communicate with others.

SUNY Learning Outcomes in Information Management

Students will:

  • perform the basic operations of personal computer use;
  • understand and use basic research techniques; and
  • locate, evaluate, and synthesize information from a variety of sources.

Method of Assessment

Under the heading of "Information Management, Geneseo assesses only the first of the three SUNY learning outcomes listed above. Geneseo assesses the second and third SUNY outcomes under the heading of Basic Research. Thus, for 2006-2007 assessment results on these latter two outcomes, please see Basic Research Assessment Results 2006-2007.

To assess students' ability to perform the basic operations of personal computer use, Geneseo averages each student's score on the five Geneseo Learning Outcomes in Information Management listed above. In fall 2006, Milne Library administered a computer-skills test to 178 first-year students in Basic Communication (Intd 105).



Perform the basic operations of personal computer use







Not Meeting


Observations from the Library

We find that students are generally successful at navigating the web and recognizing important elements associated with web pages: email addresses and web addresses. However, students have more trouble with more complicated tasks such as selecting an appropriate database and locating a scholarly article. We find that some students have difficulty distinguishing between books and periodical titles, and are unsure about which databases record which types of material. When a journal title is know, students are fairly good at determining whether Milne Library has access to that resource, although we cannot determine if students are able to correctly identify holdings for specific volume numbers.

In addition to the end of semester assessment, 46 students took a pre-test at the beginning of the semester. The results of this test indicate that we need to revise our assessment. There was little improvement in many of the questions we asked, and the questions that students had difficulty with need refining. We are currently working on several methods of assessing the students to better refine our results, and give us a better picture of the wide variety of experiences that affect a students information literacy and computer skills.

Overall, the results of this assessment will assist the library in improving our library instruction program. We can clearly see that our students, at the freshman level, are having difficulty distinguishing between different types of databases and the material they index. We hope to emphasize this more in our classes, and alter the methods we use to teach this. In addition, we hope to work more closely with the classroom faculty to help design assignments that will reinforce the instruction that students get from the librarians.

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