Instructional Design Librarian Indiana University School of Medicine Indianapolis, Indiana
Background: Are regularly-scheduled library classes a valuable service offered by libraries? Librarians were hesitant to offer recurring library classes because attendance was historically low. The scheduling system was cumbersome, and there was no consistent assessment of attendance, class content, or teaching quality. To improve our recurring library classes, the library increased marketing efforts, standardized evaluation, and adopted a scheduling program that tracked registration and attendance. The library now has baseline data to make future evidence-based decisions about scheduled classes and course content. Further, our library administration can use collected data to demonstrate value of this library service to the medical school.
Description: After surveying current practices and discovering the campus had access to a scheduling program, two librarians and a staff member trained themselves on and then employed the program. The program features adopted were: course templates, registration, email reminders, post-class emails, and attendance tracking. Post-class emails were populated with links to class evaluations. The librarians and staff joined the marketing team to promote the classes across campuses. Marketing prominently noted classes were simultaneously offered in the library and live-streamed. At the end of each semester, class and survey data were exported and cleaned for analysis. With the new system in place, the number of classes offered doubled. This led to three times the number of attendees in Spring 2019 compared to Fall 2018. The average class size increased by one. Survey response rate was 84%. Class attrition rate was 36%.
Conclusion: Registration and attendance data is now easily separated by month, day, and hour and will inform future classes scheduling. Further, the qualitative analysis of the evaluation data will be analyzed to examine comments about class content and teaching. This analysis will then be shared with class instructors to improve course delivery. In the future, the registration form will ask about participants’ campus locations to determine if distance learners are reached at other campuses across the state. Lastly, we hope to improve class evaluation questions in order to influence future class content and improve teaching delivery.