Over the summer we’ve continued working on our library data project and have managed to build on some of the early pilot work with further analyses but using a larger pool of data. We’re now able to run queries against the main institutional data warehouse so we can run our own queries and look at wider trends.
Research Study 3
This has progressed quite a long way and we’ve been able to look at data from modules starting in 2014 and in 2015. We’ve combined data on library resource accesses from both Ezproxy and OpenAthens with student results data.
We’ve combined some of the results categories together to slightly simplify the interpretation. So while level 1 modules generally have Pass and Distinction categories, level 2 and 3 modules tend to have Grade 2 Pass, Grade 3 Pass, Grade 4 Pass and Distinction. We’ve combined the different pass categories into one pass category.
If we look across the whole range of undergraduate students (around 300,000 students across the two years – as students will probably study more than one module in that period), we see the same sort of patterns we saw with the original three pilot modules. Students who fail accessing around a third of the online library resources compared with students who pass. Students gaining a distinction accessing nearly twice the number of library resources as students who pass.
Now we can look in more detail at the different modules, Faculties, levels of study and presentation dates, we can start to see that there are differences between them. In some cases we will know that there are modules that don’t make so much use of library resources, but it’s very useful data for our liaison librarians to discuss with their Faculty colleagues.
We’ve followed up Research Study 3 with a piece of work to look at whether we could follow the approach used by the University of Wollongong in their work
Covered in http://er.educause.edu/articles/2012/7/discovering-the-impact-of-library-use-and-student-performance
and also at
Cox, B. L. and Jantti, M. (2012) Capturing business intelligence required for targeted marketing, demonstrating value, and driving process improvement, Library & Information Science Research. 34, PP308-316 doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2012.06.002
Although we are using Ezproxy data, one difference is that Wollongong have used a count of the amount of time students accessed resources whereas we are using a count of the number of Ezproxy accesses.
This has proved to be a really useful exercise as we’ve been able to follow most of the steps and have been fortunate to be able to correspond with one of the authors (Brian Cox) on some of the details, which has helped to clarify some of the steps and decisions.
One insight that this has made clear for us is the high percentage of students who don’t access the library (we know that not all modules require library use as their module materials can be quite comprehensive). But the levels of non-use decrease as students study at higher levels and also seem to be decreasing over time as we’ve started to compare modules starting in autumn 2014 with those starting in autumn 2015 and are seeing more students accessing library resources.
We’re still aiming on writing up the research for publication and will also be turning our attention to looking at the relationship between library use and student retention. Plus, we’ve also a small cohort qualitative study starting in the autumn.