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Measuring Student Success with Niche Academy

Do you have the tools to measure whether you’re impacting student success? Learn how Niche Academy can help you show your value as a teaching librarian.

Measuring Student Success with Niche Academy

If you’re like most instruction librarians, you have to report on your teaching activities. As an academic librarian, I tracked class and student numbers, and how often my research guides were accessed. I presented everything in an annual evaluation packet to show my impact on student success. 

But did it? 

I knew what I was doing in the classroom. The numbers were impressive, but there was no story behind the data. If someone had wanted to question the outcome of teaching all those students in one-shots, they could have. 

I was having an impact but had no way to show it. Given the right tools, I could have put together a more compelling story that showed the value of the library and, more importantly, my specific value as a teaching librarian. 

When I joined Niche Academy, I was blown away by our platform. This was the tool I’d been looking for. A platform I could tailor to my needs. One that captured whether students were learning. One I could have used to enrich the numbers with qualitative data to tell a more complete story. And one that would have made me a better librarian and teacher—giving me a clearer picture of what was working and what wasn’t. 

And others feel the same way. Our feedback includes many statements like this one from Lisa Hulett at Wallace State Community College: 

The training is excellent. It covers all my needs for library instruction. 

Let me show you why. 

Using Niche Academy to Measure Student Success 

The Niche Academy platform does two things. First, it allows you to build tutorials to supplement information literacy instruction. If you want to build a tutorial to increase engagement during one-shot sessions, we’ve got you covered. If you can’t teach in every class but still want to reach students, we’ve got you covered. And if you work with distance students and need to offer asynchronous instruction that matches what you’d deliver in person, we’ve got you covered. 

But what if you don’t have time for all of that? The second thing the Niche Academy platform offers is a marketplace of relevant tutorials developed by a librarian. Need a tutorial on effective search techniques? Check. One on reading academic articles? Check. Doing a literature review, making citations easier, or reading laterally? Check, check, and check. You can rest easy knowing there is plenty of high-quality content to choose from when you don’t have time to create a lesson from scratch.

screenshot research essentials tutorials in niche academy marketplaceAll ready-made tutorials contain a quiz and activities students can work through. You can also add extra quizzes or activities to any tutorial, including any you make from scratch. And unlike traditional guides that count visits but not engagement, activities and quizzes are incredible tools for tracking how many students you reach and how much they learn

For example, you can see responses to a prompt that asks students to come up with a list of keywords for their topic: 

screenshot instructor's view of a student response in a brainstorming activityIn this example, you can review how well a student used Boolean operators: 

screenshot instructor's view of student response to a boolean operators exerciseAnd here, you can see if students are developing viable research questions: 

screenshot instructor's view of student responses in a quick response activityAssigning tutorials before a one-shot lets you see where to focus in class. You’ll know where students are so you can meet them there and take them further. And you can incorporate a post-test to see how far they’ve come. Or, you can offer the tutorial after a one-shot to reinforce learning and use activity responses and quiz results to determine whether your lessons hit home—creating powerful data you can use to refine your teaching. 

The platform also offers downloadable reports and usage stats to help you prepare for annual evaluations. You can use this information to demonstrate how many students you reached and how you impacted them. 

screenshot sample learner reportTry it for Yourself

These are just a few of the platform’s features. If all this seems like a lot of work, don’t worry. It isn’t. As Jay Brandes at Troy University said:

I've been doing this kind of thing for decades. This is the easiest-to-use and figure-out software I've ever used.

Even if you only use Niche Academy “out of the box”, you’ll see a tremendous increase in the amount and kind of data you can access to measure student success. Add content to our ready-made tutorials—or create your own to address your students’ needs (and campus expectations)—and the sky’s the limit. 

If you’re ready to measure your impact on student success, contact us to request a demo. We’re here to help you tell a better, more complete story about your value as a teaching librarian. 

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