SPEC Kit 330: Library Contribution to Accreditation · 175
University of Virginia
Comprehensive Standards 3.8.2 – Access to Instruction
Comprehensive Standards, Institutional Accreditation, U.Va.
http://www.virginia.edu/sacs/standards/3-8-2.html[9/5/12 4:54:46 PM]
QUALITY ENHANCEMENT PLAN
FIFTH-YEAR INTERIM REPORT
REVIEW & APPROVAL
Comprehensive Standards 3.8.2 - Access to Instruction
The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other
The University of Virginia is in compliance with this standard.
The University of Virginia provides extensive opportunities for regular and timely instruction in the use of the library
and other learning/information resources.
1. Library Instruction
The University Library System provides orientation sessions, tours, individual tutorials, and a variety of short courses,
in-class instruction, and online instruction. In 2004-05, the University Library offered 721 instructional sessions that
were attended by 9,460 participants; the Health Sciences Library offered 559 instructional sessions attended by 4,531
participants; the Law Library offered 24 instructional sessions attended by 420 participants; and the Business Library
offered 30 instructional sessions attended by 425 participants. (See Core Requirement 2.9 for an overview of the
University Library system.)
The University Library asks participants to evaluate all user-education sessions conducted by library staff, except for
some orientation sessions. The evaluation asks participants to assess the content and usefulness of the class and the
effectiveness of the instructor, to provide an overall rating of the session, and to suggest improvements. The
University Library’s Management Information Services department maintains an online database (the User Education
Database) of all evaluations. All instructors receive individual results, and the Balanced Scorecard User Perspective 2.0
reports overall instructor ratings. For 2005, overall user instruction met the target goal of 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5,
receiving a score of 4.35.
Orientation Sessions, Tours, and Individual Tutorials
At the beginning of the academic year, the Office of Orientation and New Student Programs includes scheduled 45-
minute tours of the three main University Libraries (Clemons, Alderman and Harrison-Small) in their program. For the
2005-06 academic year, nine tours were offered over the first nine days of the Fall semester. All students can arrange
individual library tours throughout the semester. The University Library offers in-depth research tutorials to University
of Virginia students, faculty, and staff as an introduction to the research of a discipline, to assist with specialized
research projects, and to provide individual instruction in the use of online databases and other library resources. All
of the University’s teaching locations offer orientation sessions, and individualized and tutorial assistance are available
to all off-grounds students.
Each library provides general and customized one-time sessions to meet the needs of its users and offers short
courses in a variety of subjects, including using library resources, performing database searches, and the use of
library-related products (e.g., bibliographic management software). For an example of a monthly short-course
calendar, see the Education Opportunities web site for the Health Sciences Library. The Education Library offers Short
Courses, one-hour instruction sessions on a specific topic, at the beginning of each semester. In 2005-06, the classes
included: 1) Introduction to RefWorks Bibliographic Management Software, 2) Getting Full Text Journal Articles Online,
and 3) Doctoral Support Services.
Faculty integrate research skills into their curricula in various ways, including by scheduling in-class library instruction
sessions that may include general instruction in the use of the library, instruction on how to use specific technology,
and classroom demonstrations on information-gathering skills. Library staff also assist faculty in designing sessions
specific to their courses. For example, faculty can schedule sessions with the Geospatial and Statistical Data Center
for classes that will use a data source housed there. Library instruction sessions can also cover such topics as citation
of sources, evaluation of information from the Internet and other sources.
Library instruction is a requirement for all undergraduates enrolled in the English writing classes (ENWR 105) in the
College of Arts and Sciences and for all first- and fourth-year students in the School of Engineering and Applied
Science (STS 101 and 401).
Library staff teach both short courses and for-credit courses targeted to graduate students. These sessions include
hands-on experience on all the significant databases in relevant fields of study (e.g., Law, Music), including research
tools needed for specific methodologies and methods of access and retrieval. For example,
1. "Introduction to Literary Research” course (ENCR 801) is required for all new graduate students in the English
Department; it includes two sessions in the library.
2. The Education Library offers a one-credit course called “Introduction in Information Technology” (EDLF 711),
which introduces graduate students to information literacy skills.
3. The Fine Arts Library requires all beginning art history graduate students to take the one-credit course called
“Library Methods in the Visual Arts” (ARTH 501).
4. The Law Library teaches customized courses in advanced legal research and a course in international and
foreign legal research.
Online Instructional Aids
Many faculty members have worked with library staff to incorporate online instructional aids into the curricula for their
classes. For example, the Fine Arts Library created the User Instruction web site for their three program areas (art,
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