College-wide assessment by source of evidence
Research Practices Survey (RPS)
The Research Practices Survey (RPS) is a fifteen-minute questionnaire that assesses the information literacy of undergraduates, including their knowledge, attitudes, and practices in conducting academic research. RPS results have been used at St. Olaf to inform the content and process of library instruction, to shape requirements for research assignments, to help prepare new FYW and WRI instructors, and to evaluate programs engaging students in research projects.
The Research Practices Survey questionnaire was developed by an inter-institutional group of liberal arts librarians, faculty members, and assessment specialists led by the St. Olaf Office of Institutional Research and Evaluation. Its content reflects the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education developed by the Association of College and Research Libraries. The questionnaire addresses students’ experiences in using library resources, their attitudes toward academic research, their understanding of research terms and concepts, and their approaches to evaluating and using sources.
National RPS website
The RPS is administered by the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS), an organization of institutional researchers and assessment specialists in private colleges and universities. Since its development in 2004, the survey has been administered to more than 20,000 undergraduates at more than 50 liberal arts institutions.
RPS results and reports
RPS results show how St. Olaf students’ experiences, attitudes, and proficiencies in academic research change during the first year of college and from the beginning to the end of college. They also show how St. Olaf students’ proficiencies compare to those of their peers at other liberal arts institutions.