Alternative Title

Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) Research Study - The Impact of Information Literacy Instruction on Student Success: A Multi-Institutional Investigation and Analysis


Paula Dempsey, Mark Emmons, Lisa Kammerlocher, Navadeep Khanal, Jade Winn

Publication Date

Fall 10-2-2017


The GWLA Student Learning Outcomes task force analyzed the data from over 42,000 first-time, first-year freshmen and over 1700 distinct courses from 12 research institutions to determine the impact(s) of information literacy instruction integrated into course curriculum on several student success measures.

Key findings include:

  • Student retention rates are higher for those students whose courses include an information literacy instruction component.
  • On average, First-Year GPA for students whose courses included information literacy instruction was higher than the GPA of students whose courses did not.
  • Students exposed to library instruction interactions successfully completed 1.8 more credit hours per year than their counterparts who did not participate in courses containing information literacy instruction.

This is the first year of what we hope will be a multi-year longitudinal analysis to determine if these gains are sustained and built upon with additional information literacy instruction in higher-level courses, and the impact this might have on graduation rates.

Future years will also examine which teaching methods consistently show the highest student gains, so institutions may tailor their instruction programs to maximize the success of their students. The task force is currently compiling the second year of data, and that will be shared when it is completed.

Document Type



information literacy, information literacy instruction, academic success, student success, student outcomes, learning outcomes, value, impact, education, curriculum, curriculum mapping, retention, GPA, credit hours, hours earned, credit hours earned, instruction methods, multi-institutional research, libraries, academic libraries, librarians, first-year students, first-year cohort


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Higher Education | Information Literacy | Library and Information Science


This paper was first posted to the Greater Western Library Alliance website ( at the location




Copyright 2017 Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA)




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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