Instructional Activities Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of the SIA database?
- What is Scholarly Communication?
- How are the SIA statistics compiled?
- Who reports the SIA statistics to ARL?
- What instructional activities are reported?
- What are the instructional categories?
- What forms of instruction are reported?
- How is a session presented by two or more librarians reported?
- Is “staff to staff instruction” reported?
- Are consultations reported?
- Are “development and other public relations activities” reported?
- What is the relationship of the current SIA database to the former Summary of Instructional Activities (SIA) form?
- by individual library staff to record instructional sessions and generate individual reports;
- by units to compile instructional statistics for the unit's annual report and to aid in the evaluation of the unit's instruction program;
- by the Library to create an all-library report of instructional activity as a tool for instructional coordinators and the Information Literacy Program; and
- by the Library Administrative Office (LAO) for reports sent to other agencies, such as the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) which determines the UCLA Library’s ranking among peer institutions.
In addition to recording Library instructional statistics, SIA may be used to record one-on-one scholarly communication activity and to compile scholarly communication activity reports.
Communication with a student, faculty, or staff, on a range of topics associated with intellectual property and publishing, including authors’ rights, copyright, use of copyrighted materials, new scholarly publishing models and open-access initiatives, and the UC eScholarship Repository. Communication may be to an individual or groups and may occur in a variety of locations or formats, for example, in person, in an office or a classroom, or via email, chat, telephone or text.
The SIA Scholarly Communication report includes both individual (one-on-one) and group sessions.
There are two ARL statistical reports that the Library sends forward - - one for instruction and one for reference. According to the ARL definitions, one-on-one activity is always to be counted as reference.
Individual (one-on-one) scholarly communication sessions are tabulated for inclusion in the ARL reference statistics report.
Scholarly communication sessions with a group of two or more persons reported in SIA are tabulated for inclusion in the ARL instructional statistics report.
Each librarian who engages in instructional activities reports instruction statistics quarterly, either directly to the SIA database or to the unit’s designated person for input.
Once a year the unit's designated statistics person or instructional coordinator generates a cumulated unit SIA report for the entire fiscal year. This is the unit's annual instruction statistical report, usually requested by the AUL Research and Instructional Services in July and submitted by units in August.
In addition to this FAQ, detailed procedures for the SIA database are available. For more information about the SIA database, contact Doug Worsham, Coordinator, Teaching and Learning Services, by email or telephone at 310.206.7225.
Currently, Leslie McMichael, Administrative Analyst, Library Administrative Office, generates the overall report from the SIA database for the UCLA Library’s annual statistical reports to ARL.
The SIA database asks for instructional “output” or end results, e.g. sessions taught, materials produced, and people reached including all formats of delivery.
The SIA database may be used for reporting “input,” e.g. the time spent preparing or teaching a session, number of faculty contacts in outreach efforts, number of promotional flyers sent, and workload.
Specific instructional categories include the following:
- Orientations and Tours: Include group orientations, general tours, and presentations given inside or outside the library in which programs and services are described or physical orientation is given, but instruction (e.g. in the use of resources) is not. Sessions done for UCLA classes are put here only if the content is of this general nature.
- Instruction to Classes or Groups: Include in-person instruction for courses and identifiable groups. Include electronic and print instruction here only if it was created for a specific class in lieu of in-person instruction and your expectations for learning were the same as for in-person instruction. Library classes offered on a drop-in or enrollment basis (i.e. not for specific courses) are reported as Library-Initiated Classes and Demonstrations.
- Library-Initiated Classes and Demonstrations: Library instruction programs, including seminars and workshops offered/sponsored/developed by the library not in conjunction with specific courses. Include sessions, e.g. on the UCLA Library Catalog, Next-Generation Melvyl, MELVYL, Web resources, offered by the Library alone or in conjunction with other campus units, e.g., the Graduate Writing Center. In-person, electronic, and print instruction for specific classes or groups are reported as Instruction to Classes or Groups.
- UCLA (Credit) Courses Taught: Include whole courses taught (e.g. LIS 110), regular or Extension. For multi-session classes with a constant enrollment, count every session, but count each person only once (ARL definition). Count as electronic whole courses taught via the Internet. Guest lectures for courses are reported as Instruction to Classes or Groups.
- Small Group Consultations: Include consultations with groups of 2 or more.
- Individual consultations: One-on-one instruction; use only for scholarly communication.
All forms of instruction that librarians use, including in-person and electronic (CAI, Web-based, etc.) are reported in the SIA database.
- The ARL statistical categories ask only for number of “presentations to groups” and number of “participants in [those] group presentations.” No particular mode of instruction is mentioned, but in-person, group presentations are implied.
- An instructional project or session would be listed in “Instructional Materials” only if the number of people targeted or reached can’t be counted, for example Web pages, print (paper) handouts for general consumption, and electronic or virtual tours. Counting visits to a Web site would not be in keeping with what ARL is asking. Counting the number of students in a class for which a librarian created an instructional Web page in lieu of in-person, group instruction is consistent with ARL guidelines.
Whether a session is co-presented by librarians from the same unit or from different units, it is listed as one session in the SIA database. The SIA database procedures specify that only one person should input a record for each instructional session. The session will appear in the individual librarian and unit reports for each presenter.
Instructional sessions designed for library staff and taught by other library staff should not be reported in the SIA database, unless designated as scholarly communication. These are considered staff development or training, as opposed to end-user instruction. Although such instruction is sometimes similar to what is offered to students, it is essentially part of employee on the job training, which is not reported in the SIA database. The goal of SIA is to measure instruction by library staff to library clientele. As a practical matter, staff members who happen to attend sessions designed for library clientele may be counted among “number of people” attending.
Under “Instruction,” ARL asks only for “group presentations”. By ARL’s definitions, the deciding factor as to whether a consultation is counted as reference or instruction is whether it is with one person or a group. ARL states “personal, one-to-one instruction in the use of sources should be counted as reference transactions”. To adhere to ARL definitions, and in so doing better facilitate comparisons with other ARL libraries, this activity is reported as follows:
- Consultations where the librarian consults with one person should be counted as reference transactions.
- Consultations where the librarian consults with two (2) or more people should be reported as instructional activities in “Small Group Consultations.
To provide for compiling comprehensive reports of scholarly communication activities, individual consultations (one-on-one) for scholarly communication topic(s) are recorded in SIA.
Presentations made for purposes of development, public relations, and as part of fund-raising activities are usually of a general nature, not exactly instructional in content or intent. Nor are they aimed at the target audience for library instruction programs. ARL states that group presentations “may be for either bibliographic instruction, cultural, recreational, or educational purposes” which does not seem to include fund-raising purposes. Such sessions are not reported in the SIA database but should be addressed in the unit’s annual report.
What is the relationship of the current SIA database to the former Summary of Instructional Activities (SIA) form?
The SIA database replaces the Summary of Instructional Activities (SIA) form used by the UCLA Library from 1996/97 to 2005/06 and the UCLA Library Statistical Report: User Services Summary section VII.
ISAC (Instructional Services Advisory Committee) debated many issues to revise and clarify the SIA form according to their 1998 report. ISAC checked the SIA form for consistency with ARL definitions and made adjustments included in this FAQ. ISAC also took into account the spirit and intention of the ARL guidelines in order to include electronic instruction in the SIA form.