Joette Stefl-Mabry

Joette Stefl-Mabry
University at Albany, The State University of New York | UAlbany · Department of Information Science & School of Education

PhD

About

38
Publications
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124
Citations
Introduction
Joette Stefl-Mabry, PhD is a professor and tenured faculty in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity at UAlbany.

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Teachers’ use of formative assessment to document student learning and improve instructional practice is firmly established in educational research. However, knowledge about how school librarians use assessment information to shape and inform instructional practice is nascent. This study illustrates how significant and insignificant results, based...
Article
Full-text available
The importance and need for empirical investigations in the field of school library research is indisputable. In 2014, the American Association of School Librarians announced an urgent call for causal research designs to determine what actions and activities of the school library program "positively impact student learning" (p. 4). Despite this req...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The need for rigorous empirical investigation into the effect of school librarians on student achievement is undeniable. Although hundreds of correlational and descriptive research studies proclaim school librarians' positive effect on student achievement, there is no theoretical framework that explains what it is that school librarians do that inf...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
School library (SL) research has focused excessively on positive results from poorly designed and executed studies. While SL practitioners believe there is a preponderance of evidence showing the positive effects of school librarians on student achievement, the reality is drastically different. This study uses a statewide school building dataset an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Absent from school library research is an underlying theory of action targeting school library factors and student achievement (Stefl-Mabry & Radlick, 2017). Despite hundreds of studies a question remains: “What theory of action of the school library/librarian influences students’ achievement?” (Stefl-Mabry & Radlick, 2017, p. 12). This study, buil...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Based on hundreds of published studies, school library practitioners believe strong evidence exists supporting a causal connection between school libraries and student achievement. An extensive review of the research literature (Stefl-Mabry & Radlick, 2017) shows that the evidence is weak, and flawed by lack of rigorous research designs and analyse...
Article
Educational researchers recommend that educators receive training in assessment literacy (Brookhart, 2011; Campbell 2013; Popham 2013, 2014). School library researchers also recognize the importance of school librarians becoming proficient in assessment (Harada, 2007; Hughes-Hassell and Harada 2007; Zmuda and Harada, 2008). Formative assessment pro...
Article
School libraries are perceived to have a significant effect on student achievement. The reality is that evidence supporting the effects of school libraries on student achievement remains unconvincing to many serious researchers. In this paper, we provide a systematic review of 25 years of school library research examining student achievement. Resul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
School libraries are perceived to have a significant effect on student achievement. The reality is that evidence supporting the effects of school libraries on student achievement remains unconvincing to many serious researchers. In this paper, we provide a systematic review of 25 years of school library research examining student achievement. Resul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although the first scholarly study of how school libraries effect student achievement took place over five decades ago, educational researchers within the broader educational community are seldom aware of this research. This paper reveals that school library research related to academic achievement over the past two decades has been published large...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the first part of a larger, on-­‐going pilot research initiative exploring the causal effects of school librarians and school library resources on student achievement in the public schools of New York State. This specific study focused on answering the initial overarching question—is there evidence that a full-­‐time (or more) p...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a framework, SLO&AR (Student Learning Outcomes & Assessment Review), used to teach preservice educators to assess systematically and reflectively. In addition, SLO&AR was used to assess the preservice graduate students’ learning outcomes. Assessment results from 13 preservice graduate students and faculty perspectives during two...
Conference Paper
Although the promise of technology’s power to transform education has been asserted for decades, many argue that this promise has not been substantially realized. Much of the research on educational technology’s impact over the past few decades focused primarily on changes in teachers, and only secondarily on changes in students. This teacher-centr...
Article
This paper seeks to expand our understanding of how educators, and in particular school librarians, acquire and use professional-practice knowledge. This exploratory study, grounded in "lived practice" (Spillane, Hunt, and Healey, 2009) uses reflective analysis to amplify competencies and skill development in pre-service school library education. T...
Article
This chapter highlights critical lessons learned during the past six years during the development of a capstone graduate educational technology course, teaching School Library Media (SLMS) pre-service students how to develop learner centered, knowledge centered and assessment centered Web-based learning tools; in short, to enable them to become cha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper examines the viewpoints of Middle School students relative to their use of Information and Communications Technology. Using focus groups in a technology-affluent large United States school district to " hear the data " (Rubin & Rubin, 1995), findings suggest that students 1) perceive technology in school as limited 2) recognize that the...
Article
This session relates directly to this year's conference theme Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together as it brings together researchers from different disciplines (information science and educational technology) to discuss current issues and trends related to Web usage across student populations. “Complex design problems require...
Article
This article outlines a K-12 college learning partnership that has evolved over the past two years at the University at Albany, SUNY. Two faculty members with the School of Information Science & Policy (SISP) Joette Stefl-Mabry and Jennifer Goodall Powers, with administrative support of their Associate Dean, Carol Doll, have integrated problem-base...
Article
Full-text available
Collaborative problem-based courses can engage university students and faculty in more authentic, powerful, and meaningful learning experiences. For the past five years, the College of Computing and Information's Department of Information Studies has been cultivating an educational partnership that brings together university students with their pro...
Article
This study is based on earlier research by the author that employed social judgment analysis (SJA; J. Stefl-Mabry, 2001, 2003) to identify the information judgment preferences held by professional groups. This study explores the extent to which individuals, professional groups, and subgroups are self-aware of their judgment profiles. Three speciali...
Article
This interactive panel session is designed to create a “knowledge share-in” with corporate analysts, educators, and information scientists. This session will provide an opportunity for participants to collaboratively explore and share technologies, methodologies, and epistemologies.
Article
Designing information systems with the user in mind, generally referred to as ‘user-centered design’ has become an established goal of much of the work in information science. According to this approach, activities such as user studies, usability evaluations, and user analyses (amongst others) must be performed if we are to either advance our field...
Article
To better understand how individuals and groups derive satisfaction from information, it is important to identify the information source preferences they apply in information seeking and decision making. Four informal propositions drove the structure and underlying logic of this study, forming a preliminary outline of a theory of information source...
Article
One common element of many plans suggested for the improvement of K12 education in the United States has been the more effective utilization of computer, networking and other technologies. While technology has fundamentally transformed America's offices, factories, and retail establishments, its impact within the nation's classrooms has been quite...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a unique case study about how a problem-based (PBL) higher education curriculum can integrate educational technology and information literacy theory to enhance student learning in 3rd grade. Faculty at the University at Albany have created cognitive learning partnerships with a growing number of K-12 school districts to develo...
Article
Full-text available
One common element of many plans suggested for the improvement of K- 12 education in the United States has been the more effective utilization of computer, networking and other technologies. While technology has fundamentally transformed America's offices, factories, and retail establishments, its impact within the nation's classrooms has been quit...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
As an important aspect of education programs, school libraries need to provide strong evidence of their efficacy—how what they do, or the resources they provide result in student learning. We have developed an extensive set of research questions underlying our study, however all of our questions revolve around two key areas of inquiry: whether and in what specific ways do school libraries effect changes in students (both academically and behaviorally). Although the effectiveness of school libraries has been investigated for over twenty-five years two critical components remain absent: one is strong, empirical evidence of how school librarians contribute to student success, and the second is an underlying theory of action or model, that provides clear linkages between what a school librarian does, or the resources that a school librarian provides, and the effect on student outcomes (American Library Association, 2014; Grover & Fowler, 1993; Morris & Cahill, 2017; Stefl-Mabry & Radlick, 2017). To work towards addressing both of these concerns we will build upon our prior IMLS research in which we investigated the effect of school librarians on student achievement and created multiple statistical models based on five years of school-level data reflecting all public schools in New York State and expand our analyses to a total of eight years of data--making this the first longitudinal study of school library effects on academic outcomes using empirical analyses and replication across multiple years on a large population of school libraries—over 4,000 public school buildings. In addition to academic outcomes, we will empirically examine the influence of a school librarian’s experience, diversity, background, library schedule, curriculum, pedagogy, and administrative support on nonacademic, school-behavior related outcomes such as attendance and discipline. We will conduct statewide school librarian web surveys, and combine the web survey data together with our larger data set, making use of the extensive school library data collected each year by the New York Department of Education’s Basic Educational Data Systems (BEDS) which provides yearly building level school library information on 45 different aspects of school library programs and resources. We will also use outcome measures from English language arts, mathematics and social studies (Grades 3-8 and English, Math and Grades 9-12 Social Studies Regents) and 40 other school demographic and climate variables for all public schools in New York State. We will employ an outlier (beating the odds) analysis technique to identify top and bottom outliers to examine school library variables in the top (and bottom) 10% of schools that exceed (or fall below) predicted outcomes based on the statistical models. We will also conduct focus interviews of top and bottom outliers—to reveal the characteristics of SLs in the top performing schools to shape and inform theoretical models based on school library variables that truly make a difference. We will also attempt to gather similar data from other states to conduct a multi-state comparison. Additionally, we will try to identify the state of the racial diversity within the school librarian workforce in NYS, to explore whether racial interaction effects that have been found between students and teachers also exists with school librarians. The application and combination of several research methods will enable us to analyze our research questions from multiple perspectives. Assembling strong evidence of library effects on student outcomes, addressing prior weaknesses in the research, and identifying the elements that influence school libraries’ effect on student learning and behavior is of critical importance to all educators. School library characteristics, when demonstrated to positively affect student outcomes, may then be integrated into PreK-12 and higher education instructional practices: in school library, teacher education and school leadership programs and curricula. Thus, by allowing us to extend our work, we can provide a more credible school library research foundation of new understandings for practitioners as well as established and emergent researchers.
Project
The School Librarian Effect on Student Academic Achievement in New York State research project investigates issues and trends affecting library practices in all public schools in New York State. This study builds upon results of the researchers' prior work (Radlick, M., & Stefl-Mabry, J. (2015, April 16-20). Finally –Convincing Evidence for the Impact of School Librarians paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL), that studied all New York State’s 2,245 public schools (excluding schools in New York City) that had students in grades 3 thru 8. Results of that study revealed that school librarians were shown to have a statistically significant impact on student achievement in English Language Arts. This project will continue that exploration of the effect of school librarians on student achievement and will examine all K-12 public schools throughout New York State including New York City for a total of 4,120 school buildings. The study will examine school library impact (both staffing and library functions) on student English and math achievement, while taking into account prior academic achievement, a wide range of student demographic variables (such as gender, special education status, limited-English proficiency, minority status, free/reduced lunch participation), and building level characteristics (size, discipline climate, district accountability status, and overall district financial capacity). The National Research Council (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2012) recommends that foundations and federal agencies should support research that moves “beyond simple correlational studies to include more longitudinal studies with controls for differences in individuals’ family backgrounds and more studies using statistical methods that are designed to approximate experiments” (p. 17). This research project does that by moving beyond correlation and extending the authors’ earlier, preliminary analysis toward the development of more robust causal models to provide evidence of what we have called the “School Librarian Effect.” The “School Librarian Effect” can be stated more directly by asking “Do school librarians have a direct and positive impact on student academic learning in the schools in which they work, after controlling for a range of student and building characteristics such as poverty and prior academic performance?” The subsequent research question is--if there is a “School Librarian Effect” what specific actions of the librarian might be impacting student academic performance in either ELA or math? With over two prior decades of library research that used perceptual data, or had small samples of schools, using purely descriptive or correlational techniques, prior research provided, at best, weak causal evidence for the impact of school librarians on student achievement. This study, in contrast, is framed within the context of a strong statistical analysis technique called structural equation modeling (SEM), and reflects a very large sample size, while controlling for a number of other variables including prior year student achievement. Specifically, the causal models in this study will examine the SL’s impact on building level student English and math achievement, while taking account for prior academic achievement, a wide range of student demographic variables (gender, special education status, limited-English proficiency, minority status, free/reduced lunch participation), and building level characteristics (size, discipline climate, district accountability status, and overall district financial capacity). Data for the study comes from a variety of New York State Education Department sources including the annual Basic Educational Data System survey of schools, which includes a range of data collected each year about school libraries. The impact of this research project extends to school librarianship and the school library profession, and also to K-12 students, teachers, administrators and faculty in K-12 and higher education sectors. It has the potential to significantly influence how school librarians are perceived by educators and other stakeholders as well as how school librarians perceive themselves. Professional, certified school librarians are educators and information specialists who influence students’ mastery of a wide range of cognitive interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills and competencies. Identifying the elements and variables that influence school librarians’ effectiveness on student learning would be of benefit to all educators. Such characteristics, if demonstrated to positively effect student learning, could then be integrated into K-12 and higher education instructional practices, as well as in school library and teacher preparation programs and curriculum. This study will examine the impact of school librarians (both staffing and library functions, as well as library capabilities, instructional methods, operation and resources) on student English language arts and math achievement, while taking into account prior achievement, a wide range of student demographic variables, and building level characteristics. Underlying this analysis is the key assumption that what teachers and other staff (including school librarians) do actually affects students and their academic performance. It is also assumed that the relationships between school activities and the resultant student academic achievement outcomes are complex and multidimensional. The unique strengths of this study are that it will: Make new use of the extensive school library data set collected each year by the New York State Education Department Focus on Common Core (CC) learning for the first time using the New York State Common Core assessments first administered statewide in May of 2013. Focus on the all public school buildings in New York with grades 3 thru 12—with a statewide perspective rather than a sample, and encompass New York City schools, the largest school system in the United States Focus on all public high school buildings in New York taking Regents English and algebra assessments—a full state perspective, not just representative samples Include a longitudinal growth analysis by school used between the end of year 2013-14, 2012-13 and 2011-12 building ELA and math status measures. The study will calculate a building change or growth measure from year-to-year. (Note that the 2011-12 scale score is not based on the Common Core assessment.) Use the New York State building level measure (ELA or Math Performance Index) that allows any and all grade levels in a building from grade 3 to grade 12 to be analyzed together, as well as Regents scores Use causal modeling via structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine school librarian effects while controlling for student poverty, prior achievement and other demographic and school characteristics via the models. Include the investigation of outliers, at both high and low performing school library programs, to reveal specific pedagogical, instructional and programmatic characteristics and factors, which will then be examined further via surveys and follow-up interviews. Preliminary statistical models analyzing a sub-set (2,960 public schools in New York State excluding New York City) have shown a statistically significant and positive “School Librarian Effect” for 2012-13. This study will extend that research with additional variables and schools to include the 1590 public schools in New York City (total statewide of 4,120 public schools). The models will examine data from 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years to determine whether there is an effect, and if there is an effect, answer the question of what specific school librarian resources or actions might be most strongly related to this effect on student achievement. If effective school library characteristics are identified, these results will be shared with the research and professional communities in education and library science. Such results would be important to educational and library science researchers and practitioners, as well as institutions of higher education who prepare preservice and inservice educators. Such findings would be equally important for school administrators to enable them to create strong and effective school library programs within their K-12 settings.