The Transition Years


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Evaluating information literacy skills from high school to college-level research

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  • Everyone here today understands the issues facing public education. Teaching to standards, instead of students, often gets in the way of allowing students to do in-depth research. They are TOLD what to learn rather than asked to conduct self-directed research, which is often where full learning and understanding comes from. Common Core helps with this issue, with its focus on research-based writing from informational texts, but it still leads to standardized testing.
  • Many students are also a little over confident with their research skills when they enter college. So when they have a bad first research experience, either by feeling overwhelmed, or getting a bad grade, they are than less likely to use academic library resources in the future.
  • Case in point: a study conducted by OCLC found that 40% of college students have never even used their library’s website to find information. Amazingly, of those who haven’t used it, almost a quarter of them thought there was better information out there.
  • If they aren’t going to the library’s website, where are they going? Research suggests – and your own personal experiences, too, I’m sure – that students go to Google to start their research. Wikipedia is the #1 most cited source on EasyBib, and we wanted to ask our users what they thought when they heard the word “Wikipedia.” What’s interest here is how many negative words we found in the 3,000 responses. You have words like “fake,” “unreliable,” “lies,” “false” and “untrustworthy” among the responses.
  • Despite this acknowledgement of the potential downsides to using Wikipedia in research, we know that they are still using it, as well as other less-than-authoritative sources, not just from analyzing our own data! Turnitin released a report earlier this year comparing the preferred source types of both secondary and higher ed students. As you can see, homework help, paper mills and user-generated websites are the preferred sources that are cited in secondary education. But what about in higher ed?
  • Well… it’s not all that different. You see here that Wikipedia still reigns king, but frighteningly, Oppapers has taken second place. CourseHero is similar to CliffNotes, Scribd is an online library and Scribd is unregulated.
  • We’ve gone over what it is that students like to cite in their research papers, but what do librarians think about their students’ information literacy skills? One study, which polled K-12 and academic librarians on how prepared they felt their students are with information literacy skills, brought interesting results. Most K-12 librarians, in orange, feel that their students are equipped with info lit skills to a certain extent. However, the vast majority of academic librarians thought that, at most, 40% of their students were information literacy-ready.This shows that there is a bit of a disconnect between these two groups, and what some librarians consider to be information literate, others do not.
  • But here’s the good news – in a study of student information literacy skills in the transition from secondary to tertiary education, they found that some students do understand the basics of building search queries with Boolean operators, and some students were able to identify some criteria for analyzing web site credibility.
  • We can talk about what students can and can’t do until the cows come home – but what can you do as educators and librarians to help bridge this gap between high school and college? It’s clear that there are areas where students can improve, and although the school librarian plays a huge role in this, you are not necessarily alone. We’ll now go through a handful of different cases in which librarians and educators worked together to bridge the information literacy gap.
  • One of the best ways to have information literacy play a more prevalent role in education is to have your colleagues be information literate, too. How many of you here think your co-workers are information literate? We have heard from a lot of ResearchReady customers that they want their teachers to go through the content, too. Through professional development or inservice training, you can provide information literacy instruction to teachers. It’s relevant to them because, as we mentioned at the beginning, research plays a big role in Common Core, which in turn impacts them. It will also familiarize them with the library and its resources – if they are comfortable with using the library, they will be comfortable bringing their students there. If they aren’t, there will be more hesitation.
  • Just how collaboration is vitally important for students, it plays an equally important role with educators and academic librarians alike – what better way to bridge the gap than working together for the same goal?
  • Back in 2010, academic librarians and school librarians in Jefferson County, NY worked together on a project to establish a common ground for high school student information literacy learning outcomes. These were based off of the ACRL standards and the school district’s own info lit standards. Academic and K12 librarians worked together to form this list, and the K12 librarians worked with teachers to ensure that their students understand the following:
  • A group of K-12 and academic librarians in Rochester formed a committee to discuss the same issue. Academic librarians found that their students were not prepared, and initiated a group to form a list of skills that should be taught across high school and college – not just .20.0
  • In Utah, information literacy instruction was pretty informal in the K-12 space, so a librarian at Weber State University worked with an information literacy tutorial team of both academics and K12 educators to build lessons for 10th, 11th and 12th graders. With an instructional designer, they built an online platform to teach these skills. The platform is now being used across the state to better prepare students for college-level research.
  • This was something we did at my last job at Berry College. Work with local academic librarians in your community to schedule a visit to a college library. We had high school students visit our library and we would give them a tour and explain how college libraries are similar and different from libraries they are comfortable with. We talked about LC Classification, inter-library loan, subject specialist librarians and our writing center. Giving students an idea with what they can expect when they go to a college library will make their freshmen orientations a little less overwhelming.
  • It’s easy to tell you to connect with academic librarians and build out all these great opportunities, but what are the best ways to do that? What better way to connect with strangers who share a common cause than through social media… use Twitter hashtag chats, LinkedIn and list servs to start a dialogue in the K-20 space. You can also visit your local higher ed institution websites and contact librarians directly through the directory. Academic librarians may be a little tricky to get a hold of, but these cases show that it is possible to collaborate with them!
  • The Transition Years

    1. 1. The Transition Years Evaluating Information Literacy Skills from High School to College-Level Research Emily Gover @Emily_EasyBib NJASL Fall Conference October 5, 2013
    2. 2. Who We Are, What We Do
    3. 3. Every 60 seconds: • 1.8M Facebook “likes” • 2,000,000 Google searches • 20,000,000 Flickr views • $83,000 in Amazon sales Qmee
    4. 4. “High school students are often not allowed enough time to do in-depth research. Students are often told what to learn rather than asked to conduct self-directed research. Standardized testing at the K-12 level makes it difficult for teachers to emphasize information literacy skills.” “Bridging the Gap: Preparing High School Students for College Level Research.”
    5. 5. Students do not utilize library resources as much in high school as they do in college. Use search engines in high school, see no reason why it would be different in higher ed. “Are They Ready? Exploring Student Information Literacy Skills in the Transition From Secondary to Tertiary Education.”
    6. 6. College freshmen overly confident with research skills. Bad first research experience = less likely to use academic library resources in future. “Are They Ready? Exploring Student Information Literacy Skills in the Transition From Secondary to Tertiary Education.”
    7. 7. 40% have never used their library's website Of those who have not used it, 23% believe other websites have better information (!) “Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community.”
    8. 8. Students: What words comes to mind when you hear “Wikipedia”? EasyBib data.
    9. 9. What Are They Citing? 1. Wikipedia – 8% 2. Yahoo! Answers – 7% 3. eNotes – 3% 4. – 3% 5. Oppapers – 3% Secondary, 2011-2012 “The Sources in Student Writing – Secondary Education. Turnitin.”
    10. 10. 1. Wikipedia – 11% 2. Oppapers – 4% 3. SlideShare – 4% 4. Course Hero – 4% 5. Scribd – 3% What Are They Citing? Higher Ed, 2011-2012 “The Sources in Student Writing – Higher Education. Turnitin.”
    11. 11. What percentage of students are “adequately prepared” with information literacy skills? "Both Sides Now: Librarians Looking at Information Literacy from High School and College." 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 0%-20% 21%-40% 41%-60% 61%-80% 81%-100% K-12 Academic
    12. 12. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Short quotes Long quotes In-text citations Relevance Use of quotes as filler Recognize publication bias Include Cultural context First-year English Composition N = 16 Senior Capstone N = 16 “Information Literacy Learning Outcomes and Student Success.” Use of Information in College Writing
    13. 13. You may feel like this…
    14. 14. …But it’s not so bad!
    15. 15. Areas of Understanding Boolean Operators • 38.6% understood “AND” narrowed results • 9.8% believed “OR” narrowed results Web Site Credibility • 23.8% selected all three (date, author, purpose) • 73.9% selected an answer with at least one “Are They Ready? Exploring Student Information Literacy Skills in the Transition From Secondary to Tertiary Education.”
    16. 16. Preferred Source Types Freshmen vs. Seniors 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 First-year English Composition N = 16 Senior Capstone N = 16 “Information Literacy Learning Outcomes and Student Success.”
    17. 17. Sources Used in Student Writing First-year students primarily accessed more general databases, including: • LexisNexis Academic • Quick Search (a federated search feature) • Academic Search Premier • Library catalog “Information Literacy Learning Outcomes and Student Success.”
    18. 18. Sources Used in Student Writing Seniors used: • Academic Search Premier • Library catalog • JSTOR • Montana Rules of Civil Procedure • Science Direct • Business Search Premier “Information Literacy Learning Outcomes and Student Success.”
    19. 19. What Can We Do?
    20. 20. “Train the Trainers” Information literacy instruction for educators How? • Inservice training • PD Why? • Common Core • Familiarity with library “Bridging the Gap: Preparing High School Students for College Level Research.”
    21. 21. Collaborate!
    22. 22. Common ground for high school student learning outcomes (NY) 1. Task definition 2. Source selection 3. Information access 4. Make connections, draw conclusions 5. Ethical writing and presentation 6. Reflect on research Collaborate! “Bridging the Gap for Information Literacy: Connecting High Schools, Colleges and the Workforce.” Academic K-12
    23. 23. Information Literacy Continuum Committee (NY) • Document covering IL skills between H.S. and college • Shared with teachers and parents • Discussion forum of K-12 and academics • Visit each other’s learning environments Academic K-12 Collaborate!
    24. 24. Information literacy curriculum collaboration (UT) • Two library media specialists • High school English teacher • Two university librarians • Instructional designer Collaborate! Academic K-12 “HeLIOS: Bridging the Information Literacy Gap from High School to University.”
    25. 25. Visit local academic libraries • LC classification • ILL • Subject specialists • Writing center Collaborate! “Bridging the Gap: Preparing High School Students for College Level Research.”
    26. 26. Connect • #infolit • #libchat • #highered • Join groups • Follow local colleges • Explore your network • infolit list serv • K-20 collaboration • What ideas do you have?
    27. 27. Cloud made using Tagxedo In Summary
    28. 28. Ashbridge, Carole. Bridging the Gap for Information Literacy: Connecting High Schools, Colleges and the Workforce. Watertown, NY: Connections Abound, 2010. PDF. the Gap.pdf De Rosa, Cathy, Joanne Cantrell, Matthew Carlson, Peggy Gallagher, Janet Hawk, and Charlotte Sturtz. Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community. Rep. Ed. Brad Gauder. OCLC, 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2012. EasyBib Student Survey. June 2013. Raw data. Imagine Easy Solutions, LLC, New York, NY. Kasowitz-Scheer, Abby. Easing the High School to College Transition: Creating an Information Literacy Continuum. N.p.: Educator's Spotlight Digest, Winter 2007. PDF. Kinikin, JaNae. HeLIOS: Bridging the Information Literacy Gap from High School to University. Ogden, UT: Weber State University, 21 Apr. 2010. PDF. Works Cited
    29. 29. Nix, Donna E., Marianne Hageman, and Janice Kragness. Information Literacy and the Transition from High School to College. Publication. University of St. Thomas, Minnesota, 1 June 2011. Web. 25 Sept. 2013. Salisbury, Fiona, and Sharon Karasmanis. "Are They Ready? Exploring Student Information Literacy Skills in the Transition from Secondary to Tertiary Education." Australian Academic & Research Libraries 41.1 (2011): 43-58. Print. Samson, Sue. "Information Literacy Learning Outcomes and Student Success." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 36.3 (2010): 202-10. ScienceDirect. Web. 2 Mar. 2013. Schein, Christine, Linda Conway, Rebecca Harner, Sue Byerley, and Shelley Harper. "Bridging the Gap: Preparing High School Students for College Level Research." Colorado Libraries 36.1 (2011): n. pag. 2011. Web. 25 Sept. 2013. Works Cited
    30. 30. Thank You :) Emily Gover @Emily_EasyBib Brad Heringer (212) 675-6738 ext.009 • Questions, pricing, trials for EasyBib or ResearchReady Bibliography EasyBib Librarians EasyBib
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