IOL Conference 2012


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Digital Learning: Teaching Information Literacy through Online Research Guides

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IOL Conference 2012

  1. 1. Innovations in Online Learning 2012, San Antonio, Texas Jody Bailey, Reference and Instruction Librarian Rafia Mirza, Reference and Instruction Librarian Gretchen Trkay, Information Literacy Librarian University of Texas at ArlingtonDigital Learning: Teaching InformationLiteracy through Online Research Guides
  2. 2. Overview History of research guides. Literature review. UT Arlington usability studies. Problem: Students need research help, especially distance-ed students. Solution: Add information literacy (instructional) content to online research guides so that they will be more useful. 2
  3. 3. Synonyms Bibliographies (annotated, subject, biographical, topical, etc.) Reading lists Readers’ aids Pathfinders Information portals Webliographies Resource lists Study guides Subject guides Topic guides Research guides 3
  4. 4. Detail from Annotated Syllabus for the Systematic Studyof Librarianship, page 4.Note that this 1904 study guide comprised only 27 pages. 4
  5. 5. Transition to Digital Form Example of a research guide on Literature Started in 1990s from 1997. Basic transfer: print  digital Little/no thought given to hypertext environment Guides remain fairly linear with long lists of links (Vileno, 2007) 5
  6. 6. Assessment of Online Research Guides: Literature Review Themes  Most students do not use research guides.  Paucity of user-centered data.  “One size does not fit all.”  “Students do not relate well to subject guides” and find them “difficult to use.” (Adebonojo, 2010; Ouellette, 2011, pp. 442, 436; Reeb & Gibbons, 2004, pp. 123-124; Staley, 2007, pp. 119, 126; Vileno, 2007, p. 436; Vileno, 2010, p. 1). 6
  7. 7. Assessment of Online Research Guides: Literature ReviewStudents want . . . A “simple and clean layout” “Search feature” “Succinct annotations to resources” “Limited page scrolling” “Embedded instruction” “Librarian contact info” Clear navigation Faculty recommendations of guides and librarian recommendations of resources Content customized to their needs (Hintz et al., 2010, pp. 40, 45-46; Ouellette, 2011, p. 443-444, 448; Stitz, Laster, Bove, & Wise, 2011, p. 191; Vileno, 2010, p. 19). 7
  8. 8. Assessment of Online Research Guides: Literature Review Students don’t want . . .  Jargon and unclear, confusing labels  Cluttered, crowded sites  Web 2.0 functionality: user-generated “rating systems, discussion forums, student recommendations, and . . . personalization features” (Hintz et al., 2010, pp. 45-46; Ouellette, 2011, p. 444; Reeb & Gibbons, 2004, p. 127; Stitz et al., 2011, p. 191; Vileno, 2010, p. 19) 8
  9. 9. UT Arlington’s Research Guide Platform: LibGuides Produced by Springshare Content management system Widely used by academic libraries Easy to learn Superb tech support 9
  10. 10. LibGuides: Functionality  WYSIWYG and point-and-click editing.  No experience with HTML needed.  Content types: links to resources (e.g., books, databases, podcasts), embedded video and images, RSS feeds, polls, various search boxes.  APIs and widgets. 10
  11. 11. UT Arlington Usability Study: Methodology Our interpretation of University of Washington’s recommendations for LibGuide designOur baseline design 11
  12. 12. UT Arlington Usability Study: Methodology Graduate Students Undergraduate Students & 12
  13. 13. UT Arlington Usability Study: Methodology Infrequent users Frequent Users 13
  14. 14. UT Arlington Usability Study: MethodologyTasks: Each User Completed One Task Task 1 You are writing a paper on high-stakes testing in education. Where can you find a resource to give you a brief overview of this topic? Task 2 You are writing a 10-page research paper for English about depictions of women in Shakespeares Hamlet. You must find reliable, scholarly sources that will help you better understand this topic. You are uncertain what makes a source reliable and/or scholarly. Use the LibGuide to find out the characteristics of reliable and scholarly sources. Task 3 You need to write about an issue related to a home based nursing. Locate one peer-reviewed article. Task 4 Using the Subject Guide for electrical engineering, find a paper on the topic of wireless sensors in biological research. Task 5 Locate this article: Burke, E. (2009). Islam at the center: Technological complexes and the roots of modernity. Journal of World History, 20(2), 165-186. 14
  15. 15. UT Arlington Usability Study: Methodology -Question Survey 15
  16. 16. UT Arlington Usability Study: Methodology 16
  17. 17. Round 1 Findings: Contextualized ContentStudents want guides contextualized to theirassignments “Where is the tab for my assignment?” “Why are there so many tabs?” 17
  18. 18. Round 1 Findings: Jargon Students found some of our language to be confusing. “What are reference resources?” “What is interlibrary loan?” 18
  19. 19. Round 1 Findings: Landing Page Confusion  Students found the home page insufficient and the amount of content overwhelming  Students partially scanned text instead of reading and searched using only the keywords provided in an assignment prompt. 19
  20. 20. Round 1 Findings: Search Box ConfusionStudents equate ALL search boxes with Google-like search. 20
  21. 21. Basic Principles of Web Design Define a target audience. Articulate the site’s purpose. Use targeted navigation. Choose readable font size and colors. Include white space. Avoid walls of text. 21
  22. 22. Students’ Information Seeking Behavior Carol Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process Project Information Literacy’s (PIL) Model of the Undergraduate Research Process 22
  23. 23. Information Search Process (Kuhlthau, 2012) 23
  24. 24. Model of the Undergraduate Research Process Big Picture Language Contexts Information Situational Gathering (PIL, 2009) 24
  25. 25. Changes Made After Round 1 Redesign After Round 1Original Guide Design 25
  26. 26. Mapping Content to Information-Seeking Behavior (Herzog, Huddleston, & Trkay, 2012) 26
  27. 27. Adaptation for Subject Guides 27
  28. 28. Testing the Redesign 9 Participants. Infrequent users of subject guides. Each completed 5 tasks. Answered 8 open-ended survey questions. One committee member facilitated in person while another member remotely observed and coded. 28
  29. 29. Task 1 — Gather Background Information Average task score – 0.40 points  Average task score – 2.33 points Average time on task – 6.54 minutes  Average time on task – 4.26 minutes 29
  30. 30. Comparative Results: Task 1 ErrorsStatistically significant decrease in errors madeusing the redesigned guide Inappropriate use of search box Inappropriate use of resource Deviation from expected path Total errors 30
  31. 31. Task 2 — What is a Scholarly Source? Average task score – 1.20 points  Average task score – 0.22 points Average time on task – 11.51 minutes  Average time on task – 2.86 minutes 31
  32. 32. Comparative Results: Task 2 ErrorsStatistically significant decrease in errors madeusing the redesigned guide Inappropriate use of resource Language confusion Deviation from expected path Total errors 32
  33. 33. Task 3 — Find a Peer-Reviewed Article Average task score – 1.60 points  Average task score – 1.63 points Average time on task – 5.54 minutes  Average time on task – 4 minutes 33
  34. 34. Task 4 — Find a Primary Source  Average task score – 1.78 points  Average time on task – 3.22 minutes No round-1 comparison 34
  35. 35. Task 5 — Find an Article from a Citation Average task score – 2.0 points  Average task score – 2.5 points Average time on task – 6.33 minutes  Average time on task – 2.34 minutes 35
  36. 36. Comparative Results: Task 5 ErrorsStatistically significant decrease in errors madeusing the redesigned guide Inappropriate use of search box Inappropriate use of resource Deviation from expected path Total errors 36
  37. 37. Next Steps Refining instructional content. Creating content that can be used throughout all the guides. Adapting content to individual subject guides. 37
  38. 38. References Adebonojo, L. G. (2010). LibGuides: Customizing subject guides for individual courses. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 17, 398-412. doi: 10.1080/10691316.2010.525426 Brown, J. D. (1904). Annotated Syllabus for the Systematic Study of Librarianship. London, United Kingdom: Library Supply Co. Retrieved from Head, A. J., & Eisenberg, M. B. (2009, December 1). Lessons learned: How college students seek information in the digital age. Project Information Literacy. Retrieved from Herzog, A., Huddleston, B., & Trkay, G. (2012, February 23). Digital learning: Teaching information literacy through LibGuides. Poster session presented at Educause West/Southwest Regional Conference, Portland, OR. Hintz, K., et al. (2010). Letting students take the lead: A user-centred approach to evaluating subject guides. Evidence Based Library And Information Practice, 5(4), 39-52. Retrieved from Kuhlthau, C. C. (2012, January). Information search process. Retrieved from Literature. (1997). LSU Libraries webliography. Retrieved from Ouellelte, D. (2011). Subject guides in academic libraries: A user-centred study of uses and perceptions. Canadian Journal Of Information & Library Sciences, 35, 436-451. Retrieved from Pathfinder (Library Science). (2012). Wikipedia. Retrieved from Reeb, B., & Gibbons, S. (2004). Students, librarians, and subject guides: Improving a poor rate of return. Portal: Libraries & The Academy, 4(1), 123-130. Retrieved from Reitz, J. M. (2012). Pathfinder. ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Retrieved from Reitz, J. M. (2012). Research guide. ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Retrieved from Staley, S. M. (2007). Academic subject guides: A case study of use at San Jose State University. College & Research Libraries, 68, 119-139. Retrieved from Stitz, T., Laster, S., Bove, F. J., & Wise, C. (2011). A path to providing user-centered subject guides. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 16(4), 183-198. doi: 10.1080/10875301.2011.621819 Vileno, L. (2007). From paper to electronic, the evolution of pathfinders: A review of the literature. Reference Services Review, 35, 434-451. doi: 10.1108/00907320710774300 Vileno, L. (2010). Testing the usability of two online research guides. Partnership: The Canadian Journal Of Library And Information Practice And Research, 5(2), 1-21. Retrieved from 38
  39. 39. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of thislicense, visit or send aletter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View,California, 94041, USA. 39