Unrealistic Expectations What we think students know about research Teaching and Learning Strategies, May 12, 2008 Jutta Seibert & Barbara Quintiliano (Falvey Memorial Library)
What are the research habits of your students?
What are your expectations? What research habits would you like to see?
“ The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.” * * Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
Can your students identify different types of resources, and do they know where to look for them?
Different formats: books, book chapters, conference proceedings Pernanen, K. (1981). Theoretical aspects of the relationship between alcohol use and crime. In J.J. Collins (Ed.), Drinking and crime: Perspectives on the relationship between consumption and criminal behavior (pp. 1-69). New York: Guilford Press. Ferguson, D.M., Lynskey, M.T., & Horwood, L.J. (1996). Alcohol misuse and juvenile offending in adolescence. Addiction , 91(4), 483-494.
“ The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.” Where to search for different types of sources? Would you describe your students’ search skills as hit and miss (at best)?
Does your student understand the limitations of research with Google?
Would your student use the same keywords?
Are these peer-reviewed journal articles?
Is this the most recent research?
Is this the best I can do? Should I care?
Will Google link to the full text? Why?
How about those “print only” journals?
How does a library research database stack up against Google?
“ The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically.”
Can your students tell when a website is presenting reliable and authoritative information? Q. Is the following statement true or false? The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) surveys newly uploaded websites and verifies their accuracy. When asked this question, 90% of students responded true !
Do your students list Wikipedia as a source of information? Q. Who writes the articles that appear in Wikipedia? Student answer: A committee of selected authors. For viewpoints on use of Wikipedia in course work, see http:// library.villanova.edu/research/wikipedia_resources.html
Encouraging students to take a closer look at Web information
Authority – Most important consideration in deciding whether to use a website for a paper
Can you easily identify the author? Note his/her name.
Is the author qualified to write about this topic? What are his/her academic qualifications?
Is there a link to the home page providing information about the author and sponsor?
Has he/she published other books or articles in this same subject area? Do we have them in our library’s collection? List one or two:
Tools for research success
Links to library resources in WebCT
Making liaison librarian contact readily available to students
Preliminary literature review
Set a limit to the number of free Web sources that may be used.
However : It can be misleading to tell students that they are limited to a certain number of online sources, as many scholarly journal articles are now accessible exclusively online.