Truth Be Told: How Today’s Students Conduct Research (Keynote) - Alison Head

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LILAC 2014 Keynote Speaker

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Truth Be Told: How Today’s Students Conduct Research (Keynote) - Alison Head

  1. 1. Truth Be Told: How Today’s Students Conduct Research Alison J. Head 24 April 2014 | LILAC
  2. 2. Teach Advise Train Develop Promote Discuss Practice Advance Study Information Literacy
  3. 3. 1746Articles and books about IL published in 2013 ALONE Search of all databases at University of Washington Libraries, “information literacy,” 4 April 2014
  4. 4. Source: Top 50 most relevant books and peer-reviewed articles from search, 4 April 2014 What was the IL discussion about last year?
  5. 5. What can we learn from students?
  6. 6. 7 Takeaways from Students About Their Information Literacy COMPETENCIES
  7. 7. #1 Students say research is more difficult than ever before.
  8. 8. Adjectives that describe how you feel when you get a research assignment . . . fear, angst, tired, dread, excited, anxious, annoyed, stressed, disgusted, intrigued, confused, and overwhelmed. 2009, n = 86 | 7 campuses
  9. 9. #2 Getting started-- the hardest part of course research
  10. 10. Task Definition Search Using information Task definition Search Self assessment 69% 41% 30% 25% What is most difficult? 2010 Survey, n = 8353 | 25 campuses Getting started Defining a topic Narrowing a topic
  11. 11. #3 Frustrations begin with finding context
  12. 12. Information need Course research Everyday life Research 1. Big Picture Summary, background Almost always Often 2. Information Gathering Locating relevant sources Often Sometimes 2009, n = 2,318 | 6 campuses Modeling the search for context PIL’s Context Typology
  13. 13. Information need Course research Everyday life Research 3. Language Meaning of words, terms Sometimes Sometimes 4. Situational How far to go, surrounding circumstances Sometimes Sometimes 2009, n = 2,318 | 6 campuses PIL’s Context Typology Modeling the search for context
  14. 14. #4 Students use the same few go-to sources.
  15. 15. 2010 Survey, n = 8,353 | 25 campuses 2009, n = 2,318 | 6 campuses Course research Librarians 30% (2010); 47% ( 2009)
  16. 16. Everyday life research 2010 Survey, n = 8353 | 25 campuses 2009 Survey, n =2,318 | 6 campuses Librarians 14%( 2010); 33% (2009)
  17. 17. Satisficing Situational & information gathering contexts Big picture / language contexts A well-trodden path
  18. 18. #5 Wikipedia is “my presearch tool”
  19. 19. Why Wikipedia? 2010 Wikipedia, First Monday, n = 8353 | 25 campuses
  20. 20. #6 Instructors are “my research coaches”
  21. 21. 1. Majority recommend a “place-based source” (60%) 2. Few recommended consulting librarians (13%) 3. Few defined what “research” is or means (16%) 2010 Handout Study, n = 191 handouts | 28 campuses Handouts offer little guidance
  22. 22. #7 The library is “my refuge”
  23. 23. How is the library used? 2009 Survey, n = 2318 | 6 campuses
  24. 24. Why ask a librarian for help? 2009 Survey, n = 2318 | 6 campuses Language / information gathering contexts
  25. 25. What’s a librarian to do?
  26. 26. Interpreting change Implications Shift from information scarcity to abundance. • Evaluation is 21st competency Information is disembodied from the whole source. • More results > abstracts matter Connectivity = “always on, always notifying.” • Libraries as refuge > different needs
  27. 27. PIL Finding Solutions Overloaded, busy, and doing things at last minute. • Offer on-demand info services Using same sources, many from high school experience. • Go beyond “one shots,” e.g., three shots Defining a topic is harder than finding sources. • Fewer lessons on “search,” embed in courses
  28. 28. Truth Be Told: How Today’s Students Conduct Research Alison J. Head 24 April 2014 | LILAC alison@projectinfolit.org

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