Webber & Ford - Collaborating for deep, critical information behaviour
Sheila WebberNigel FordMary CrowderAndrew Madden Collaborating for deep critical information behaviour
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2010-12 (15 months) Mary Crowder - ResearcherProfessor NigelFord - Principal Dr AndrewInvestigator Madden - Researcher Sheffield University, Information School, Centre for Information Literacy Research
“Information Behavior is the totality of human behavior in relation to sources and channels of information, including both active and passive information seeking, and information use. Thus, it includes face-to-facecommunication with others, as well as the passive reception of information as in, for example, watching TV advertisements, without any intention to act on the information given.” Wilson, 2000
Research Questions1. How prevalent are relatively surface and deep critical levels of information behaviour (IB) amongst school and university students in the UK?2. What are differences in the IB of students at different points in their development through school and university – particularly in transition from school to university?3. What are the drivers and inhibitors of such behaviour?
Theoretical frameworks• Research into approaches to learning (e.g. Marton et al. 1984)• IB and Information Literacy (IL) research which focuses on motivation/ study approaches/ personal characteristics (e.g. Ford et al, 2003)• Model developed by Crowder & Pupynin (1993) into motivation for training
Methods• Qualitative – 72 one-to-one interviews – 86 people in focus groups – of these 158, 105 were students and 53 were staff (mostly teachers/lecturers) – Thematic analysis• Quantitative. – Testing elements in the model of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation and effort, mostly 5 point Likert scales – Minor differences in questionnaires for schools, 6th form colleges/FE and universities Administered online and in print – Used SPSS for analysis; ANOVAs, correlation and regression analysis.
Samples: Questionnaires analysedSchool children University students• Key stage 3 (ages 12-14) - 240 • Y1 - 234• Key stage 4 (15-16) - 119 • Y2 - 144• Key stage 5 (16-18) - 341 • Y3 - 112• Total - 700 • Total - 490 From 8 secondary schools and From 4 universities in South 3 sixth form colleges in South Yorkshire and the Midlands YorkshireNotes: original sample size was 802 school + 948 university students: data was cleaned by removing those educatedpreviously outside the UK, and by stratified random deselection of female participants in order to control for the effect ofgender, to enable comparison across study level
Samples: focus groups / interview Schools & FE/6th form colleges University• Key stage 3 (Year 7, 11-12 yrs) - 27 • 1st year• Key stage 3 (Year 8) - 7 undergraduate - 9• Key stage 3 (Year 9) - 8 • 2nd year UG - 5• Key stage 4 (Year 10) - 2 • 3rd year UG - 13• Key stage 5 (Year 12/Level 3 (1st year) - 33 • 4th year UG - 1• Schools - 6 teachers, 6 librarians, 3 other staff • Academics - 8• FE/6th form - 21 teachers, 2 librarians, 4 • Librarians - 3 other staff Numbers = individuals
Note that …analysis is not complete and these are some selected findings!
Intrinsic rewards “involved with the human need for being self-determining” (Deci, 1975) Expectation that Intrinsic effort will result reward is in intrinsic valued reward Perception Confidence in Effort that the being able to expended on activity perform the the activity requires effort activity Expectation that Note that effort will result in Extrinsic rewards are extrinsic reward reward is valued not always valued, and thus do not always Extrinsic rewards are ones mediated by external agents (e.g. teachers, managers) motivateModel being tested – based on Crowder & Pupynin (1993)
Biggest motivations were extrinsic• 92% school students and 94% UGs motivated all or most of the time to get the best marks they could• 89% school students and 89% UGs motivated by wanting to get good qualifications• 60% school students and 45% UGs motivated all/most of the time by wanting to please other people
Effort expended (ee) on … was predicted byee on finding information ee on evaluating trustworthiness• Being female • Being motivated intrinsically• Being motivated intrinsically – Learning as much as I can – Learning as much as I can – Being satisfied I‟ve done my best – Being satisfied I‟ve done my best • Being motivated extrinsically• Being motivated extrinsically – Getting the best marks I can – Getting the best marks I can • Expecting extrinsic reward• Perception that a lot of effort required • Expecting intrinsic reward• Expecting extrinsic reward • Confidence in being able to• Expecting intrinsic reward perform the activity
Effort expended (ee) on …was predicted byee on understanding information used in coursework• Being female• Being in an older study year• Being motivated intrinsically – Learning as much as I can – Being satisfied I‟ve done my best• Perception that a lot of effort required• Expecting intrinsic reward• Confidence in being able to perform the activity
Confidence• In interviews, learners‟ lack of confidence identified by a number of teachers and lecturers as a factor that impacts on student information behaviour; possible reasons include – Lack of literacy skills – Lack of confidence in own thinking – Low self esteem• Can lead to copy-paste, feeling that one is ill-fitted to question/evaluate etc.• There is research linking anxiety and fear of failure with surface approaches to learning and poor performance
Implications could include …• Confidence building important for evaluating and understanding information• For crucial stage of “understanding” information, applying extrinsic motivations less important than aiming to foster intrinsic motivation (interest in the subject, satisfaction with having understood etc.)• Stressing to learners that effort is required for finding and understanding information … though …
Feeling overwhelmed by information was predicted by• Perceiving that a lot of effort is required• Being a lower school year of study• NOT being motivated intrinsically to “learn as much as I can”• Being motivated extrinsically in terms of pleasing others• NOT finding it easy to keep up with work• Struggling to understand what is required for a good piece of work
Notable that … more guidance wanted from teachers• 62% of school students and 54% of UGs wanted it in relation to finding information• 65% of school students and 52% of undergraduates wanted it in relation to evaluating information• 60% of school students and 58% of UGs wanted it in relation to selecting relevant information• 54%) and 44% UGs wanted it in relation to making use of the information they found
Guidance• Identifies importance of supporting development of each aspect (e.g. not just the “finding” stage)• In interviews, staff noted balance required between support and spoon-feeding• Does provide evidence that might be used to show that explicit support in all these areas is wanted by learners
Levels of studyPicking out just one group of findings …
Transition: example• 94% of school students and 98% of UGs reported they had to find information for themselves in order to do work at least some of the time• The proportion of responses indicating all or most of the time increased from school (43%) to university (75%)• However, 45% UGs felt that they were not even adequately prepared by their former study to know how to find information for their assignments• 29% of UGs felt that they were poorly or very poorly prepared for evaluating information sources
• Adds further, specific evidence about where the transition to university is problematic• Interview data gives further insight into changed requirements for finding information, once learners reach university
Approaches to study Surface Strategic Deep• Memorising • Identifying what is • Meaning making,• Skim reading required by connecting• Atomistic marker/examiner and • Looking at whole approach (finding focusing on that texts to understand bits to put • May or may not involve the author‟s together) understanding intention• Selecting from (depends on what the • Selecting within the material task is) the material• Intention to • Intention to • Intention to succeed understand reproduce or excel (in an assignment, exam)e.g. Marton et al. 1984; Newble and Entwistle, 1986
Research has linked IB/IL and aspects of study approach• Use of approaches to study questionnaire: – Ford et al. (2003) identified e.g. fear of failure associated with intention to reproduce in searching – Heinstrom (2005) identified (surface approach) fast surfers, (deep approach) deep divers, broad scanners• Qualitative research – Ford (1986) identified sub-critical, surface-critical and deep- critical information behaviour – McDowell (2004) identified minimalist, gathering, pinpointing and connecting pathways to information literacy
McDowell (2004): two perspectives on “focus”Internal perspective External perspective• Process: Seeking meaning • Process: narrowing down• Outcome: achieving • Outcome: coherent understanding presentation Raises issues of whether trying to extrinsically motivate students to do specific targeted searches to get specific pieces of information for assignments is really going to develop understanding (which could be used in other, slightly different, circumstances) … this could reinforce a strategic approach
Surface approach? “mm, cos like ...that‟s like what I do aswell. I often just copy and paste the whole thing onto word document, delete bits, change bits, make it kind of my ..[own]” (year 8 school student)
• “L: No, you format it in your own words • “Do you take notes and ...? • “L: You umm.. you usually write down quickly, generally what it‟s saying and then • “R: then you get a few pictures and stuff • “L: then you‟ll get some pictures, then you‟ll go through the writing and write it properly • “R: put it in your own words” (Year 8 school students)But note that this process may require quite a lot of effort
• “Another problem is, I think, it‟s time that it takes to research something. Yeah. Because, because they‟re used to Googling it, coming up or whatever, they‟re used to instant information, in the media, on the internet, on their phone – everything is instant and there, and I think that they expect studying to be like that as well”. (Teacher of 6th form)• [internet] “What is more convenient about it? “It‟s because it‟s like instant and you don‟t have to go through piles just to find one or two paragraphs that you actually want and stuff like that.” (6th form science student)
Strategic approach• “On-line? Well first thing I would do is like if I am doing physics and it‟s AQA I will go straight onto AQA website and look at the syllabus for the subject I am doing then work on from that. “Right so do they have links out from there or? “No it‟s just I need to know what that is, it‟s just like basically explains what you need to know, ad you can just like figure it out from that what you need to learn.”• Prefers the format that has the most explicit match with the task “It‟s not always tailored to your exam board when you go on line but then when you get the book it‟s exactly to your exam board. So it‟s to exactly your specification. “Is that the most important thing when you are looking for information? “Yes. “ (6th form school student)
Not just about the students “Scores on such questionnaires as the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students … are most usefully seen as outcomes of teaching rather than as measuring student differences. Responses to the questionnaires tell us something about the quality ofthe teaching environment precisely because students‟ predilections tend to adapt to the expected requirements of different teaching environments” (Biggs and Tang, 2007: 26)
Approaches to teachingNumerous research studies have identified• Knowledge conveying categories (e.g. transferring knowledge, explaining curriculum)• Intermediate categories (e.g. focus on student- teacher interaction)• Facilitation of learning categories (e.g. facilitating conceptual change & understanding) e.g. Samuelowitz and Bain (2001)
• Many teachers in school and college suggested that pressure to meet government targets has resulted in students being spoon-fed towards exams, with less emphasis on the development of skills to find and use information in support of their own learning• One sixth-form teacher said that when they teach outside the curriculum the students question why they are doing something that is not on the syllabus
Students spotting (poor) approaches to teaching“L: But the teachers that don‟t care, they don‟t do it like that. They just do it the old, sort of more old fashioned ..“What’s the old fashioned way, tell me ..“L: Just like information after information. Making you write it downIn a book? On a sheet?“L: Yeah, just on a bookTaking notes?“N: No“L: Usually notes, that‟s a lot better cos you write it down the way you want it“OK“L: It‟s like copying ... just like go, go through a book and with like the questions in, you just do that and work your way through.“R: Yeah”(Year 8 school students)
• “Of when you copy and paste, and some teachers just... “Student 1: Some teachers are just oh, that‟ll be alright “Student 2: Yeah “Student 1: I don‟t think Miss xxxx cares” (Year7/Year9 group)• “And when you get your homework back, do they write ... what sort of things do they write on it? “Year 8 student: It depends who the teacher is. Some of them don‟t care, they just tick”
• 6th former A: I think every teacher we‟ve got teaches differently, don‟t they• 6th former B : Yeah. It‟s like we‟ve got one – and I‟m not going to mention names cos I don‟t want to get in to trouble• No, well, it’s all ... I mean it’s completely confidential and I don’t know them anyway, but, equally, you don’t need to mention the name• 6th former B : We‟ve got one teacher turns up, sets work, and ???? do evaluation of someone .. of a character someone‟ played and then just ..• 6th former A : walk out• Julie: You turn round, you go „sir I don‟t ..‟ – gone! You go „oh miss‟ and they‟ve gone, they‟ve walked out of class cos they‟ve gone to office to go and do some‟at. And they come back ...• Right. So what’s the opposite of that? What’s the really good ... the teachers that help you to learn the best?• 6th former B : When they sit down with, right, talk you through it
Though it isn‟t all bad“Year 8 student: I think teachers hadn‟t actually ... teachers are learning a lot more about how to engage people”
Collaboration• Currently: May be collaboration to encourage surface and strategic approaches? e.g. – Mostly using extrinsic motivators, which may not encourage learning for understanding – Formulaic guidelines e.g. avoid Wikipedia! use journals! follow these steps for good searching! – Emphasis on finding and evaluating (rather than relevance and understanding in application) may not help learners develop beyond the atomistic approach
Concluding ideas• Parents and peers part of the collaboration (in positive and negative way) – could address this more explicitly• Importance of how things are taught and assessed• Students are observant, they will notice what matters• Even if one has limited power in overall teaching approach: focus on questioning, encouraging, challenging (where appropriate), enthusing, giving and facilitating informal feedback• Differentiating strategies for supporting different stages of the process of finding and using information – they all contribute to (or are symptomatic of) the study approach
Concluding ideas• Not always using extrinsic motivators to encourage engagement with IL – information is exciting!• Let‟s collaborate on deep learning, for understanding• We hope evidence from the project will be helpful in justifying support e.g. for supporting transition
References• Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2007) Teaching for quality learning at university: what the student does. 3rd ed. Maidenhead SRHE.• Crowder, M. and Pupynin, K. (1993) The motivation to train: a review of the literature and the development of a comprehensive model of training motivation. Minds at Work, for the Department of Employment.• Deci, E. L. (1975). Intrinsic motivation. New York: Plenum Publishing.• Ford, N. (1986) “Psychological determinants of information needs: a small-scale study of higher education students.” Journal of librarianship and information science, 18 (1), 47-62.• Ford, N., Miller, D and Moss, N. (2003) “Web search strategies and approaches to studying.” Journal of the American Society of Information Science and Technology, 54(6), 473-489.
• Heinström, J. (2005) "Fast surfing, broad scanning and deep diving: the influence of personality and study approach on students information- seeking behavior." Journal of documentation, 61 (2), 228-247.• Marton, F., Hounsell, D. and Entwistle, N. (Eds.) (1984) The Experience of learning: implications for teaching and studying in higher education. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.• McDowell, L. (2004) Negotiating information literacy pathways : learner autonomy in higher education. Unpublished PhD. Newcastle Upon Tyne: University of Newcastle upon Tyne,• Newble, D.I. and Entwistle, N.J. (1986) “Learning styles and approaches: implications for medical education.” Medical education, 20, 162-195.• Samuelowicz, K. and Bain, J.D. (2001) “Revisiting academics‟ beliefs about teaching and learning”. Higher education, 41, 299-325• Wilson, T.D. (2000) “Human information behavior.” Informing science, 3 (2), 49-55.
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