Dubrovnik Libraries In The Digital Age Conference June 2006Presentation Transcript
FROM INFORMATION TO KNOWLEDGE: LEARNING IN DIGITAL AGE SCHOOLS Ross J. Todd School of Communication, Information and Library Studies 4 Huntington Street NEW BRUNSWICK NJ 08901 [email_address] www.cissl.scils.rutgers.edu Dept of Library and Information Science School of Communication, Information and Library Studies
The Key Challenge
Are the early promises of information technology being realized?: “motivate and stimulate learning”, “motivate students to try out new ideas and to take risks”, “encourage analytical and divergent thinking”
Edward Tenner: NY Times article Searching for Dummies : “It would be a shame if brilliant technology were to end up threatening the kind of intellect that produced it”.
Do students learn anything in this Googlized world?
How can instruction and meaningful learning be enabled in the context of large and complex print and digital information environments in schools?
Student learning through Ohio School Libraries (Todd & Kuhlthau, 2004) - 13,123 students, 900 faculty.
Student learning through Australian School Libraries (Hay, 2005) - 6,718 students, 620 faculty.
Student learning through Delaware School Libraries (Todd 2006) - 5,733 students, 468 faculty.
48 / 50 statements of “help”; + open ended critical incident question
7 Constructs of “help”
How helpful the school library is with getting information you need
How helpful the school library is in relation to information literacy skills
How helpful the school library is with your school work in general (knowledge building, knowledge outcomes)
How helpful the school library is with using computers in the library, at school, and at home
How helpful the school library is to you with your general reading interests
How helpful the school library is to you when you are not at school (independent learning & social world)
General school aspects –Academic Achievement
COMPARISON OF FINDINGS (Delaware) 3.13 3.49 INDEPENDENT LEARNING 6 3.22 3.79 ACHIEVEMENT 7 3.29 4.09 READING 5 3.38 3.92 KNOWLEDGE 3 3.41 3.94 USING INFORMATION - IL 2 3.6 4.27 GETTING INFORMATION 1 3.69 4.29 COMPUTERS 4 Student Mean Faculty Mean RANK OF MEAN FROM HIGHEST TO LOWEST BLOCK
Using Computers (Delaware) 12.6 13.4 14.9 23.2 36.0 7. The school library has helped me feel better about using computers to do my school work 10.5 10.5 13.4 22.1 43.6 6. Computer programs (like Powerpoint, Word) in the school library help me do my school work 12.4 14.2 16.3 24.5 32.6 5. The school library has helped me be more careful about information I find on the Internet 11.3 13.5 15.3 22.9 37.0 4. The school library has helped me search the Internet better 6.0 8.4 12.6 21.9 51.2 3. Computers help me find information inside and outside of the school library 15.8 14.9 15.7 21.6 32.0 2. The school library has gotten me more interested in computers 8.2 9.6 9.6 21.9 47.8 1. Computers in the school library help me do my school work better No help % A little help % Some help % Quite helpful % Most helpful % 4. How helpful the school library is with using computers in the library, at school, and at home.
“ Help” of Information Technology
Functional , in terms of providing access to and delivery of essential information resources;
Technical , enabling the students to develop a range of technical competencies, such as search skills;
Evaluative, enabling students to identify and evaluate accurate and authoritative information amid a real-world information environment that is complex, diverse, conflicting, and of variable quality;
Constructive , providing technical tools for the students to construct and present representations of their new knowledge and understanding of their researched topics
But do they learn anything?
Do we need libraries?
How do we create an integrated information landscape?
Some Challenges for Digital Libraries & Schools
New Jersey IMLS Funded Research 2003 - 2005
What learning outcomes does the school library enable as students make use of diverse digital and print information sources?
How might these learning outcomes be identified, measured, and embedded into professional practice?
Develop a learning impacts measure for use by school-based teams. (SLIM Toolkit: School Library Impact Measure)
Central Research Questions
What changes, if any, are evident in students’ knowledge of a curriculum topic, as they proceed through the stages of a collaborative inquiry project, and make use of diverse print and digital sources?
What changes, if any, are shown in the students’ feelings as they proceed through the stages of a collaborative inquiry project?
How does the students’ study approach influence knowledge construction of a curriculum topic in collaborative inquiry projects?
What interactions exist between knowledge construction, feelings, and study approach, and what are some of the explanations for these interactions?
10 New Jersey public schools chosen by call for nomination and selected by NJ Expert Panel
Experienced and expert school librarians
10 teacher-school librarian teams
10 school librarians working on curriculum projects with 17 classroom teachers
574 students in Grades 6 – 12; range of disciplines
Data collected over four weeks, Spring 2004
Inquiry Training Institute Feb 24, 2004: overview and critique of units, use of data collection instruments, procedures and ethical guidelines
Data Collection Instruments
Five data collection instruments were used to collect the data from the students:
1. Writing Task 1 (at initiation of inquiry unit)
2. Writing Task 2 (at midpoint of inquiry unit)
3. Writing Task 3 (at conclusion of inquiry unit)
Search Journal Log
The instruments consisted of a combination of qualitative and quantitative questions.
1. Write the title that best describes your research project at this time.
2. Take some time to think about your research topic. Now write down what you know about this topic.
3. What interests you about this topic?
4. How much do you know about this topic? Check ( ) one box that best matches how much you know. Nothing, Not much, Some, Quite a bit and A great deal
5. Write down what you think is EASY about researching your topic.
6. Write down what you think is DIFFICULT about researching your topic.
Write down how you are FEELING now about your project. Check ( ) only the boxes that apply to you. Confident, Disappointed, Relieved, Frustrated, Confused, Optimistic, Uncertain, Satisfied, Anxious or Other.
How did School Librarian and Teacher help you (WT3)
Changes in Knowledge: 5 Approaches to Measurement
Substance of knowledge. Analysis of changes in the relational nature of statements by which students described their topical knowledge.
Amount of knowledge. Numerical count of number of statements they used to describe their topical knowledge, as well as isolated concepts / terms.
Structure of knowledge. Thematic organization and integration of themes into a meaningful structure
Estimate of knowledge. Personal estimate of extent of their topical knowledge
Labeling of knowledge. The students were asked to give a title for their inquiry project, which was considered to reflect the degree of focus/specification of topical knowledge.
Substance of knowledge
Classification of Statements: based on nature of relationships between concepts
Graesser & Clark (1985) Structures and procedures of implicit knowledge . Norwood, N.J.: Ablex.
Causality: statements showing some event causally leads to another
Set Membership: statements about class inclusion
Implication: statements showing predictive relations, inference, implied meaning
Value judgment: statements presenting personal position or viewpoint
Classification of Statements
Properties: The color of Valentine’s day is red
Manner: People drive aggressively in USA
Reason: The wall was constructed to block invaders
Outcome: (People eat too much) As a result, people got very sick
Causality: Acid rain causes many fish to die
Set Membership: Michelangelo created works such as statue of David, Cistine Chapel and the famous Pieta
Implication: He was suspected of poisoning him
Value judgment: That’s not right
FACTS: property, manner, set membership
EXPLANATION AND RESULTS: Reason, outcome, causality
SYNTHESIS: conclusions, positions, viewpoints
Constructivist view of knowledge change posits feelings as an important aspect of information seeking and sustained integrated learning.
9 feelings: confidence, disappointment, relief, frustration, confusion, optimism, uncertainty, satisfaction, and anxiety, were tracked at three stages of the inquiry unit (Kuhlthau).
Measured by asking the students to mark how they experienced a particular feeling on a 4-point scale from: very, fairly, a little to not at all.
Approaches to Study (Entwistle & Tait, 1996; Heinstrom 2002)
Short version of the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST) (Tait, Entwistle, & McCune, 1998), and adapted by Heinstrom for use with younger students.
Deep approach: characterized by students wanting to find out the deeper meaning in the text. They are critical, logical and relate what they learn to their previous knowledge
Surface approach: students concentrate on memorizing lots of facts without any effort to find a deeper meaning or understanding of the material
Strategic approach : students are efficient at organizing their work, managing their time and work hard in their studies. They care about their working conditions and have clear goals for their studies
Measured by six test items on a four-point scale total of 18 statements.
Search Logs Students were asked to make an entry each time they read some information that they have found related to their topic. 1. Date 2. Where did you look for this information? (School library catalog/OPAC, Online, database, Print index, Search engine, Public library, Asked a person, Website, Other -Choose one of the above and write down its number.) 3. List all the terms (word or phrases) you used to look for this information. (These are the words you put into the school library catalog, or a search engine on the WWW, look up an index, or ask a person.) 4. Give the details of the source of your information (Sources can be books, journal articles, magazines, websites, CD-Rom and people such as teacher, librarian or others). Write the author, title, and date; or name of person
Total Number of Statements Recorded at Each Stage 82 70 29 Synthesis 116 105 48 Causality/consequence 89 58 35 Outcome 193 163 152 Reason Number of statements Number of statements Number of statements Explanation and result 343 218 143 Set membership 1514 1190 589 Manner 2160 1820 1194 Properties Number of statements Number of statements Number of statements Facts WT3 N WT2 N WT1 N Statement Type
Changes in Knowledge
Students represented their knowledge of the topic predominantly by factual property and manner statements, and that they used increasingly more factual statements to represent their knowledge throughout the three stages.
Overall the number of reason and outcome statements was lower than property and manner statements, and did not substantially increase as students progressed, while the cause/consequence and synthesis statements show a decreasing though non-significant trend.
Students appeared to be oriented to gathering facts and knowing a set of facts throughout their inquiry.
Two distinctive approaches to knowledge construction: Additive and Integrative
Knowledge development seemed to be characterized by the progressive addition of facts
Remained on a descriptive level throughout.
Addition of new facts was typically a listing of property statements of a generic, superficial kind.
As the students built knowledge, they continued to add property and manner statements, and to a lesser extent, set membership statements.
Students typically found more facts at each stage of the research process, and added these to their stockpile of facts, even though these added facts were sorted, organized and grouped to some extent into thematic units by WT3.
WT1: He is very famous for his plays …….( 100, 285001)
WT2: He married Anne Hathaway. They had 3 children. ……He wrote 37 plays and 152 sonets. …… (100, 285001)
WT3: He was born on April 23, 1564 in Warichshire, Stratford-upon-Avon, Britain………Married at age 18. Had three children; Judith, Hammet and Susana. He was the first boy in the family, had 3 sister and 1 brother, Joan, Margaret, Gilbert sibling .(100, 285001)
Some students moved beyond gathering facts at each stage, rather they manipulated these facts in a number of ways:
- building explanations
- synthesizing facts into more abstract groupings and consequently reducing the number of statements in their representations
- organizing facts in more coherent ways
- reflecting on facts to build positional, predictive conclusion statements.
At WT1, their representations were similar to the additive model, with sets of facts statements. However, at WT2, their representations included more facts, as well as explanations.
At WT3 they appeared to interpret the found information to establish personal conclusions and reflect on these. In addition, some appeared to subsume sets of facts into more abstract groups.
WT1: It probably has most to do with how the body reacts to certain problems in the body. Like how a body reacts to a sneeze or a cough.
WT2: The immune system is what protects you, anybody, from various outside bacterias, viruses, and germs. …….The immune has I-cells and other types of cells that help fight the……When you cut yourself you can see the immune system at work because you can see the cells that are rebuilding the tissues that were cut ………(long reply)
WT3: (very long reply) The immune system was a big topic. I found out that there is actually two types of immune systems in the body. ………I learned that if a bacteria enter your body, it could enter a cell, replicate in a manner of minutes and if there are…..So you could have millions of bacteria in the body after an hour…….the body works against such organ degration, mineral deficiency, mechanical damage and other. What I really enjoy to learn was that the minute you are born….and when you die your immune system shuts down letting in all the bad stuff, so now the body is an open door….
Coding of Structure of Knowledge Ideas are integrated and unified; there is structural centrality. Overall, ideas are interrelated and continuous. Contiguous ideas are associated; set of ideas may be somewhat continuous. Some –meaning more than one instantiation- some ideas are joined or linked (grouped) while others are discrete or unrelated. Ideas are discrete and unrelated.
Structure and Level of Knowledge
Typical change was from unstructured and random listing of facts (properties, manner and set member lists) towards organization of facts into thematic groupings, with a smaller number of students linking the thematic groupings into larger more coherent and more conceptual units.
For some students, particularly those showing an additive model, WT1 showed more structure than WT2. This is consistent with the pervasive viewpoint that people’s existing knowledge is structured.
Gathering of facts rather than sequencing and organizing these facts seemed to take over, as evident in WT2 representations being less structured. By WT3, some organization of statements into conceptually coherent and linked groups had taken place. We also found a higher level of structure at WT1 for those students who indicated from the start that they knew something about their topic.
Estimate of Knowledge 3.2 (.76) 2.6 (.83) 1.26 (.91) Knowledge increase (mean) 126 (41 %) 47 (14 %) 10 (3 %) A great deal 148 (48 %) 156 (47 %) 41 (12 %) Quite a bit 29 (9 %) 111 (33 %) 125 (35 %) Some 6 (2 %) 14 (4 %) 142 (40%) Not much 1 (.3 %) 6 (2%) 35 (10 %) Nothing WT 3 n WT 2 n WT 1 n How much do you know about this topic?
Perceptions of Knowledge Gained
Not much more
Know “heaps” more
Know lots more, and surprised at breadth and depth of knowledge
Know lots more, but still could learn more
Know lots, but dissatisfaction about not knowing enough
Approach to studying
The three study approaches were quite evenly distributed within the sample as a whole.
Study approaches were only explored in relation to other aspects of the inquiry project .
The influence of approach to studying: Deep learners
Typically deep students demonstrated their knowledge change by synthesized replies
They were confident and optimistic throughout the process.
Seemed more relieved and satisfied at the end than students on average.
Conveyed a specific interest for their topics, and interest was a key basis for in learning more about the topic
Eagerness to learn -> run the risk of becoming particularly vulnerable to information overload
Strong awareness of information quality.
Students with the most surface study approach
Knowledge seemed to remain on a rather factual level throughout their projects.
Estimates of knowledge did not change as much as on average.
Little increase in level of their topical knowledge.
The aspect of the search process that these students predominantly mentioned as easy was availability of information.
Information seeking foremost is seen as a process of collecting facts.
Seemed particularly relieved when the projects ended.
Low levels of interest and engagement.
Students with the most strategic study approach
Similar to deep, increased their topical knowledge regarding content, amount.
Driven by achievement rather than inherent interest to learn more about the topic.
When asked to state what they had learned through their projects the strategic students described their topics, rather than reflecting on them as the deep ones did, also mentioned that they had developed their skills in organizing their work, and managing their time.
The strategic students felt confident throughout the inquiry projects. They also experienced satisfaction and relief at the end of the projects.
What learnings took place?
Increase in knowledge about a topic
Skills in using specific online sources (online databases, Internet, OPACs)
For some, development of research skills, especially “combining” information (viewed as highly important)
Widened information horizon and changed conceptions of information seeking – “The Transformed Googlians” – recognition of beneficial information sources beyond Google
More realistic conceptions of efficient information seeking
Heightened awareness of quality aspects of information
Dealing with information conflict
Factors contributing to differences across Schools
Yes there were variations in the schools
Changes in knowledge (knowledge growth) did not occur evenly in the schools
No significant variations across the age, grade, and gender groups; the disciplinary field does not seem to be an explanatory factor
Nature of task: imposed task or negotiated task
Engagement and ownership
Nature of Interventions: Development of skills to construct knowledge rather than finding information
What constitutes the development of deep knowledge? Deep understanding?
How can IT be more effectively harnessed to foster the development of deep knowledge and deep understanding?
What instructional interventions help students move from the “transport” of text to the “transformation” of text?
How do we guide students in the process of their inquiry? GUIDED INQUIRY
What is the nature of the intervention in terms of intellectual and affective scaffolds for enabling inquiry?
How do we enable students to stay focused and not be detracted from the learning task at hand?
How do we motivate and engage students who may perceive task of searching as primarily one of gathering information to a task of forming a focused perspective from the information encountered?