May 2013 Presentation


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Pace University May Faculty Institute

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  • We will be conducting interactive polls during the sessionPlease get out your mobile phones, tablets (iPads) or laptops
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  • SBFJR runs the polls!Overall, though, we found more than 80% of students interviewed procrastinated on more than 80% of their course-related research assignments.
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  • SBF “Wikipedia is my presearch tool.” In other words, Wikipedia was used for pre-researching a topic and preceded what students described as “serious research,” which involved searching scholarly databases, such as ProQuest, JSTOR, or EBSCO.Students who used scholarly databases after a Wikipedia search said that they avoided starting with scholarly databases first because it was “too much too soon.” Overall, students reported that scholarly articles had “too much technical jargon before I understand what I am writing about” and “were often not up to date as Wikipedia.” Before talking to a professor, students admitted, too, they needed background about a topic.
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  • DHStudents in our sample were much more likely to use a librarian when they needed help finding the meaning of a word or term related to a topic or figuring out what search terms to use. Also, respondents were more likely to turn to librarians for help with finding full text materials that were available from different sources.
  • SBFNearly half of the students in the sample (49%) frequently asked instructors for assistance with assessing the quality of sources for course work—far fewer asked librarians (11%) for assistance. (p.3)we asked students in our follow-up interviews about what percentage of total time spent on research they put into evaluating sources. This percentage ranged from 10% to 30% of studentsʼ total research time.
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  • SBFOver a third of the students in the sample reported difficulties with knowing how to cite (41%) and writing about research results (38%) were difficult steps in the course-related research process. And about a third of the respondents (35%) reported it was difficult to figure out if their use of a source constituted plagiarism, or not, when completing course-related research assignments.
  • JRGallery WalkSBF, DH untape sheets of paper
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  • SBFThe handouts in our sample most frequently (60%) recommended students use the campus library shelves and to a lesser extent, (43%) online library sourcesFew of the handouts(14%) that directed students to use the libraryʼs online scholarly research databases (such as those provided by EBSCO, JSTOR, orProQuest) specified which database to use by vendor or file name from the hundreds that tend to be available.Only 13% of the handouts suggested consulting a librarian for assistance with research. Yet, about half of the faculty we interviewed discussed their ownreliance on librarians.
  • May 2013 Presentation

    1. 1. The Shocking Truth AboutStudent Research Skills(…And How It’s SpreadingAcross the Country!)Sarah Burns Feyl, Assistant University LibrarianDoug Heimbigner, Instructional Services LibrarianJennifer Rosenstein, First Year Outreach Services Librarian
    2. 2. What isProject Information Literacy?O National study about college studentsand their research habitsO Started in 2008: six studies since thenO Methods: surveys, interviews, focusgroups, content analysisO Participants: over 11,000 students at50+ U.S. institutionsO You can see the list of institutions atthe website:
    3. 3. Pace Library Experience SurveyO Conducted in UNV 101 beginning in2000O Paper survey, we tried online and ourresponse rate dropped significantlyO The survey has evolved over timeO i.e. removed the question asking if theyuse social networking toolsO We receive surveys from about 1/3 to 1/2of the first year students
    4. 4. Findings:O “What one word sums up how you feel atthe moment you receive a course-relatedresearch assignment?”O Angst, tired, dread, fear, anxious,annoyed, stressed, disgusted,intrigued, excited, confused, andoverwhelmed
    5. 5. Findings:O What did PIL students report asthe most difficult step of thecourse-related research process?O Getting started (84%)O Defining a topic (66%)O Narrowing it down (62%)O Filtering through irrelevant results (61%)
    6. 6. Findings: Getting StartedO POLLO When do students begin working ona research assignment?O 2 to 3 days before it is due
    7. 7. Findings: Getting StartedO Related: A large majority of studentsreported spending three hours onresearch and another two hours onwriting—one or two days before a 5-7page course-related research paperwas due.
    8. 8. Findings: ContextO When beginning a research assignment,PIL students indicate the need for “bigpicture” context, a summary of the topic,background information, overview ofvocabularyO Where do students get this “big picture”context?O POLLO Wikipedia
    9. 9. Findings: WikipediaO Wikipedia gave students a workaround forobtaining the big picture and languagecontexts they frequently lacked for course-related researchO In nearly three-quarters of the studentdiscussions—8 out of 11 sessions—there was a strong consensus amongstudents that their research processbegan with Wikipedia
    10. 10. Findings:Beginning the AssignmentO Where do students actually begin theircourse-related research assignments?O POLLO In PIL, almost all of the respondentsturned to course readings firstO In the PLES, over 50% of respondentsstart with an “Internet search”
    11. 11. Findings: Use of the LibraryO What percentage of students use Libraryresearch databases to search for articles?O POLLO PIL: 80% (college students)O PLES: 58% (used in high school)
    12. 12. Findings: Use of the LibraryO What percentage of students use theLibrary’s Catalog to search for books?O POLLO PIL: 78% (college students)O PLES: 62% (used in high school)
    13. 13. Findings: DatabasesO What is the top reason PIL students reportusing scholarly research databases?O POLLO they are a source of credible information(78%)O to meet instructorsʼexpectations (74%)O to succeed on the assignment (62%)O it saved them a visit the library (43%)
    14. 14. Findings: LibrariansO What percentage of students used alibrarian for help with a course-relatedresearch assignment?O POLLO PIL: 20%O PLES: only 52% of first year studentsindicated they had a research sessionwith their high school librarian
    15. 15. Findings: EvaluatingInformationO What is the top factor considered by PILstudents when evaluating web content?O Whether the content was up-to-date(77%)O Author’s credentials (73%)O Site URL or domain (i.e. .edu or .gov)(71%)O If a bibliography exists on the site (54%)
    16. 16. Findings: EvaluatingInformationO How do Pace students evaluate webcontent?O Comparing to other information sources(15%)O Does it have citations/sources listed(13%)O Domain (.edu , .gov ) (13%)
    17. 17. Findings: FinishingO Students were perplexed with completingthe research process with almost halffinding it difficult to decide whether theyhad done a “good job” (46%).O “the first stages of research for course workinitiate a process few studentsthoroughly understand and grasp withmuch confidence. Few students weinterviewed considered themselves whollycompetent at completing research for onecourse research assignment to the next.”
    18. 18. What can we do to helpstudents?
    19. 19. Findings: Role of InstructorsO Almost two-thirds of the sample (63%) foundin-class discussions about how to conductresearch usefulO The actual writing and editing of papers isanother way that students see instructorshelping them complete course-relatedresearch assignments. A majority of therespondents (71%) consideredinstructorsʼreview of paper drafts helpful
    20. 20. Findings: Role of InstructorsO Over three-fourths of the students(76%) surveyed considered writtenguidelines about course-relatedassignments, especially whichsources to use, as one of the mosthelpful materials an instructor canprovide
    21. 21. Thank you!O Sarah Burns FeylO sburnsfeyl@pace.eduO Doug HeimbignerO dheimbigner@pace.eduO Jennifer RosensteinO