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UBiRD - User Behaviour in Resource Discovery


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This poster was created for disseminating information on the UBiRD (User Behaviour in Resource Discovery) project at the 9th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference at Middlesex University.

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UBiRD - User Behaviour in Resource Discovery

  1. 1. UBIRD – User Behaviour in Resource Discovery A JISC funded research project conducted by staff from EIS and Learning Resources The Problem The Need Research into the behaviour of users, especially re- search that leads to practical proposals for promoting academic alternatives to Google, is urgently required. ‘Information Literacy’ is now a commonly used term – and addressing the skills required by students to reach high level competence in searching for and evalu- ating materials is becomig central to the teaching and learning strategies. The Research Methodology The study is currently underway. A sample of participants studying business and economics (4 each of undergradu- ate, postgraduate and research students) from three The problem is a simple one: why do so many stu- universities representing the Russell Group, the 94 Group dents at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and the Million+ Group of universities from the user group. NOT use specialized online learning resources – which they themselves have paid for the right of The levels of study represent novice, experienced and ex- access through their course fees? pert levels of information literacy. We envisage studying a total of 36 participants. In the given project time frame, The answer to this question may be partly for tech- this sampling will provide the most cost-effective cov- nical reasons (the complexity of present-day erage of user behaviour in the use of electronic resource resources discovery systems in the library may discovery systems. This sampling strategy is illustrated in be partly to blame— see diagram below) but is, the table below: perhaps primarily to be located in forms of behav- iour rooted in a broad range of social and cultural factors relating to online activity. These factors include online activity experienced as sociable and interactive; expectation that the Internet provides instant answers within a multi-tasking lifestyle; and a culture of distraction perceived as enriching and positive. Some of these issues were highlighted in the jointly commissioned JISC-BL study on the Information Seeking Behaviour of the Researcher of The participants are being asked to ‘think aloud’ whilst the Future (2008). working on the scenarios. The screen movements and their comments are being recorded in real time. This observation is being followed by an interview with each participant. The findings of the study will be reported in the context of earlier research on user behaviours in the digital information landscapes such as the E-Books Obser- vatory and Deep Log Analysis studies conducted by the CIBER group at University College London. Applications of the Research Results The stakeholders affected by the research results will be teaching staff, librarians, students and researchers as well as organizations such as JISC and Cilip (Chartered Insti- The complex information resource discovery tute of Information Professionals). It is hoped that teaching architecture in many HE libraries staff will use the findings of this study to agree on a frame- work for an information literacy programme in collaboration with librarians. Nazlin Bhimani School Liaison Manager (EIS & iWBL) Learning Resources Academic Support Middlesex University