VAASL 2015 - Is My High School Senior Ready to Be Your College Freshman?

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A study of tools and techniques recommended by college librarians

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VAASL 2015 - Is My High School Senior Ready to Be Your College Freshman?

  1. 1. Courtney L. Lewis, St. Catherine’s School, Richmond Twitter: @sassylibr email:cllewis@st.catherines.org Website: http://thesassylibrarian.blogspot.com Is My Senior Ready To Be Your College Freshman? A study of tools and techniques recommended by colleges and universities
  2. 2. More than the standard info literacy focus Why Ask These Questions? • We know. We KNOW. • Because many of my questions seem to be about tools, but they are really about skills. • This knowledge means more to faculty coming from college librarians working at the schools our students attend. • This data is a jumping off point for curricular changes with teachers, and budget discussions with administrators.
  3. 3. My Burning Issues ❖ I’m at a new school - why should faculty trust I’m an expert? ❖ Graduates attend a variety of colleges and universities with which I’m less familiar ❖ Maybe I’m stuck in a rut (i.e. citation styles by department) and it’s not important ❖ I want to use my budget on tools that will make the biggest difference in helping students adjust that first year of college
  4. 4. What did I need to find out? • Web-Scale Discovery Service • Plagiarism detection software • Variety of citation styles prior to arrival? • Which databases? • Citation managers: should we go beyond Noodletools? • What type of research products should students know how to produce?
  5. 5. My Questions • Institution Name and Location • What citation manager(s) do you teach or endorse at your institution? • Does your institution support a web-scale discovery service for searching across databases? If yes, which one? • If you could pick five databases you wish entering students knew how to use, what would they be?
  6. 6. My Questions (Cont.) • Students are asked to produce a variety of products from their research. With which formats do you think students need to be familiar? • Does your college or university use any of the following plagiarism detection tools? • What citation styles do you recommend students be familiar with upon starting college? • Do you feel that there are any other key information literacy points or tools that you would like to emphasize to high school librarians preparing a college-bound audience for success?
  7. 7. Methodology ❖ I Heart SurveyMonkey! ❖ Post on ACRL InfoLit listserv ❖ Get the last six years of matriculation data from College office ❖ Identified librarian who specifically worked with first year students in reference or instruction; sent personalized letter
  8. 8. Who Answered?
  9. 9. (Source: US News & World Reports) Patterns: The Power of Selectivity • 11 Most Selective • 26 More Selective • 25 Selective • 25 Less Selective
  10. 10. Citation Generators ❖ Almost half of less selective schools used Noodletools and EasyBib ❖ Seventy-eight percent of more and most selective schools support Zotero ❖ Selective schools were most likely to support RefWorks
  11. 11. Web-Scale Discovery Tools ❖ 100% of Most Selective colleges use one (Summon edges out Discovery) ❖ 77% of More Selective schools subscribed (55% Summon, 25% Discovery) ❖ 82% of Selective schools use one (43% ExLibris, 26% Discovery) ❖ 72% of Less Selective schools subscribe (44% Discovery, 28% ExLibris)
  12. 12. Database Popularity
  13. 13. Citation Styles - MLA, Chicago, APA? ❖ Most Selective and More Selective colleges and universities ranked familiarity with MLA important at 65%, 41% felt knowledge of APA important, and 18% felt experience with Chicago/Turabian important. Thirty-two percent of librarians from these schools felt no particular style was important. ❖ Selective schools had higher numbers ranking familiarity with a variety of citations styles more important than most and more selective colleges ❖ 100% of less selective colleges wanted familiarity with MLA and 79% felt APA familiarity important. Only 13% of librarians felt Chicago/Turabian was important.
  14. 14. What Do We Ask Students to Produce? ❖ Traditional Humanities Research Paper ❖ Oral Presentation with Visual Aids ❖ Oral Presentation without Visual Aids ❖ Original Scientific Research with Literature Review ❖ Digital Writing Product (blog post, website, video, etc.) ❖ Creative Visual Product (poster, artwork, etc.) ❖ Artistic Performance (dramatic production, dance, musical composition)
  15. 15. Research Products Overall ❖ Traditional humanities paper - length of paper and free choice of topic? ❖ We ask for oral presentations and visual aid facility - do we teach it?
  16. 16. Research Product by Selectivity ❖ Less selective schools closely mirrored the overall results, with oral report (no visual aids) slightly outranking creative visual products and digital writing ❖ Selective schools exactly mirror the overall results ❖ More selective schools rank digital writing much higher, tied with oral report (no visual aids) for third ❖ Most selective schools are consistent with the overall results but value humanities papers and oral presentations with visual aids more, and artistic performances the least
  17. 17. Plagiarism Detection ❖ 58% use Turnitin, 14% indicate teachers “have their own system” ❖ Less selective schools were more likely to report use of Turnitin (83%) ❖ More selective and most selective college librarians indicated faculty objections to Turnitin (but also noted the need for these tools)
  18. 18. Free Response Themes ❖ Understand. Ask. Think. ❖ Format is invisible to students. ❖ The number one request? Ask a librarian for help. ❖ That pesky library catalog. They’ll need it! ❖ Skilled searching. Ethical use of information. ❖ Be part of a “community of scholarship”
  19. 19. What Am I Going To Do? ❖ Keep gathering data ❖ Inspire discussion about our information literacy program (research map) ❖ Get a web-scale discovery service and rethink my databases ❖ Get Turnitin ❖ Consider cultural change to have students belong to a “community of scholars”
  20. 20. Questions or Comments?

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