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A needs analysis for information literacy provision for research: a case study in University College Dublin. Patterson

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Presented at LILAC 2009

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A needs analysis for information literacy provision for research: a case study in University College Dublin. Patterson

  1. 1. Avril Patterson, University College Dublin avril.patterson@ucd.ie NEEDS ANALYSIS FOR INFORMATION LITERACY PROVISION FOR RESEARCH: A CASE STUDY IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE DUBLIN LILAC 2009
  2. 2. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Outline • Introduction • Case Study • Methodology • Findings • Analysis • Recommendations
  3. 3. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Background • National Development Plan 2007-2013 • Government aim – double PhD output by 2013 • Restructuring of Graduate / PhD training • Fourth Level Ireland
  4. 4. University College Dublin – James Joyce Library
  5. 5. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 University College Dublin • Largest of Ireland’s 7 universities • Academic restructuring 2004/05 - 5 Colleges ; 35 Schools • 2,000 Research students • Structured PhD programme 2006 • Research and Professional Development Plans (RPDPs) introduced 2007
  6. 6. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 • IL implicit rather than explicit in Irish Universities Association’s skills statement • Students’ IL level or needs unknown to IL providers • Risk of over-rated evaluation through self assessment • Focus of IL in HE is on undergraduate needs Challenges to Information Literacy (IL) Provision
  7. 7. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Research Objectives • Clearly identify target audience & its needs • Provide a base line from which resource requirements can be determined • Inform design of relevant programmes
  8. 8. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Research Questions • What are the IL competencies of incoming research students? • Are there different requirements for different disciplines? • Are they predicated by student profile? • Do current programmes meet requirements? • How can this study inform future development?
  9. 9. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Case Study • Literature Review • Research-Practice gap • Multi-faceted research tool facilitated by Evidence Based Librarianship & Information Practice (EBLIP)
  10. 10. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 EBLIP • “promotes the integration of user-reported, practitioner-observed and research-derived evidence as an explicit basis for decision making” (Booth, 2006)
  11. 11. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Case Study’s Limitations EBLIP process truncated – Implementation tasks outside scope - Application - Performance evaluation
  12. 12. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Methodology • Survey Questionnaire • Information Behaviour Observation • Focus Group
  13. 13. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Survey Questionnaire • Built on published research in the field • Four components: – Personal profile – Self assessment – Diagnostic tool – Free text • Online administration • Purposive sampling
  14. 14. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 IL Assessment Adaptation of two published assessment tools: • Checklist used at Loughborough University (Stubbings & Franklin, 2005) – self assessment based on confidence levels • London Metropolitan University’s Applied Information Research (AIR) programme (Andretta, 2005) – diagnostic test
  15. 15. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Information Behaviour Observation • Theoretical framework - Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (ISP) • Identification of “zone of intervention” • Non participative observation in IL workshops
  16. 16. IL Workshop
  17. 17. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Focus Group Purpose: to elicit response to current IL programmes Themes : • Format • Content • Delivery • Logistics (location, dates, times) • Other
  18. 18. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Research Findings • Survey Questionnaire – Personal Profiles – Previous Library Induction – Self Assessment – Diagnostic Questionnaire • Information Behaviour Observation • Focus Group Findings
  19. 19. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Programme Programme 78% 14% 8% PhD Research Masters Others
  20. 20. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Postgraduate Status 88% 93% 77% 12% 7% 23% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Allrespondants PhD R esearch M asters Part time Full time
  21. 21. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Gender Gender 55% 45% Female Male
  22. 22. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Age Age 31 20 16 15 2 24 24 14 3 2 1 55 44 30 18 4 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 <25 25-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+ Total Male Female
  23. 23. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Postgraduate Profile • Irish graduates 72% • Previous postgraduate qualification 56% – Of this 65% achieved in Ireland • English not first language 22%
  24. 24. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Previous Library Instruction • Experienced by 62% • Library tours and presentations most common • 16% had engaged in interactive workshops • Online tutorials used by 10% • Integrated and timetabled for 17% • Credit bearing for 7%
  25. 25. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Self Assessment Questions ranged from basic to complex Included : • Resource selection • Information retrieval • Information management • Ethical use
  26. 26. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings – Self Assessment • Marked difference in confidence levels of PhD and Research Masters students • Previous postgraduate experience did not equate with higher confidence levels • Gender a significant variable • Age also significant • In general, discipline not significant, but further investigation is required.
  27. 27. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings – Information Selection & Retrieval • Use of catalogue to find books • Finding reference material • Locating journal articles • Selection of appropriate databases • Identifying existing research • Search strategies • Use of citation indexes Confident Not confident
  28. 28. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Locating Theses
  29. 29. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings – Information Environment • Lack of awareness of “invisible colleges” • High confidence levels in use of internet and search engines • Lower confidence rates in use of subject gateways • Lack of familiarity in setting up alerts to keep current
  30. 30. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings – Information Handling & Use • High confidence levels in ethical use and avoidance of plagiarism • Confidence in saving/exporting/e-mailing references • Confidence in creating a bibliography • Low confidence levels in use of bibliographic management tools
  31. 31. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Diagnostic Questionnaire Multiple choice questions • Searching skills • Evaluation skills • Referencing skills
  32. 32. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings - Diagnostic Questionnaire • Some lack of knowledge in how internet worked • Lack of knowledge of Boolean operators (31%) • Lack of knowledge of interlibrary loan services (36%) • Lack of knowledge of subject portals (40%) • High expectations of access to e-journals (47%) • Some difficulty in referencing skills
  33. 33. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Preferred method of IL provision
  34. 34. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings – Information Behaviour Observation Concept of building a search strategy underdeveloped. Areas of difficulty: • Identification and conceptualisation of search terms • Use of synonyms • Boolean operators
  35. 35. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings – Information Behaviour Observation (Continued) • Generic search skills did not transfer • Unfamiliarity with library terms • Need for assistance in establishing criteria for database selection observed
  36. 36. Carol Collier Kuhlthau Information Search Process Rutgers University Model of the Information Search Process Tasks Initiation Selection Exploration Formulation Collection Presentation ————————————————————————————————————————————→ Feelings uncertainly optimism confusion/ clarity sense of satisfaction or (affective) frustration/ direction/ disappointment doubt confidence Thoughts vague———————————————→focused (cognitive) ————————————————→ increased interest Actions seeking relevant information——————————-→seeking pertinent information (physical) exploring documenting
  37. 37. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings – Focus Group • Postgraduate research cohort not homogeneous with a standard IL • Varying levels an issue in workshops • Suggested problem based approach centred on student’s own research useful • Workshop descriptors and learning outcomes should be clearly articulated
  38. 38. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Findings - Focus Group (Continued) • Less coverage could result in greater confidence • Discipline specific approach favoured • Link with Schools’ Research modules desirable • Underestimation of complexity of e-resources • Assumption of abilities
  39. 39. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Comparative Analysis Research Student Needs Analysis Survey (RSNA), University of Leeds, 2005-2006 (Newton, 2007) • Lack of confidence in tracing research • Low confidence in finding theses • Use of Boolean operators • Use of bibliographic management tools
  40. 40. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Summary of Analysis • Identified gap between IL levels sufficient for taught courses and for research • Need for attention in formulation of search strategies • Variation in level of IL acumen • Consistent difference in findings between Research Masters & PhD students • ICT/IL relationship
  41. 41. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Recommendations for practice • Ensure “top down” approach to IL provision • Ensure disciplinary variation is understood • Adopt theory of adult learning • Use literature review process • If possible allow students to use their own research for interactive work • Include concepts of ISP model
  42. 42. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Recommendations for practice (Continued) • Develop longitudinal evaluation processes • Keep current • Offer what is feasible and sustainable • Seek possible funding for research and support
  43. 43. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Objectives Achieved • Established research students’ perceptions of their IL • Identified areas where guidance and intervention could benefit • Highlighted importance of collaboration • Alignment from taught programmes to research recognised
  44. 44. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 Next Steps Complete EBLIP framework, i.e. • Apply the results • Evaluate performance • Explore further possible domain differences
  45. 45. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 References • Andretta, S. (2005) Information Literacy: a practitioner’s guide. Oxford : Chandos. • Booth, A. (2006) “Counting what counts: performance measurement and evidence-based practice” Performance Measurement and Metrics, 7 (2) : 63-74 • Kuhlthau, C. C. “Model of the Information Search Process” ( http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~kuhlthau/recent_prese )
  46. 46. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 References • Newton, A. (2007) “Reaching out to research students: information literacy in context”. In Connor, Elizabeth (ed.) Evidence-based Librarianship: Case studies and active learning exercises. Oxford : Chandos, pp. 119- 140. • Stubbings, R., Franklin, G. (2005) “More to life than google – a journey for PhD students”. Journal of eLiteracy, 2 : 93-103
  47. 47. Avril Patterson LILAC 2009 To conclude : “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it” Samuel Johnson (1709-84)

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