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Students, Academic reading and Information
Literacy in a Time of COVID
Genny Grim
Jane Secker
Elizabeth Tilley
Diane Mizrachi
Student contributions
LILAC 2022: Manchester Metropolitan University
11-13 April 2022
Introduction to our panel
Jane Secker,
Senior Lecturer, City,
University of London
Elizabeth Tilley
Head of Education and
User Services,
University of
Cambridge
Diane Mizrachi, PhD
Social Sciences Librarian
University of California
Los Angeles (UCLA)
Genny Grim
Librarian
Pembroke College
Cambridge
Introduction: reading at a time of crisis
Student taster
Ebooks Focus Group March 2022
Focus group students:
● Ollie Gerlach (History of Art)
● Eva Benyei (Natural Sciences)
● Cornelia Bentsen (Geography)
● George Crimes (Modern & Medieval Languages)
“I came to uni at the start of the pandemic so I kind of
only got used to working with ebooks…cause that’s what
was available”
“It was better to have the electronic one when I travelled a
lot…”
“In a physical copy, like physically, you can have two
chapters open at once, kind of in your hands..”
“it also depends for me I would say on like how I'm
approaching a specific text”
https://youtu.be/HRQ5h1oO-Tk
Diane Mizrachi, UCLA
Diane Mizrachi will present international data from the
ARFIS study which started in 2015 collecting data on
student attitudes to academic readings from over 21,000
students in 33 countries. (Mizrachi & Salaz, 2021). This
research serves as background and context to the present
topic.
Watch Diane’s presentation:
https://youtu.be/L1df8-1svf0
COVID-19 Reading Formats: UK and US data
https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/osc.cambridge/viz/COVID-19ReadingFormatsStudy/Dashboard
Jane Secker, City, University of London
● Jane Secker will talk about the changes she has made to her own teaching in light of
the pandemic, specifically around the expectations for students reading material
online, and the impact on reading list recommendations.
Digital pivot of MA in
Academic Practice ​
Modules aimed at staff / externals - face to face teaching days
(10am-4pm)​
Several modules were running in March 2020 including EDM116
Technology Enabled Academic Practice​
EDM116 - pilot - successful so rolled out to other modules​
From blended learning to fully online​
Impact of COVID on teaching and reading lists
● Less is more - one reading, one video before teaching
● Clear signposting about why to read things
● Became conscious of what was available online and
pointed to more journal articles than books
● Balance between theory and practice
● Formative feedback often about signposting further
reading
Genny Grim, Pembroke College, Cambridge
Genny Grim will present findings of the Cambridge College
Libraries Forum (CCLF) survey undertaken in July 2021
(Gleeson et al., 2021) on students’ attitudes towards
ebooks, which collected over 750 responses from
University of Cambridge students. Students were asked
about their general reading preferences, their use of ebooks
in 2020-21 and asked to anticipate their reading choices in
the future.
Watch Genny’s video: https://youtu.be/1l4d2Qjyl5c
Elizabeth Tilley
Implications for Information Literacy practitioners
● Resource Discovery :
○ are print-only collections becoming hidden collections?
○ transferring browsing habits into an on online environment?
○ informed contextualised support: print vs e in context of student tasks
● Managing information : referencing
● Critical Assessment: transition to independent research
○ Authority of platforms/formats
Student video
https://youtu.be/HRQ5h1oO-Tk
Discussion: what are the implications of our findings?
The panel will invite questions and contributions from the audience and are keen to discuss:
● What are the implications of the ARFIS research for academics creating reading lists and
expectations around how students engage with primarily online readings?
● What are the implications for academic librarians teaching information literacy sessions to
students?
● What are our reflections on the student perspective on using ebooks for their studies?
Further reading and resources
Academic reading formats during Covid: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/osc.cambridge/viz/COVID-19ReadingFormatsStudy/Dashboard
Student Focus Group : full video link: https://youtu.be/3VZkhgmSqDk
Mizrachi, D., Salaz, A. M., Kurbanoglu, S., & Boustany, J. (2021). The Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS): final results
of a comparative survey analysis of 21,265 students in 33 countries. Reference Services Review.
Gleeson, A. et al., (2021) Cambridge Colleges Libraries Forum Ebooks Survey, July 2021. Available at:
https://ebookscambridge.wordpress.com/2021/09/15/cambridge-colleges-libraries-forum-ebooks-survey-july-2021/?wref=tp
Secker, J and Voce, J (2021) Teaching development during the “digital pivot” – experiences from City staff. ALT Conference
presentation. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGjb3rlSD7Q&t=4s
Contact details
Jane Secker Email: Jane.Secker@city.ac.uk Twitter: @jsecker
Elizabeth Tilley Email: eat21@cam.ac.uk Twitter: @LibTil

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Students, Academic reading and Information Literacy in a Time of COVID - Genny Grim, Jane Secker, Elizabeth Tilley & Diane Mizrachi

  • 1. Students, Academic reading and Information Literacy in a Time of COVID Genny Grim Jane Secker Elizabeth Tilley Diane Mizrachi Student contributions LILAC 2022: Manchester Metropolitan University 11-13 April 2022
  • 2. Introduction to our panel Jane Secker, Senior Lecturer, City, University of London Elizabeth Tilley Head of Education and User Services, University of Cambridge Diane Mizrachi, PhD Social Sciences Librarian University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Genny Grim Librarian Pembroke College Cambridge
  • 3. Introduction: reading at a time of crisis
  • 4. Student taster Ebooks Focus Group March 2022 Focus group students: ● Ollie Gerlach (History of Art) ● Eva Benyei (Natural Sciences) ● Cornelia Bentsen (Geography) ● George Crimes (Modern & Medieval Languages) “I came to uni at the start of the pandemic so I kind of only got used to working with ebooks…cause that’s what was available” “It was better to have the electronic one when I travelled a lot…” “In a physical copy, like physically, you can have two chapters open at once, kind of in your hands..” “it also depends for me I would say on like how I'm approaching a specific text” https://youtu.be/HRQ5h1oO-Tk
  • 5. Diane Mizrachi, UCLA Diane Mizrachi will present international data from the ARFIS study which started in 2015 collecting data on student attitudes to academic readings from over 21,000 students in 33 countries. (Mizrachi & Salaz, 2021). This research serves as background and context to the present topic. Watch Diane’s presentation: https://youtu.be/L1df8-1svf0
  • 6. COVID-19 Reading Formats: UK and US data https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/osc.cambridge/viz/COVID-19ReadingFormatsStudy/Dashboard
  • 7. Jane Secker, City, University of London ● Jane Secker will talk about the changes she has made to her own teaching in light of the pandemic, specifically around the expectations for students reading material online, and the impact on reading list recommendations. Digital pivot of MA in Academic Practice ​ Modules aimed at staff / externals - face to face teaching days (10am-4pm)​ Several modules were running in March 2020 including EDM116 Technology Enabled Academic Practice​ EDM116 - pilot - successful so rolled out to other modules​ From blended learning to fully online​
  • 8.
  • 9. Impact of COVID on teaching and reading lists ● Less is more - one reading, one video before teaching ● Clear signposting about why to read things ● Became conscious of what was available online and pointed to more journal articles than books ● Balance between theory and practice ● Formative feedback often about signposting further reading
  • 10. Genny Grim, Pembroke College, Cambridge Genny Grim will present findings of the Cambridge College Libraries Forum (CCLF) survey undertaken in July 2021 (Gleeson et al., 2021) on students’ attitudes towards ebooks, which collected over 750 responses from University of Cambridge students. Students were asked about their general reading preferences, their use of ebooks in 2020-21 and asked to anticipate their reading choices in the future. Watch Genny’s video: https://youtu.be/1l4d2Qjyl5c
  • 11. Elizabeth Tilley Implications for Information Literacy practitioners ● Resource Discovery : ○ are print-only collections becoming hidden collections? ○ transferring browsing habits into an on online environment? ○ informed contextualised support: print vs e in context of student tasks ● Managing information : referencing ● Critical Assessment: transition to independent research ○ Authority of platforms/formats
  • 13. Discussion: what are the implications of our findings? The panel will invite questions and contributions from the audience and are keen to discuss: ● What are the implications of the ARFIS research for academics creating reading lists and expectations around how students engage with primarily online readings? ● What are the implications for academic librarians teaching information literacy sessions to students? ● What are our reflections on the student perspective on using ebooks for their studies?
  • 14. Further reading and resources Academic reading formats during Covid: https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/osc.cambridge/viz/COVID-19ReadingFormatsStudy/Dashboard Student Focus Group : full video link: https://youtu.be/3VZkhgmSqDk Mizrachi, D., Salaz, A. M., Kurbanoglu, S., & Boustany, J. (2021). The Academic Reading Format International Study (ARFIS): final results of a comparative survey analysis of 21,265 students in 33 countries. Reference Services Review. Gleeson, A. et al., (2021) Cambridge Colleges Libraries Forum Ebooks Survey, July 2021. Available at: https://ebookscambridge.wordpress.com/2021/09/15/cambridge-colleges-libraries-forum-ebooks-survey-july-2021/?wref=tp Secker, J and Voce, J (2021) Teaching development during the “digital pivot” – experiences from City staff. ALT Conference presentation. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGjb3rlSD7Q&t=4s
  • 15. Contact details Jane Secker Email: Jane.Secker@city.ac.uk Twitter: @jsecker Elizabeth Tilley Email: eat21@cam.ac.uk Twitter: @LibTil

Editor's Notes

  1. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a huge focus on ebooks in higher education and a high profile campaign was launched to highlight the ebook licensing problems with e-books. However this panel will explore the student perspective in using ebooks for their studies. The panel, composed of academic librarians, a lecturer and a student in higher education will discuss the user experience of reading and studying online since the pandemic.
  2. JS to briefly summarise some of the data particularly comparing US / UK data Some of the results of interest to JS -  US students seem slightly worse affected by COVID, with more of them saying they complete all their readings in any format less often (37.7% compared to 33.%) in the UK. Interestingly in answer to this question 55% of UK students and 54.5% of US students said they read about the same amount to before COVID. Highlighting and annotating is more affected, 44% of UK students are less frequently annotating their readings, 47.6% of US students are annotating and highlighting.  Reading in electronic format also has some differences - 55% of UK students said it made no difference to their reading habit compared to 49.8% of US students. Meanwhile 18% of UK students were more likely to do all their reading during COVID, compared to only 13.7% of US students. Highlighting and annotating electronic readings was also happening more often in the US (23%, compared to 20.5% of UK students).  Attitudes to reading show some interesting differences - 62% of US students strongly agreed to the statement they were more tired doing electronic reading, compared to 53% of UK students. Similarly numbers said they missed the library (58.8% of UK and 57.5% of US students). More UK students said they missed reading in print - (64.8% either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement) compared to 62% of US students.  Focusing on academic reading on a computer was considered more difficult by US students - 56% of UK students said it was hard, or somewhat hard to focus compared to 64% of US students. However 57.6% of UK students said print was easy to focus on compared to 48% of US students. There were no real discernable differences between their likes and dislikes for electronic readings.  Clearly in the UK we did some in person teaching in Fall 2020 as there is some difference in the responses - 25% of UK students said their teaching was ‘mostly remote’ compared to 59% saying it was exclusively remote. In the US 96.5% said their teaching was exclusively online.  Physical effects of online reading were experienced by students in the UK and US with no real discernible differences. High numbers reported eyestrain (80% in the UK compared to 84.5% in the US). Other physical effects to their neck and back were experienced more often by 71% of UK students compared to 78% of US students.  Reading format during COVID clearly shows the shift to online reading, 47% of UK students said all their reading was in electronic format compared to 55% of US students. Prior to the pandemic far less reading was in electronic format in both the US and UK with a split between online and print. During covid a high number students in both the UK and US said they did no reading in print format (44% in the UK and 51.9% in the US).  Remembering academic readings in electronic format is clearly more difficult than remembering them in print - 35.7% of UK students said remembering readings in electronic format was ‘somewhat easy’ compared to 30% of US students. In contrast 45.6% of UK students said it was ‘easy’ to remember print readings, as did 44% of US students. Many did not use a smartphone or a tablet to do their readings on.