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The information literacy of college students: gender influences on information source selection - Heather Dalal


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Presented at LILAC 2016

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The information literacy of college students: gender influences on information source selection - Heather Dalal

  1. 1. The Information Literacy of College Students: Gender Influences on Information Source Selection Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference Arthur Taylor, Associate Professor, Information Systems and Supply Chain Management, College of Business Administration Heather Dalal, Assistant Professor-Librarian, Moore Library University College Dublin Library 21-23 March 2016
  2. 2. Previous Research: Students’ Evaluative Behaviors Students are familiar with However in practice Source: Authority Accuracy Credibility Reliability Objectivity Validity Timeliness Bias/Point of View Source:pixabay
  3. 3. Previous Research: Demographic Differences Source: Males are more likely to - use newspapers & magazines - use free & nontraditional sources Females are more likely to • - use books & journals - use licensed library sources
  4. 4. Previous Research: Demographic Differences Source: Males are more likely to - be more confident in their ability to search - not ask for help Females are more likely to - be anxious at the start of research - evaluate their skills lower
  5. 5. Our questions * Do students understand evaluative criteria? * Do they apply the criteria? * Do demographics influence their evaluation knowledge & habits? Source: pixabay
  6. 6. Methodology 5/02/03/ unit-2-assignment-2-craap-test/
  7. 7. Results We used in group percentages and chi- squared analysis of variance on tabular results. Many results were statistically significant - strengthening our evidence of gender bias in this sample.
  8. 8. Images Source: When a search engine returns a list of pages, I select a page from the list based on the following criteria: site is understandable 77% of females 64% of males qualifications of the author are good 62% of females 42% of males quality of the writing on the site is good 68% of females 48% of males
  9. 9. How often have you used research tools beyond Google for research papers in the last year? Images Source: never 2% of Females 11% males almost always 30 % of females 20 % of males
  10. 10. Females in our sample Source: * more discerning in evaluating * used a number of criteria in evaluating * more likely to use sources beyond Google or * more likely to use library databases
  11. 11. Males in our sample Source: *more confident they could determine - the author of a site - the qualifications of the author * more likely to believe search engine results were accurate, credible, & objective •
  12. 12. Discussion Source: Did some male students not feel the need evaluate because pages returned by a search engine are objective, credible, and accurate? Are females more careful searchers? Are females are socialized in a way to make more effort in their schoolwork?
  13. 13. Library anxiety This research confirms & extends gender specific findings related to library anxiety (Blundell & Lambert, 2014). Males more comfortable using the library. Females perceive librarians are not helpful. 10/EasingLibraryAnxiety
  14. 14. Implications for IL Instruction: understanding our students To teach better: understand your users’ needs and beliefs offer a gender-aware approach to information literacy instruction Source:
  15. 15. Implications for teaching females Encourage to take intellectual risks. Increase self- efficacy. Reassure that they are capable.
  16. 16. Implications for teaching males Stress the limitations of commercial search engines. Stress the need for careful evaluation. Focus on the meaning of these criteria. Source:
  17. 17. Association for College and Research Libraries. (2000). Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Chicago: American Library Association. Blundell, S., & Lambert, F. (2014). Information anxiety from the undergraduate student perspective: a pilot study of second-semester freshmen. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 55(4), 261. Burdick, T. A. (1996). Success and Diversity in Information Seeking: Gender and the Information Search Styles Model. School Library Media Quarterly, 25(1), 19–26. Fields, A. M. (2001). Women’s epistemological development: Implications for undergraduate information literacy instruction. Research Strategies, 18(3), 227–238. Hargittai, E., & Shafer, S. (2006). Differences in actual and perceived online skills: the role of gender*. Social Science Quarterly, 87(2), 432–448. References
  18. 18. Lim, S., & Kwon, N. (2010). Gender differences in information behavior concerning Wikipedia, an unorthodox information source? Library & Information Science Research, 32(3), 212–220. Metzger, M. J., Flanagin, A. J., & Zwarun, L. (2003). College student Web use, perceptions of information credibility, and verification behavior. Computers & Education, 41(3), 271–290. Kay, K. and Shipman, C. “The Confidence Gap,” The Atlantic Monthly 313, no. 4 (2014): 56–66. Steinerová, J., & Susol, J. (2007). Users’ information behaviour-a gender perspective. Information Research, 12(3), 13. Taylor, Arthur & Heather A. Dalal. (2016). Gender and Information Literacy: Evaluation of Gender Differences in a Student Survey of Information Sources. College & Research Libraries. Forthcoming. Taylor, Arthur & Heather A. Dalal. (2014). Information Literacy Standards and the World Wide Web: Results from a Student Survey on Evaluation of Internet Information Sources. Information Research. 19(4).
  19. 19. Thank you. Questions? Suggestions? Arthur Taylor & Heather Dalal Rider University