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Integrating Information Behavior and Information Literacy: A Comparative Study of Japanese and Canadian Undergraduate Students in a Canadian University


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My poster presented in the ASIS&T conference in Vancouver (November 2009)

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Integrating Information Behavior and Information Literacy: A Comparative Study of Japanese and Canadian Undergraduate Students in a Canadian University

  1. 1. Approved versions of the Signature There are two approved ver- sions of the signature. These should preferably appear in red, Integrating information behavior and information literacy: but could alternatively appear in black, grey, or white, if necessary. Version 1 Version 1 in red is the pre- School of A comparative study of Japanese and Canadian undergraduate students in a Canadian university ferred version and should Information Studies be used whenever possible. This version appears on the University’s official letterhead and business cards. Version 2 Version 2 is to be used only for publications destined for distant Yusuke Ishimura (Ph.D. candidate) / Joan C. Bartlett (Assistant Professor) places where it is believed that the word “University” is neces- sary for recognition. School of Information Studies, McGill University Abstract Approach to the Problems Methodology Other symbols of the Using the Signature, University Coat of Arms, or Shield in publications Over time, a number of symbols, It is important that the full logos, or marks have been used University signature (the shield to identify McGill University. plus the wordmark) appear on The coat of arms, shield, and the front cover of brochures, fly- signature illustrated above are ers, folders, newsletters, and This poster session introduces doctoral research that investigates how Japanese students, as a sample of In order to investigate students’ research process, this study combines information behavior models and information literacy. Although the major elements Approximately 20 Japanese and Canadian undergraduates in the Faculty of Arts at McGill University will be the only versions sanctioned for current use. Consult the other printed materials produced by the University for dissemina- international students, and Canadian students in a Canadian university conduct research for their academic of each concept are similar to each other, the nature of the activity is different. Some information behavior models6 consider each process (i.e., information participants in this study. Students will be recruited from 300 and 400 level courses that have research Secretary-General for permis- sion to use any other graphic tion outside the University. In instances where a document needs, seeking, and use) as dynamic and interdependent, but do not address of quality of the process. On the other hand, information literacy is concerned assignments. Japanese students are defined as students whose mother tongue is Japanese, graduated from identity. Final approval rests is for internal use only, or is tasks. The presence of international students has greatly increased in recent decades in North American with the Board of Governors. clearly associated with McGill, with the “quality” of each behavior in relation to its desired outcomes7. However, in the information literacy approach, each step is considered as Japanese high schools, and have been in Canada for less than five years. Canadian students are born and the coat of arms or shield alone universities. Thus, it is important for institutions to improve students’ university experience to facilitate their may provide sufficient identifi- independent rather than interrelated. This does not answer the question of how the entire process determines the quality of students’ output. Thus, educated in Canada, and their mother tongue is English. Participants will select one research assignment to cation. academic success. Among various potential solutions, improvement of information literacy skills is especially be examined during the study. Their information behavior and information literacy skills will be investigated combining information behavior models and information literacy theories will complement existing research and reveal a more complete picture of 6 important in today’s information intense environment. However, academic libraries struggle to answer the from the beginning to the completion of their research tasks using: 1) research portfolios, 2) semi-structured students’ information literacy. question of how they can provide support for international students with diverse backgrounds and needs. in-depth interviews, and 3) flowcharts. Before planning strategies to improve their skills, it is critical for academic institutions to understand how students conduct research and to what extent they are information literate. Using multiple qualitative Research portfolios will be used to capture information behavior and levels of students’ information Recognizing when information is needed literacy skills. This approach is effective for investigating students’ higher-order skills (e.g., analysis, synthesis, Behavior Models8 methodologies, Japanese and Canadian undergraduate students’ information behavior will be investigated and Information needs assessed using information behavior models (how students behave) and information literacy standards (how and evaluation), work process and strategies toward the goal, and reflection on their performance during the (Recognizing information needs) Information Information well the behavior is conducted). tasks.10 Literacy9 Locating the needed information In-depth semi-structured interviews will be used to examine how context affects students’ Information seeking information behavior. Three individual phenomenological interviews will examine students’ reflections on effectively (Searching information to meet the needs) their past and present experiences and the context of their actions.11 Problems Participants will draw flowcharts as a method of data collection. By mapping and diagramming their Information use Evaluating using the needed information process, the researcher will be able to visualize the research steps and decision-making points. This will be (Using information obtained) effectively carried out during the second interview session.12 student population 80,000 73,386 Process Oriented Merging Quality Oriented Data collected from the students’ research portfolios, interviews, and flowcharts will be consolidated and International analyzed using content analysis13 and constant comparative methods14. The data from each student will be The number of international students in 2 concepts in Canada 60,000 analyzed and their information literacy skills will be assessed according to information literacy standards. The Population Canada has increased in the last decade. results of each student’s behavior will be compared to find commonalities and differences among them. Although students from the US and 40,000 Europe have increased, the population 30,885 growth of non-American and non- 20,000 European students (e.g., China, India, South Korea) is significant1. 0 1995 Year 2004 RESEARCH QUESTIONS Anticipated Results It is expected that this research will provide a holistic picture of individual students’ processes during their What are Japanese students’ information behaviors during their research research tasks. The process will be matched with and assessed by information literacy standards. This will tasks as compared to North American students? generate knowledge of how students perform their research and what information literacy skills they Academic libraries and international possess or lack. An understanding of which elements affect their behavior will add another layer to better Over the last 20 years, many researchers have investigated relationships between • What factors (e.g., personal, social, and linguistic) are involved in information behavior understand why their behaviors are information literate or not. Comparisons between Canadian and Japanese students will highlight evidence of differences and similarities in behaviors, which have not been students international students and library skills • Diverse needs (including information literacy skills) in during the research task? defined in previous research. • Diverse experience North American libraries. However, academic libraries struggle to determine • Diverse expectations2 • What are their actual behaviors in relation to information literacy standards? how they can provide better services to international students who have: • What differences and similarities in behavior exist between the two groups of students? Significance International students have diverse needs, experiences, and expectations. Thus, it is necessary to investigate one specific international student group as an initial, but important step. Later, this study could expand to international students Conceptual other groups using the replication approach. Thus, this will offer a fundamental framework for future • Identified students’ barriers to in North America research to understand the larger population of international students. This research is unique in bridging Framework boundaries between the concepts of information behavior (more closely associated with the scholarly Research on information literacy due to cultural Academic libraries, as research centers, community) and information literacy (more closely associated with the practitioner community). In doing so, and linguistic differences3 need to satisfy students’ unique needs how and why students behave in certain ways and to what extent students have information literacy skills and provide them with assistance in • Focused on librarians’ opinions, will be investigated. Through comparison of these two students groups, academic libraries will be able to developing the information literacy skills perceptions, and experience4 better understand and meet international students’ needs and facilitate their intellectual contributions to needed for their academic success. • Often based on students’ self- Information behavior model Canadian academic institutions. Previous research: assessment of information literacy (Process oriented) skills5 References Information Information Information Context Personal 1 StatisticsCanada, "University Enrolments for International Students, by Institution, and by Country of Citizenship, Annual (Number), needs seeking use 1995/1996 to 2004/2005," Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS). Potential Psychological 2 Society of College, National and University Libraries, "Library Services for International Students," papers/international_students.pdf. effects Social 3 Kwasi Sarkodie-Mensah, "International Students in the U.S.: Trends, Cultural Adjustments, and Solutions for a Better Experience," Journal of Education for Library and Information Science 39, no. 3 (1998): 214-22. Corresponds with Cultural 4 Ann Curry and Deborah Copeman, "Reference Service to International Students: A Field Stimulation Research Study." Journal of Academic Before planning strategies to Linguistic Librarianship 31, no. 5 (2005): 409-20. 5 Yusuke Ishimura, Vivian Howard, and Haidar Moukdad, "Information Literacy in Academic Libraries: Assessment of Japanese Students' Needs for Successful Assignment Completion in Two Halifax Universities," Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science 31, no. 1 improve skills, it is necessary Educational (2008): 1-26. KEY: 6 Tom D. Wilson, "Models in Information Behaviour Research," Journal of Documentation 55, no. 3 (1999): 249-70. to understand how students 7 Association of College and Research Libraries. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (Chicago: Author, 2000). 8 WIlson, "Models in Information Behaviour Research," 249-70. 9 American Library Association, "Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report," conduct research & to what Outcomes Outcomes Outcomes whitepapers/presidential.cfm. 10 John Salvia, James E. Ysseldyke, and Sara Bolt, Assessment in Special and Inclusive Education, 10th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007). 11 Irving Seidman, Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences, 3rd ed. (New York: Teachers extent they are information Information literacy standards College Press, 2006). 12 Carol C. Kuhlthau, Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services. 2nd ed, (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 2004). 13 Jane Ritchie and Liza Spencer, “Qualitative Data Analysis for Applied Policy Research," in The Qualitative Researcher's Companion, eds. A. literate (Quality oriented) Michael Huberman and Matthew B. Miles (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2002), 305-29. 14 Barney G. Glaser and Anselm L. Strauss. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. (Chicago: Aldine,1967).