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Beyond Wikipedia: Exploring a Research Agenda in Information Literacy


Explore the results of two information literacy research projects I've conducted in the library ... Image P-3357, Gustavus Adolphus College Archives. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Beyond Wikipedia: Exploring a Research Agenda in Information Literacy

Beyond Wikipedia Exploring a Research Agenda
in Information Literacy
  • Julie Gilbert
  • Assistant Professor Academic Librarian
  • Faculty Shop Talk
  • October 24, 2008

  • Photo from
  • Explore the results of two information literacy
    research projects Ive conducted in the library
  • Identify ongoing initiatives and possible future
    research projects in information literacy

Examine the nature of information literacy,
including definitions and approaches
Information Literacy Defined(by the Association
of College and Research Libraries)
  • An information literate person is able to
  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into ones
    knowledge bases
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a
    specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues
    surrounding the use of information, and access
    and use information ethically and legally
  • From ACRLs Information Literacy Competency
    Standards for Higher Education,

Information Literacy Interpreted
  • Thinking critically about information
  • Whats out there?
  • How do I access it?
  • How do I evaluate it?
  • How do I use it?
  • Considering the larger framework of world of
  • How information is produced, disseminated,
    accessed, used
  • Entering the scholarly conversation
  • In other classes projects
  • In lifelong learning

POL 200 Analyzing Politics

Measure the impact of multiple library sessions
on the information literacy skills of students in
a single class
Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library Reading Room,
c. 1950s.Image P-3357, Gustavus Adolphus College
POL 200 Analyzing Politics
  • POL 200 Analyzing Politics Project
  • Longitudinal study
  • Fall 2006 control group (0 library sessions)
  • Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008 experimental
    groups (3 - 4 library sessions each)
  • Fall 2008 Spring 2009 experimental groups (15
    week library lab component)
  • Data collection
  • Survey measures student research behaviors and
    confidence levels
  • Citation analysis of annotated bibliographies

Survey instrument
Insights into research process
  • Experimental students were 2 1/2 times more
    likely than the control group to consult a
    reference librarian (43 vs. 17)
  • Almost 1/3 (32) of experimental group used 3 or
    more sources of assistance compared to a fraction
    (11) of control group
  • Experimental group spent approximately 10 less
    overall time than control group finding sources
    for bibliographies (2.7 hours v. 3 hours)

Confidence Levels
  • Students rated their confidence levels in their
    own research abilities
  • Control Group 44 very confident, 53 confident
  • Experimental Group 47 very confident, 51

Source Quality
  • Spring 2007 students used more high quality
    sources on both annotated bibliographies (AB),
    more so on AB2 (6.0 HQ sources vs. 5.2 for fall)
  • Spring 2007 86 of sources classified as high
    quality, vs. 80 for fall
  • Spring 2007 students used fewer web resources in
    AB2 (14) compared to AB1 (21)

Summary of Results
  • Did multiple library sessions have an impact on
    research process, skills, and confidence levels?
  • Students in the experimental group report
    increased levels of information literacy skills
  • Citation analysis upholds findings that students
    demonstrate increased levels of research

FTS Pilot Program
Revisions of FTS program led to conversations
about how we teach information literacy skills to
first year students
Recruited 9 FTS sections (n159) 5 experimental
groups met more than once with librarian 4
control had traditional one shot session
Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, c.
1950 Nicollet County Historical Society Archives
Changes in information literacy skills measured
by pretest, posttest and citation analysis on
final papers
Survey Instrument
Reference Desk Visits
Finding Information Sources
Variety of Sources
Summary of Results
  • What is the effect of multiple library sessions
    or librarian interactions on FTS student learning
  • Experimental group demonstrated small but
    consistent levels of increased skill confidence
    levels regarding library research
  • Final product will also include citation analysis
    of final papers to evaluate source content
  • Provides a critical reality check on perceptual

Ongoing Initiatives
  • Research Practices Survey
  • POL 200 Analyzing Politics Library Lab
  • Information Literacy Pilot Program

Julie Gilbert personal photograph