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Information Seeking and Subject Access for Knowledge Construction Ross J. Todd Carol C. Kuhlthau School of Communication, Information and Library Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "Information Seeking and Subject Access for Knowledge Construction Ross J. Todd Carol C. Kuhlthau School of Communication, Information and Library Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Information Seeking and Subject Access for Knowledge Construction Ross J. Todd Carol C. Kuhlthau School of Communication, Information and Library Studies Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey 4 Huntington Street NEW BRUNSWICK NJ 08901

2 CONTEXT: Learning in an Information Age School Transition from print to digital & web-based information environments Information environments in schools increasingly complex and fluid Shift from dependence on contained information collections, textbooks and regurgitation of information How best classroom teachers and librarians can provide an instructional climate and process that foster the development of learners being able to construct their own understanding from this complex, information-rich environment.

3 LEARNING Active search for meaning and understanding by the learner. As a cumulative process of becoming informed through study, instruction and experience, its outcome is the gain of new knowledge, sills, attitudes and values, and the transforming of prior knowledge. Active personal process of construction, fitting in new information with what one already knows and extending this knowledge to create new perspectives.

4 RESEARCH FOCUS The relationship between information seeking, the research process and learning, and the essential and critical role that school librarians can play in the teaching and learning processes to make a real difference to student learning outcomes

5 RESEARCH GAPS Limited evidence that shows the impact of an effective school library on student learning outcomes: Rhetoric vs Evidence Limited understanding of how students in specific curriculum areas learn from a variety of information sources in the school library when undertaking an inquiry project Considerable range of learning dilemmas when interacting with and using information from the WWW

6 OVERALL GOAL To test, verify and refine measures to track, assess and document student learning in school libraries; To develop a Student Learning Impact Measurement (SLIM) package for application in diverse classroom contexts and school settings; To develop training institutes for CISSL facilitate implementation of the SLIM package.

7 SPECIFIC FOCUS To understand what happens in students’ minds as they search for and make use of information to build their own knowledge in electronic information environments - to understand more fully the knowledge construction process - to identify patterns of subject access during the search process - to identify patterns of cognitive intents during the search process BENFITS Instructional design that foster students’ interaction with electronic and print resources in meaningful ways. Identify some of the barriers and dilemmas that students face when they engage in learning tasks that require them to actively search for information in electronic sources particularly on the Internet.

8 INFORMING FRAMEWORKS Tasks Initiation Selection Exploration Formulation Collection Presentation ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------→ Feelings uncertainly optimism confusion clarity sense of satisfaction or (affective) frustration direction/ disappointment doubt confidence doubt confidence Thoughtsvague-------------------------------------→focused (cognitive) -----------------------------------------------→ increased interest Actions seeking relevant information----------------------------→seeking pertinent information (physical) exploring documenting INFORMATION SEARCH PROCESS

9 TODD: INFORMATION INTENTS Adolescents’ patterns of cognitive information utilization shows that they interact with information in different ways with their intention or objective changing during the information search process. Intents: get a complete picture, get a clearer picture, get a changed picture, get a verified picture, get a position in a picture. VAKKARI: UTILITY STUDIES Usefulness of referencesUsefulness of references Contribution of referencesContribution of references Topicality and useful information typesTopicality and useful information types Patterns of contribution of references in searchesPatterns of contribution of references in searches

10 MAPPING KNOWLEDGE STRUCTURES Graesser & Clark: Conceptual Graph Structure. Externalization of knowledge as sets of expressions; Empirical research has established its functionally adequate approach to mapping declarative knowledge; Propositionally based: analysis of concepts and relations expressed.

11 SAMPLE 43 Grade 9 students at Gill St Bernards’ School, Gladstone NJ (21 girls, 22 boys) Semester long course: “Research Project” School librarian / teacher collaboration Instructional Intervention: Understanding Information Search Process, Web searching, information analysis and note taking 2 phases of course: Instructional intervention culminating in major oral presentation (7 weeks); guided free-choice research paper (7 weeks) within the theme: “Celebration in Culture”

12 DATA COLLECTION 1. Written protocol at three key stages in the Information Search Process (Initiation, Formulation, Presentation) 2.Structured search logs kept by each student during the progress of assignment 3.Affective Domain statement and Next Task statement 4.Product analysis at completion of the assignment

13 WRITTEN PROTOCOLS Free generation: to uncover respondents’ base knowledge - How they label their project - Recording all that they know about their topic - Why chosen topic - Perception of how much they know about their topic - Aspects of research process that they will enjoy most and least

14 MEASURING CHANGE IN KNOWLEDGE Number of concepts – isolated or embedded in propositional statements Number of propositional statements Analysis of propositions: - Properties: describes characteristics - Manner: describe processes, styles, actions - Reason: explanations of how and why - Outcome: end result - Causality: some event causally leads to another - Set Membership: class inclusion - Implication: source idea and end idea exist at same time - Value judgment: personal position or viewpoint Coherence and structural centrality: - discrete ideas, unrelated - some coherent structure, interrelatedness - high level of coherence, structural centrality

15 STRUCTURED SEARCH LOGS List the words you used to look for information. (These are the words you put into the school library catalog, or a search engine on the WWW, or look up an index ) Source used (give its citation) What were you hoping this information would enable you to do? For each source, write one or more of the numbers from the list below that match best what were you hoping this information would enable you to do? (Cognitive Intents) For each source, give it a rating of its usefulness to you in doing the topic: Very useful; Somewhat useful; Not useful at all. (Utility measure)

16 Cognitive intents: What were you hoping this information would enable you to do? find some new facts about my topic get some background information on my topic develop my particular theme more get more specific details about facts I already know help me find some connections between facts I already have correct some ideas I know are wrong change my mind about some of my ideas help me find out if some ideas I already have are right or wrong help me feel stronger about some of my ideas see if some guesses I have made are right work out if I should stick with my ideas / viewpoint sort out some vague ideas I have about the topic find some explanations for the ideas I have find some different viewpoints about the topic clarify things I didn’t fully understand before help me work out what my viewpoint is on the topic help me form an opinion on the topic come to some conclusion about these ideas work out if I agree or disagree with the ideas I have find an argument to back up my ideas other

17 AFFECTIVE DOMAIN AND TASK ANALYSIS Date Write one sentence about how you are feeling about your project My next task is: CODING: confident, disappointed, frustrated, relieved, confused, doubtful, optimistic, satisfied, uncertain, sure, other

18 SOME PRELIMINARY PATTERNS Increase in number of propositional statements Initial representations primarily property (is a), manner Final representations: reasons, outcomes, causality, implications, predictive, reflective (increased complexity) Higher levels of conceptual coherence and structural centrality Cognitive intents: From initiation to formulation : getting a bigger picture (building background) getting a changed picture (correcting misinformation); getting a verified picture (confirming existing ideas) From formulation to presentation: getting a bigger picture, getting a clearer picture, getting a position in a picture)

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