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Assessment 360 Where Do We Go From Here? Undergraduates and the Library: How Students Use and Engage with Spaces, Resources, and Technologies University.

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Presentation on theme: "Assessment 360 Where Do We Go From Here? Undergraduates and the Library: How Students Use and Engage with Spaces, Resources, and Technologies University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assessment 360 Where Do We Go From Here? Undergraduates and the Library: How Students Use and Engage with Spaces, Resources, and Technologies University of Connecticut, 2009-2010

2 Intersections and Currents Assessment 360 was inspired by a range of national voices & research trends and a local desire to “take the pulse” of undergraduates and the library at UConn

3 Voices that Stuck Nobody is as smart as everybody Michael Wesch, LILLY 2009 YouTube is the 2 nd most used search engine after Google John Palfrey, NEASIS&T Fall 2009 It’s good to be paranoid We must balance exploration and exploitation Steven Bell, NEASIS&T Fall 2009

4 Research that Needled It is unclear how [librarianship as it has been taught and practiced] can offer real value without retreating into the stock defenses of our role as the gatekeepers of quality, guarantors of access, and the sole possessors of the true knowledge of cataloging. As libraries become more concerned with creating social spaces, they should also be concerned with entering into the people space, the library as accelerator, where information is sought, communicated, shared, tagged, and mined. Without taking this second step, the library adds little value over a bookstore. Andrew Dillon in the 2008 report from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) on reconceiving the Research Library for the 21 st Century without retreating into the stock defenses of our role as the gatekeepers of quality be concerned with entering into the people space… Without taking this second step, the library adds little value over a bookstore.

5 Research that Motivated Char Booth in her 2009 write-up of her research that culminated in the undergraduate technology survey at Ohio University Rather than assuming that every library needs a blog, a wiki, and a podcast series, librarians who develop social and/or dynamic services should preface their efforts with local research in order to create a clearer perception of actual, rather than imagined, library and information needs of their immediate campus microcosm. Every institution must investigate the factors that shape its own landscape. Every institution must investigate the factors that shape its own landscape.

6 Research that Inspired In a university, user-centered design is not entirely straightforward. When we design for students, we design for people whose practices and preferences may be at odds with the university’s educational mission or their instructors’ demands. So user- centered design in higher education must take a broad view of the “user” and pay attention to a wide range of needs, preferences, and constraints on the part of numerous people who are served by the technology, spaces, and services the library provides... Our aim is to understand how students work and how they might work better so that they can reach the standards set by the faculty and so that the university can work toward its mission. Once we understand this, we set about to support the work practices that will help our students, and the library and the university, succeed. This, for us, is user- centered design. Nancy Fried Foster and Susan Gibbons’ Studying Students study at the University of Rochester (published by ACRL) we design for people whose practices and preferences may be at odds with the university’s educational mission or their instructors’ demands we set about to support the work practices that will help our students, and the library and the university, succeed. This, for us, is user-centered design.

7 Research that Nudged The tendency to procrastinate occurred most frequently among students enrolled at research institutions. In these settings, students have online access to large library collections and multiple libraries on their campuses, where they were “sure to find something to cite”—even at the last minute. Students would start a research project by inputting a few search terms in the search engine of a database that had brought them “luck” on a previous assignment (e.g., JSTOR, ProQuest, or EBSCO). Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg in their 2009 progress report on Project Information Literacy The tendency to procrastinate occurred most frequently among students enrolled at research institutions Students would start a research project by inputting a few search terms in the search engine of a database that had brought them “luck” on a previous assignment

8 And Keeps Nudging Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg in their 2010 progress report on Project Information Literacy Despite their reputation of being avid computer users who are fluent with new technologies, few students in our sample had used a growing number of Web 2.0 applications within the past six months for collaborating on course research assignments and/or managing research tasks. Unsurprisingly, what mattered most to students while they were working on course-related research assignments was passing the course (99%), finishing the assignment (97%), and getting a good grade (97%). Yet, three-quarters of the sample also reported they considered carrying out comprehensive research of a topic (78%) and learning something new (78%) of importance to them, too. few students in our sample had used a growing number of Web 2.0 applications within the past six months for collaborating on course research assignments and/or managing research tasks. three-quarters of the sample also reported they considered carrying out comprehensive research of a topic and learning something new of importance to them, too

9 Research that made us wonder Eight out of 10 (80.0%) said they are very confident in their ability to search the Internet effectively and efficiently. Almost half (45.1%) rated themselves as very skilled, and another third (34.9%) rated themselves as experts. Although students’ assessments of their ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of online sources of information and of their understanding the ethical and legal issues surrounding the access to and use of digital information were lower, overall ratings are still high. 9 out of 10 student respondents (89.8%) were engaged in text messaging, with a median use of daily. About 30% of respondents either currently owned an Internet- capable handheld device but never used it to access the Internet or didn’t own an Internet-capable handheld device but said they planned to purchase one in the next 12 months. Shannon Smith, Gail Salaway, & Judith Borreson Caruso in the 2009 Study on Undergraduate Students and Information Technology from the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research 80.0% said they are very confident in their ability to search the Internet effectively and efficiently another third (34.9%) rated themselves as experts 30% of respondents either currently owned an Internet-capable handheld device but never used it to access the Internet or didn’t own an Internet-capable handheld device

10 And wonder… (is it true?) [Those in the “Google Generation”] prefer quick information in the form of easily digested chunks, rather than full text*** Our verdict: This is a myth. CIBER deep log studies show that, from undergraduates to professors, people exhibit a strong tendency towards shallow, horizontal, `flicking’ behaviour in digital libraries. Power browsing and viewing appear to be the norm for all. The popularity of abstracts among older researchers rather gives the game away. Society is dumbing down. They are expert searchers*** Our verdict: This is a dangerous myth. Digital literacies and information literacies do not go hand in hand. A careful look at the literature over the past 25 years finds no improvement (or deterioration) in young people’s information skills. (*** = high confidence finding) Gradually, the Internet is sinking into the background as a tool that everyone takes for granted - but libraries are not keeping up with the demands of students and researchers for services that are integrated and consistent with their wider internet experience (including Google and other tools). Information consumers – of all ages - use digital media voraciously, and not necessarily in the ways that librarians assume. Any barrier to access: be that additional log-ins, payment or hard copy, are too high for most consumers and information behind those barriers will increasingly be ignored. It is increasingly clear that a one-size-fits all policy towards library or system design is not going to be effective: there is as much (albeit, largely unacknowledged) diversity in today’s scholarly population as is likely to exist between today’s scholars and tomorrow’s. Without a detailed handle on these issues, it becomes impossible to target services effectively. Our final message, one which information It can be said with confidence that librarians do not currently design information systems around this form of user behaviour and how best to accommodate it represents their real challenge. The way forward has to be via a flexible, `suck-it-and see’ model. Trying things out in the digital space, monitoring the reaction and adjusting accordingly. Moving from counting hits to watching users. Report from the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER) at University College London Power browsing and viewing appear to be the norm for all (ages). The popularity of abstracts among older researchers rather gives the game away. Society is dumbing down. A careful look at the literature over the past 25 years finds no improvement (or deterioration) in young people’s information skills. Any barrier to access: be that additional log-ins, payment or hard copy, are too high for most consumers and information behind those barriers will increasingly be ignored. Moving from counting hits to watching users.

11 Assessment 360 was one response to the questions that resulted: Are we approaching information literacy in the best manner, given our students info needs, methods, etc? Are we (physically, virtually) where and what we need to be? What technologies do they use? Do we help? Can we help? How should we help? Are we asking enough questions? Are we asking often enough? Are the questions the right ones?

12 Assessment 360: Checking the Pulse Focus Groups Spring 2010 Online Technology Survey Spring 2010 Filmed Interviews Spring 2010 Filmed Work-space Monologues Spring/Fall 2010

13 Why such a big study (4 parts)? New team—need for a baseline Moving forward without assumptions Overlapping data will validate analysis Student voice All instruments have their weaknesses

14 Setting a Course IRB Application Funding Aligning (goal-setting) Staffing

15 Focus Groups

16 Invitation to participate sent to all undergraduates 8 Focus groups with 3+ students each (35 total) Open-ended questions/facilitated Each student received $10 UConn Co-op gift card for participating Recruited students for forthcoming interviews

17 Focus Group Demographics

18 Focus Group Trends: by the words

19 “Learning Commons”? Primary services: – Computers – Q-tutoring – study space (varying types—tables vs. cubicles vs…) Printing costs Cleanliness (lack thereof) Lack of power (outlets) Daytime use mostly casual/between classes Evening use tends to be academic in focus Focus Group Trends

20 By the words (seriously this time)

21 Pulse? Both Individual & Group Work Software Applications Tutoring popular (or essential) Few mentions of “research help” per se Expectations reasonable Floor big and busy and not easy to navigate

22 Technology Survey

23 Survey sent to all undergraduates (approx. 800 took the survey) Participants could enter to win one of three $100 Co-op gift cards Used Survey Monkey Professional Designed to learn what technologies students have/use Focus on what library technologies students are using/would use Tech Survey

24 Survey Design Model Char Booth’s Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University (ACRL 2009)Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University

25 Tech Survey: Demographics

26 Tech Survey: Quick Numbers

27 More Quick Numbers

28 And just a bit more…

29 Qualitative data : would you use a library extension in your browser? 32% told us why Yes 16% “ease” Maybe 14% “depends” No 6% “clutter” “they’d probably suck” Other 25% “if”

30 Filmed Interviews

31 Invitation to participate sent to all undergraduates Individual (1 student) interviews 6 interviews conducted Interviews video-recorded Each student received $20 Co-op gift card Recruited students for forthcoming monologues

32 The Pulse Computers are essential for much of our work We move back and forth from the Web to (mostly) Word We multi-task on the Web: HuskyCT, Email, some academic Web page, FB/other We often begin at go.uconn.edu (Univ portal) We search (not browse) for help We don’t use the Libraries Web site, unless we know a specific link (usually databases)

33 Work-Space Monologues

34 Invitation to participate sent to all undergraduates 9 conducted 3 parts: – Consent – Filming – Debriefing/viewing Each student received $50 Co-op gift card

35 The Pulse (hey…they’re alive!) Beds are comfortable Sometimes we work alone; sometimes we don’t Sometimes we need computers; sometimes we don’t We like having our friends around, except when they distract us

36 The Pulse: When we’re alone, we don’t always want to be alone, and… Alone-in-a-crowd is nice, except when it’s, er, crowded (don’t get too close to me!) Our friends are our best resource for finding “the perfect spot” (outside our rooms) Lighting (or lack thereof) matters a lot Being able to spread out also matters a lot We work into the wee hours--often The Library isn’t (nor ever will be) a bedroom

37 Where do we go from here? “Assessment 365” Closer look at spaces (Space Task Group) Redesigned Learning Commons help “cluster” LibQUAL+ 2010 results A new position Studies to come…

38 Sources Booth, C. (2009). Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University. Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/digital/ii-booth.pdf http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/digital/ii-booth.pdf Dillon, Andrew. (2008). “Accelerating Learning and Discovery: Refining the Role of Academic Librarians.” In No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21 st Century. Washington DC: Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub142/pub142.pdf http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub142/pub142.pdf Foster, N. F., & Gibbons, S. (Eds.). (2007). Studying students: The undergraduate research project at the university of rochester. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/digital/Foster-Gibbons_cmpd.pdf http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/digital/Foster-Gibbons_cmpd.pdf Head, A., & M. B. Eisenberg. (2009). Finding Context: What Today’s College Students Say about Conducting Research in the Digital Age. Project Information Literacy Progress Report. Seattle: the University of Washington Information School. http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_ProgressReport_2_2009.pdf http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_ProgressReport_2_2009.pdf Head, A., & M. B. Eisenberg. (2010). Truth Be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age. Project Information Literacy Progress Report. Seattle: the University of Washington Information School. https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://projectinfolit.org/pdfs/PIL_Fall2010_Survey_Full Report1.pdf Rowlands, John & the CIBER Research Team, University College London. (2008). Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future. Report from the Centre for Information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER). London: British Library and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). http://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdfhttp://www.bl.uk/news/pdf/googlegen.pdf Smith, S. D., Gail Salaway, & J. B. Caruso. (2009). The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2009. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR). http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ers0906/rs/ERS0906w.pdf http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ers0906/rs/ERS0906w.pdf


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