Friday, August 31, 2012

Initial Workshop Assessment Thoughts

My pre-workshop (for the "Introduction to Searching one-shot) survey takes the form of 2 questions:
  1. Provide a topic of your choosing or choose one of the examples I provide
  2. Given the topic, type in what you might put in a search box to find articles on the topic
Overwhelmingly, in the 53 responses I've gotten to date in it's current iteration, students show a distinct "Googlization" in their search strategies. Full-sentence questions and long lists of keywords make up ALL of the responses to question two. A couple of responses use and or double quotes, but all are used incompletely or incorrectly.

My post-workshop results (that include the same question) show vast improvements on this (and I go to great lengths to show why common Google search strategies don't work in most library databases), but still highlight some gaps, especially in correctly using, or not using, double quotes.

It's a start...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Time to get rid of the term "Information Literacy"?

  • Information Literacy
  • Information AND Literacy
  • Information OR Literacy
  • Information NOT Literacy
  • Information Skills?
  • Research Skills?
  • Lifelong Learning Skills?
Don't get me started with all the other, mostly specialized, "literacy" and "competency" and "skill" models out there. If this is how I feel about the what of library instruction, imagine how our faculty and students feel about that, as well as the more important why:

To me, the base of all of this is "information." This encompasses, at least to my understanding, anything and everything a student encounters (or a faculty or library teaches or facilitates access to) during the learning process. "Literacy" is far more problematic. It implies, to many, a far too basic connotation. In other words, in our society "illiterate" means not being able to read, which comes with a stigma. "Skills," set on a continuum from basic to expert, seems more appropriate to me, with "competencies" perhaps reserved for internal/assessment use.

Your thoughts?