Friday, March 10, 2017

An assessment of library instruction: its influence on search behaviour of first- and third- year students

Next discussion: Thursday 16th March at 8pm UK time (4pm EST, 9pm Norway).
Article: An assessment of library instruction: its influence on search behaviour of first- and third-year students. Torunn Skofsrud Boger, Hanne Dybvik, Anne-Lise Eng, Else Helene Norheim. 2016, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 64-77. http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/10.2.2135

Thank you to Torunn and Hanne for their article and for writing this kick-off post for our discussion.

Torunn Skofsrud Boger, Hanne Dybvik, Anne-Lise Eng, Else Helene Norheim are all academic librarians at the Østfold University College, situated south of Oslo, the capital of Norway. Else has a master’s degree in English language and literature, Hanne has a master’s degree in Educational science, and Anne-Lise has a master’s degree in Pedagogy. Torunn will defend her master thesis in Organization and Leadership in May.

How does this discussion work?
Anyone can join this discussion!  Participants aim to read at least some of the article in advance, then come along at 8pm BST and join in the discussion by adding comments to this blog post. You can see how this works by looking at previous discussions (just scroll down the blog for previous posts). 

Librarians in academic institutions invest a huge amount of time in providing library instruction, but what is the outcome of the use of these resources? We wanted to find out, and interviewed our own first-year students about this topic in 2011. In 2015 we published the article The impact of library information literacy classes on first year students’ searching behaviour. Torunn Skofsrud Boger, Hanne Dybvik, Anne-Lise Eng, Else Helene Norheim. 2015, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 34-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/9.1.1979

We conducted a follow-up study interviewing the same students in 2013, and the results of the follow-up study were published last year. We found that the library instruction given to the first-year students was not as useful and spot-on as we might have thought, and changed our instruction based on the results from the first interviews. The biggest change was to introduce Google as the starting point of our instruction for first year-students.

The follow-up study among the third-year students were slightly more encouraging. This study showed that there are differences between first-year and third-year students as regards search behavior, that there was a decrease in the use of Google as the students’ first choice for searching, and that the students showed more experience in using academic databases in their third year than in their first year.

In addition, the students in the nursing faculty showed greater growth in academic maturity and they had received more library training due to the requirements for their assignments. The growth in academic maturity in the teacher education faculty was slightly smaller, and they received less library training. Accordingly, cooperation with the academic staff is very important for the library in order to make an impact on the development of students’ information literacy.

Questions

·         How do librarians at different academic institutions develop their library instruction, considering the difference in learning outcome from first-year and third-year students?
·         Are the learning outcomes significantly different among students groups, and which strategies are we implementing to meet differing expectations and demands?
·         How do we find the best ways of cooperation with the academic staff in order to provide the best library instruction?

References

Bausman, M. and Ward, S. L. 2015. Library awareness and use among graduate social work students: an assessment and action research project. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian34(1), pp.16-36. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/01639269.2015.1003498.

Christie, H., Tett, L., Cree, V. E. and McCune, V. 2016. ‘It all just clicked’: a longitudinal perspective on transitions within university. Studies in Higher Education 41(3), pp.478-490.Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2014.942271.

Daugherty, A. L. and Russo, M. F. 2011. An assessment of the lasting effects of a stand-alone information literacy course: the students' perspective. Journal of Academic Librarianship 37(4),pp.319-326. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2011.04.006.


Rempel, H. G. 2010. A longitudinal assessment of graduate student research behavior and the impact of attending a library literature review workshop. College & Research Libraries 71(6),pp.532-547. Available at: https://doi.org/10.5860/crl-79.

55 comments:

  1. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 7:33 PM

    Test

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  2. Welcome to today's discussion, which will be kicking off in 21 minutes! As you arrive, please introduce yourselves by replying directly to this comment.

    My intro: I'm David, I manage the Learning Centre at Cornwall College Newquay and am one of the organisers of this discussion group.

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    1. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 7:43 PM

      Hi, Hanne Dybvik and Torunn Skofsrud Boger are participating from Norway tonight. We have written the introduction for today's discussion.

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    2. Hi, I'm Sheila and I also help organise the discussions

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    3. Hi everyone, I look after STEM libraries in Cambridge and am another of the organisers- looming forward to the conversation!

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  3. Thank you all for coming along. It's just gone 8pm here in the UK, so let's get the conversation started. Does anyone have any questions for Torunn and Hanne?

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  4. Well, let me kick off the conversation. Hanne and Torunn when I read your paper I want to know how you found ways to cooperate with academic staff to provide the best library instruction?

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    1. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:10 PM

      @David We find that we relay on personal relations with the academic staff, which have been established over a number of years. There are some descriptions of the involvement of the library staff written in the study plans, but we find that it comes down to the personal relations our librarians have with the academic staff. Does this sound familiar?

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    2. @Torunn. It is always easier with people who know each other. In my first year at Cornwall, I focussed on the learning centre environment, now I focus on my interactions with staff and students.

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    3. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:14 PM

      @David, Exactly - we have the same experience.

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    4. So do you have any tactics to improve the relations with academic staff you would care to share?

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    5. We're really lucky here, most subject librarians are based in the departments so have frequent conversations in the tea room and options to get involved in department committees. It makes relationship building much easier if you're where the researchers are.

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    6. True again Niamh. You need to be where the teaching and research is happening not out of sight and out of mind.

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    7. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:30 PM

      We collaborate with the academic staff on subject based projects, where we participate as equal partners. Sometimes this projects leads to even stronger relations, and results in new projects and more cooperation.

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    8. @Torunn and Hanne This collaboration, I hope, helps to improve relations and becomes a reinforcing cycle that just improves the educational experience and makes it richer for all.

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    9. @Torunn and Hanne. Where are you based. In a library, like me or in the department, Like Niamh? .

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    10. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:59 PM

      @David We are based in the library. We have to get out of the library in order to contact the academic staff (if they do not come visit us first).

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  5. @Torunn and Hanne, do you think that the education students genuinely do not need to pay so much attention to journal literature because of the nature of their discipline (i.e. not just because the teaching is different but also because it is a different subject to nursing)

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    1. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:13 PM

      @Sheila We think that you are absolutely correct in your assumption. This is part of what we are struggling with as we continue to develop the cooperation with the academic staff in the teacher education faculty.

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    2. That's really interesting- the first time I really had to engage with journal articles was during my teaching qualification. Possibly more to do with how a subject is taught in a particular course than the discipline itself?

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    3. You might be correct here Niamh. My wife is taking her education degree which is very research focussed and independent learning is expected. The amount of reading she does is immense.

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    4. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:24 PM

      @Niamh That is an interesting perspective. I wonder if there are any differences between teacher education in Norway and the UK when it comes to this question? We find differences in how our teacher education students are required to solve their assignments in comparison to what requirements our nursing students meet.

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    5. @Torunn and Hanne. This is interesting. In the UK medical training is a lot more evidence based than the teaching courses are (in my limited experience). What is the situation in Norway?

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    6. I actually did mine in Ireland, but yes, it may well be approached differently in different countries. I've noticed a definite difference in prior knowledge of info lit among PhD students who did their undergraduate degrees in different countries.

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    7. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:32 PM

      @David, the situation is much the same in Norway. Do you see any changes in the near future in the UK?

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    8. My perception is that there are a lot of similarities between Nordic countries and the UK, but certainly less problem based learning etc. in some other countries where there's still more focus on big lectures

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    9. @Torunn At my institution, biology, ecology are the subjects covered and the modules taught are moving to be more 20 credit (all year modules) to reduce the number and range of assignments students will have to take during a course. 10 credit (half year modules) are being dropped or extended to last the year.

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    10. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:41 PM

      @David Which consequenses do you see regarding the library instruction in these subjects?

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    11. @Torunn. The staff expect the students to be part of the conversation of research and learning. My instruction has to support this focus and more problem based and engaging. There is also a consequence in the expectation that all my training is skills based and should be available on our VLE as well as face-to-face.

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  6. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:09 PM

    We find that we relay on personal relations with the academic staff, which have been established over a number of years. There are some descriptions of the involvement of the library staff written in the study plans, but we find that it comes down to the personal relations our librarians have with the academic staff. Does this sound familiar?

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    1. I think that is also how any good working relationships develop - through getting to know and trust each other

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  7. @Torrunn and Hanne Does your library instruction with first years start with or include Google? This is something I am doing more: beginning where the learners are.

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    1. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:18 PM

      @David Yes, this was one of our findings presented in our first article in 2015, that the students nearly always preferred Google as their starting point for searching. Consequently, we changed our library instruction and now we start our first sessions by using Google as a starting point as well - and then we go on by showing the students when they should be using Google and when they should be using academic databases.

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    2. That is excellent. Do you find the nature of enquiries in the libraries improve, and are more academic, when learners have had some library instruction?

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    3. I mostly teach masters students in the iSchool, but most of them are not studying librarianship and are from outside the UK. For them I start with Google scholar, simple searching and then using tools on the menu on the left to select by date. Also getting the best value out of any relevant paper they find - finding it on Google scholar and the chaining to papers that cite it, then look at the home page for the article on the journal website to chain forwards and backwards etc.

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    4. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:36 PM

      @David, Maybe more the opposite - that the students tend to become more independent in their information retrival? It is an very interesting question, and something we have not discussed much after our recent article. We will definitly look more closely on this.

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    5. @Torunn have found that their independence leads to them asking harder and more probing questions rather than no questions. Not just how to cite a book but how to cite a photograph taken by the group but not on Flickr (or similar).

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    6. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:43 PM

      @David To some extent we see this as well, but it is a complex picture.

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    7. @David questions like that tend to come up when students are tackling assignments which have some tricky bibliographic aspect e.g. I am on teh team teaching out Business Intelligence class and their first assignment is to produce an infographic; so we emphasise legal and ethical use of images, how to cite photos etc. We do have our librarian in the team, and he comes along at a couple of points, and try and make sure we are all giving the same advice (documented on the class website and consistent with what it says on the library website etc.) - I think things like citing photos, news stories, informal communications etc. are genuinely not easy

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    8. @Sheila. No, I agree they are not easy and it is pleasing that the students view me as the professional who can help them identify and find answers to these tricky elements satisfactorily.

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    9. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:49 PM

      @Sheila In our institution, like many other academic libraries in Norway, we refer to The Citation Compass to help our students in these matters: http://kildekompasset.no/references/apa-6th.aspx Do you have anything similar?

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    10. Oh, that is a nice tool, all on one page, I will bookmark it;-) We don't subscribe to anything, the library has tutorial with examples, and otherwise it. Actually that is one area where I try to get people away from relying on Google Scholar (just clicking on "cite") as it can be hit and miss.

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    11. Sorry, I am making lots of typos etc. this evening! My unfinished sentence should have been "and otherwise it isa matter of looking at some of the free tools"

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    12. @Sheila. I too am going to bookmark the citation compass.

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    13. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 9:03 PM

      @Sheila We totally agree with you - we keep reminding our students to keep in mind the reasons why they need to cite in the first place, and second to get the big picture of how to cite - before they get lost in punctuation.

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    14. @Torunn. True it is so easy to get lost in punctuation.

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  8. @Torunn and @Sheila. We have access, via Plymouth University, to the citethemrightonline service.

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    1. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 8:54 PM

      @David Thank you for the tip!

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  9. Please do keep the discussion going, but as it's nearing 9pm I'd like to thank you all once again for joining the discussion, and especially thank you to both Torunn and Hanne for taking the time to share their work with us.

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    1. and thank you David for setting this up!

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    2. Torunn Skofsrud BogerMarch 16, 2017 at 9:05 PM

      @David, Sheila, Niamh Thank you so much for this interesting discussion. We will be signing out here from Norway, thanks for inviting us.

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    3. Thanks everyone, looking forward to the next discussion!

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    4. The next discussion is already lined up. Look out for announcement next week.

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  10. @Torunn and Hanne. Thank you for a stimulating conversation. Glad you could take part.

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