Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ball State Library Instruction Sessions Strengthen Student Technical, Information Literacy

In an age where Bluetooth earpieces and cell phones are accessories as common as backpacks, it may come as surprise that a recent study by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) concluded that many undergraduates fall short of the technical competencies needed to succeed. However, the results confirmed what many instruction librarians already knew.

Among the conclusions from the study, cited in the November 28, 2006 online issue of Campus Technology, were:
· only 52% of the 6,300 test takers could accurately assess a Web site’s objectivity
· only 40% were able to narrow a Web search by entering multiple search terms
· only 44% identified a research statement that met the expectations of a given assignment.
View www.campustechnology.com/news_issue.asp?id=150&IssueDate=11282006.

Irvin Katz, a senior research scientist at ETS, said, “Those in academia have long suspected that while college-age students can use technology, they don’t necessarily know what to do with the content the technology provides. Our preliminary findings show that, in large part, those suspicions are well founded.”

Personnel in the University Libraries’ Instructional Services recognize these challenges and are committed to providing students with the tools they need to make sound research choices. In addition to learning about the best resources for their fields of interest, students gain skills in evaluating the objectivity and timeliness of websites, interpreting citation information, and conducting efficient searches.

Academic partnerships between librarians and faculty throughout campus often lead faculty to schedule more than one instruction session for their classes so that students are able to gain fluency in several areas. During fiscal year 2005-2006, library instruction programs resulted in face-to-face contact with members of the university community more than 15,300 times.

Faculty members who return every year with new students validate the success of the instruction sessions, as do their evaluation comments. One faculty member recently wrote, “I’m amazed at how much stuff there is to know and how much of it our librarians know!” Another added, “The students’ work now is reflecting the strength of the session.”

1 Comments:

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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