Understanding Information Literacy through the Lens of the Student Experience

What if there was a way to find out what students were really thinking about the research process? That is, where did they look? How much
time do they spend? What materials do they access? How do
they determine quality? We asked these particular questions. When I get a research assignment, the
first thing I think is probably, I leave it alone for a couple
days and I don’t even look at it to be honest. What makes research hardest for me, is not even knowing where to start. I know there are so many sources out there, I don’t really know. Should I go straight to the Internet? Or try to go to the library and find some books? Or just where to start? It can be hard sometimes, especially with teachers because…for example, Wikipedia. Some teachers say it’s a credible source, some people say it’s not. You really just have to make your own judgment. The first problems, um, we come up against when we….I come up against when I assign research projects, is that students don’t often know where to start. Our library actually has a super collection of online databases that, um, that take them, from any subject, that they want to look at, but often times students actually don’t know that it’s there. I think what students say to me when they
come to the reference desk, almost all the time, is that they’ve searched everything and haven’t
been able to find anything on their topic. And when they
say they have searched everything, I…I don’t really know what they mean, but usually they’ve
tried Google, or maybe even Wikipedia, When I query them just about the databases that we hope that, even freshmen become familiar with, even um Expanded Academic or CQ Researcher, um, then it’s like the scales are coming off their eyes. It’s like, “Oh, yeah, that! I’ve heard of that, I could try that.” (typing) (typing)

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