What really happens when the student researcher meets the result page? Current focus on the integrity of news and its origins, as well as concerns about the credibility of scientific information, point to a critical need to understand how students assess the resources that appear as search results. The Stanford SHEG report described students’ ability as “bleak”. Our three-year Institute of Museum and Libraries Services (IMLS)-funded study examines the behaviors of late primary, secondary, community college, undergraduate, and graduate students as they select resources for science-related school inquiry projects. The primary research objective was to examine the variable process of determining the credibility of digital search results, particularly the role played by container, or resource type. For this presentation, we will share our analyses of students’ perceptions and judgments of science news sources. We’ll examine which cues from a web search results screen students used to identify digital resources and whether and how students’ demographic characteristics influenced their identification behavior.
Our innovative methodology engaged 175 students in task-based simulations in order to study their real-time selection of resources and to enable comparisons among study participants within and across age groups.
A think-aloud protocol allowed us to capture rich cognitive data as students made credibility judgments and discerned digital container types. Analyses include: student assessments of a variety of digital STEM resources, whether or not students would cite the resources, how students ranked source credibility, and whether students could identify a source and its container.
Our research team includes academic science librarians, pre-service LIS educators, school librarians, and research scientists. Our Advisory Panel enlisted K-12, community college, four-year college, and university librarians and faculty.
We anticipate our data will prepare librarians to design scalable and distinguishable instructional models to better prepare K-12 learners and scaffold learning as young researchers attempt to cross information literacy thresholds. The research offers support to practitioners to proactively address inquiry challenges across grade levels as students transition from the intermediate grades, through middle and high school, to undergraduate and graduate settings.
Our interactive program will include the following:
10 minutes: Introduction and research questions
10 minutes: Sharing sampling frame and data collection and analysis tools. Simulation video
20 minutes: Discussion of findings and implications
15 minutes: So what? Audience interaction: What does our research mean to you, your students/users and faculty? Join us in translating the data to practice. We will explore your local observations and brainstorm and prioritize #containercollapse solutions
ALA Unit/Subunit: AASL
Meeting Type: Program
Cost: Included with full conference registration.