Project Information Literacy recently released "Truth Be Told: How College Students Evaluate and Use Information in the Digital Age," a summary of ongoing large-scale research into IL competency among higher ed students. Highly relevant to what many of us do is this finding:
For over three-fourths (84%) of the students surveyed, the most difficult step of the course-related research process was getting started. Defining a topic (66%), narrowing it down (62%), and filtering through irrelevant results (61%) frequently hampered students in the sample, too. Follow-up interviews suggest students lacked the research acumen for framing an inquiry in the digital age where information abounds and intellectual discovery was paradoxically overwhelming for them.
Other interesting findings:
- Few students in the sample had used a growing number of Web 2.0 applications in the last six months for collaborating on course research assignments and/or managing research tasks.
- Most respondents used the same routines for completing one research assignment to the next; many techniques were learned in high school and ported to college.
The report, a 3 minute preview video, and a Library Journal review are all available at PIL's home page.
Thanks to Char Booth for this information