Students, Technology, and Research Skills

Todd Gilman, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, has an interesting article on the difference between computer literacy and research literacy, and what that means in terms of pedagogy. He suggests that there is often a disconnect for students between these two skill sets, and he suggests how we might address this: both in the classroom, and in library instruction sessions. One way? Integrate the library instruction session into the classroom with an assignment:

Reinforce the lesson with an assignment. Devise a for-credit assignment that echoes what you and the librarian have shown the students. It should emphasize key distinctions that they often forget, such as the need to search the online catalog for books but library databases for articles. You might also incorporate a component that challenges students to evaluate the quality of information they find, such as comparing the top results returned by a keyword search in Google with those returned in Academic Search Premier with the peer-reviewed box checked. Which results are more authoritative, and how can students tell?

Check out the article here.

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2 Comments

  1. This article should be required reading for all U.S. educators of all age and grade levels.

  2. The library gaming discussion sounds like fun, but I would caution any college campus about using such methods of socialization TOO often. One of the major secret problems on college campuses these days is problem gambling. While a student sponsored Vegas night is harmless and involves no actual cash wagers, such events may spur on those who are already susceptible to problem gambling to visit area casinos.

    This of course doesn’t include the accessibility of Super Bowl betting which are a mouse click and credit card number away. It’s important to remind students that it is necessary to temper fun and responsibility whether they are drinking, gambling, or engaging in other potentially addictive habits. It’s part of growing up away from home.

    Similarly, many students like to play games P2P which can also involve a cash transaction via a 3rd party site. This is not unlike pool hall hustling and an lead to bad habits, the least of which is ignoring the true intent of going to college: education.