Project Information Literacy: What Can Be Learned About the Information-Seeking Behavior of Today's College Students?
Invited Paper, Association of College and Research Librarians Conference, Forthcoming
11 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2013
Date Written: April 10, 2013
Project Information Literacy (PIL) has conducted six studies since 2008 to investigate what it is like to be a college student in the digital age. Survey and interview data has been collected from more than 11,000 US college students to investigate how they find, evaluate, and use information for their course work and for addressing issues that arise in their everyday lives. This paper highlights findings from these studies. In particular, the students surveyed have reported having more difficulty with defining and narrowing research topics than with conducting searches for materials, and they use the same small set of information resources when conducting course-related and everyday life research. Taken together, findings from the six studies suggest these students use strategies driven by efficiency and predictability in order to manage and control the vast amount of information that is available to them. PIL’s typology is reviewed about the four information contexts undergraduates seek during their research processes.
Keywords: College students, information-seeking behavior, information literacy, college readiness, lifelong learning
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