I am very pleased to let you know that Project Information Literacy (PIL) released the findings report today that culminated from our investigation:Learning the Ropes: How Freshmen Conduct Course Research Once They Enter College,” Alison J. Head, Project Information Literacy Research Report, December 4, 2013.
In this study, we investigate the challenges today’s freshmen face, and the information-seeking strategies they develop, use, and adapt as they make the transition from high school to college and begin to complete college research assignments. Included are data from a comparative analysis of library resources in 30 US high schools and 6 colleges and universities; interviews with 35 first-term freshmen from 6 colleges and universities, and an online survey with 1,941 US high school and college student respondents.
We found a striking disparity between the Google-centric search skills that many first-term freshmen brought with them from high school and the competencies they needed to meet the far higher research expectations in college. Moreover, we found freshmen we studied had gaping holes in their understanding of how libraries—and the vast array of digital resources academic libraries provided—could best meet their needs, especially when it came to sifting out the trusted information they wanted.
How do today’s freshmen make the critical transition from high school to college? What challenges do they face with finding and using information on their new campus? This PIL research preview highlights key findings from the 2013 PIL Freshmen Study, based on interviews with 35 freshmen from six U.S. colleges and universities. (No permission required for use of PIL videos.)
David Conley is a policy analyst and professor of educational policy and leadership at the University of Oregon. We interviewed David in October 2013, asking him what it means to be college ready today. We also discussed how he thinks students can acquire the research skills they will need to succeed in college and in their careers.
I hope you find our new releases useful, helpful, and of value. All of our publications and videos are open access and we encourage you to share them with colleagues and your students.
I appreciate the interest in you have in the research we conduct at PIL!