(24 June 2015, Boston, Oxford) Credo has today shared the findings of two extensive surveys. The first surveyed 2,600 students on their thoughts and attitudes toward research, and the second questioned nearly 500 faculty members from American colleges and universities with regard to their students’ research skills, as well as information literacy instruction at their institution.
The findings highlighted gaps in the way both groups measure students’ research skills, in addition to differences in their views on teaching information literacy. For example, when asked about students’ ability to determine the authority of an information source, 54% of students described themselves as “confident” or “very confident,” compared to just 16% of faculty. When naming the best method for learning research skills, students valued online tutorials and videos on-demand over two times more than faculty.
When asked how a lack of student research skills impacted their work as instructors, faculty cited the significant time lost assisting students with basic research help, with many adding that poorly researched papers take longer to grade. Faculty also expressed frustration at losing class time that could otherwise be spent delving further into core instructional activities.
“This survey adds to the growing data illustrating the gaps in students’ information skills, particularly those considered critical for graduates entering today’s workforce,” said Credo CEO Mike Sweet. “The findings also provide a foundation for moving forward with institutional solutions as we better understand the differences in perspectives between students and faculty.”
Librarians who attended a breakfast with Credo at the ACRL conference in March discussed these findings and have already begun thinking of ways to use this information on their campuses. In considering the lack of students’ awareness of their research shortcomings, one librarian suggested that libraries should market outreach to students as “life hacks” rather than instruction, to increase buy-in.
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