Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Navigating 'Yer Success

Information Navigation 101

In this article, Andrea Foster discusses information (il)literacy, specifically among college students. She believes that the current young-adult generation is not as tech-savy as previously thought. Foster explains how college research has largely been limited to search engines such as Google and that students simply do not know where scholarly information is or how it can be found.

Foster then goes into details on how universities like the California State University at Fullerton are taking initiative to eliminate information illiteracy across the student body. They are doing different things such as requiring students to take an Information Literacy course, using tests to gauge their level a info literacy, or having professors bring students into the library or a computer and having a librarian show them the 'information' ropes.


Obviously information literacy is an important skill for students to learn; and what Cal State Fullerton is doing is great. I disagree with the idea that students do not do scholarly research because they are not aware how to even begin with such a task. Instead, I agree with the sentiment that search engines like Google are just so easy and convenient. For example, I understand perfectly how to locate an article through the library's website for my LIB 103 class; however, I first do a Google search to make sure that same article is not more easily available. It is easier for me to go to Google, type in the article title and author and have it show up at the top of the page; rather than going to UNCW's main page, clicking on the library link, and searching to see if we have the full text online or in the library.

The process for finding scholarly information is considerably lengthier than using a search engine. Of course, the desired article is not always readily available through Google searches; but it is worth the try if it is there half the time.

The problem is not getting students to be information literate; the problem is making the information easier to access
“Information Navigation 101" Andrea L. Foster - Chronicle of Higher Education 3/9/2007


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