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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Beyond Google: How Do Students Conduct Academic Research?

Alison J. Head has published an interesting article
on First Monday about how students conduct academic
research in the age of Google. Head, who is the Roy and
Patricia Disney Visiting Professor of New Media in the
Communication Department at Saint Mary’s College of
California, makes the following recommendations based
on her research:

1. Research assignment handouts disseminated to students
should include details about expectations for conducting quality
research, including the use of the Internet.

2. Professors and librarians should recognize students’ needs
for individualized coaching, so that students’ abilities to find,
select, and evaluate resources may be improved.

3. Above all, the value of “high touch” interactions (human–mediated)
with students in addition to “high tech” interactions (computer–
mediated) should not be underestimated.