Wednesday, May 03, 2006

TLA Conference Notes: Day 2, Contributed Paper on Information Search Model

Title: "The 'Information Search Process' in Student Learning Teams."
Presenter: William B. Boatman, reference and instruction librarian, University of Houston-Clear Lake.

(For me, this is an interesting topic. Unfortunately, Mr. Boatman was not an engaging presenter with a slow pace and a bit of a monotone in the voice. While I do not like to criticize presenters, when you come across one that is not as good it just takes away from the experience. Additionally, I thought the presentation needed more on how to deal with students working in groups in the library. An audience member made a remark on these students at the Q&A at the end)

Students often work in teams. These teams can create challenges for the Information Search Process (ISP).

See Kuhlthau's work Seeking Meaning (2004) for the stages of the ISP. These include task initiation, topic selection, pre-focus exploration, focus formulation, information collection, search closure, and starting to write. Kuhlthau also notes behavioral attributes of the ISP.

There are various theories of teamwork. Note that professors often assign team tasks. Many of these assignments are problem-based.

Observation from an audience member: Students in a group often come to the library individually, and they then take the information they find back to the group. If the librarians realizes this, he/she can then ask what else the team is doing.

(The presenter did provide a list of references on a handout. As of this writing, it is not available online).

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