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					                                                                           Kelly M. Gordon
                                                                                 LIBR 285
                                                                              May 16, 2008



                  A comparison of instruction in chat and

                       in-person reference interactions


Abstract: Reference interactions provide opportunities to deliver point-of-need

instruction to patrons in the skills needed to be competent and critical users of

information. As chat becomes more widely adopted as a mode of providing reference in

academic libraries, it has been increasingly recognized that chat can be a viable way of

delivering instruction during the reference interaction. However, this author is aware of

no studies that compare how reference providers take advantage of the “teaching

moment” in chat and in-person reference. Using unobtrusive methodology, and the

ACRL Information Literacy Competency standards and the Approaches to Teaching

Inventory as frameworks, the proposed study will address the following questions: 1.)

Does instruction occur equally frequently in chat and in-person reference modes? 2.)

Are there differences between chat and in-person reference with regards to the delivery of

instruction that supports information literacy standards and “deep learning” behaviors in

patrons?
Background and context

       It has long been recognized that reference interactions provide opportunities to

deliver point-of-need instruction to patrons in the skills needed to be competent and

critical users of information. Instruction that occurs during the reference interaction may

be even more pertinent and useful than classroom bibliographic instruction, because 1) it

is delivered at the time the user needs it, and thus can be immediately applied, 2) it is

actively sought by the user, and thus is an example of self-directed rather than passive

learning, and 3) the level and content of instruction can be tailored to the need of the user.

       In academic libraries, in-person reference and chat reference can both be

important tools in the teaching of information literacy skills; however, there have been

few direct comparisons of instruction offered in each mode of reference. Fennewald

(2006) found that 72% of chat questions were classified as “reference” (as opposed to

directional, policy, or troubleshooting) questions, compared to only 38% of in-person

questions. This may lead one to predict that chat reference will yield a higher proportion

of questions that provide opportunities for “teachable moments”. Of more interest is

whether there are differences in the ways that librarians engage with these teachable

moments in chat and in-person reference interactions. For instance, Ellis (2004) predicts

that librarians working in chat environments may not provide as much detailed

information about complex information literacy skills such as the evaluation of

information sources, because of the awkwardness of conveying detailed information in

the chat medium. However, it may be that the use of co-browsing technology, for

instance, actually facilitates instruction related to information seeking in electronic

environments.
       Investigation into the dynamics of instruction delivery in chat and in-person

reference environments may provide valuable insights into how instruction is delivered,

and how both in-person and chat reference services may be improved to more fully take

advantage of the opportunities of point-of-need instruction. Additionally, the research

proposed here may provide insight into ongoing questions about whether chat reference is

as effective as in-person reference for the delivery of point-of-need instruction.


Statement of research problem

       The growing popularity of chat reference in recent years has prompted a great

deal of investigation into the effectiveness of this medium as an alternative means of

delivering reference service. The ability to preserve an exact written record of chat

reference interactions without introducing observer biases has facilitated numerous

studies of multiple dimensions of chat reference, including studies of instruction in chat

reference. However, few studies have attempted direct comparisons between chat and in-

person reference, perhaps because of the continuing difficulty of unobtrusively observing

in-person reference interactions.

       I propose to conduct a study that directly compares instruction delivered via in-

person and chat reference services in academic libraries. I‟m interested in addressing the

following questions:

1.) Does instruction occur equally frequently in chat and in-person reference modes?
2.) Are there differences between chat and in-person reference with regards to the

delivery of instruction that supports information literacy standards and “deep learning”

behaviors in patrons?


Literature Review

Instruction in reference interactions

       Although numerous studies attempt to evaluate some aspect of instruction in

reference, few compare differences in instruction between chat and in-person reference

services, and few attempt to address the efficacy of reference instruction in teaching

information literacy and critical thinking skills. To this author‟s knowledge none

combine these questions by examining the whether the delivery mode of reference (i.e.

whether the interaction occurs virtually or in-person) affects the promotion of

information literacy and critical thinking skills during reference interactions. However,

the importance of promoting information literacy standards and critical thinking skills

during reference interactions is widely recognized in the literature. Beck and Turner

(2001) note that, because students tend to be more receptive to learning new skills at the

time that they are needed, reference interactions provide the ideal opportunity to impart

research techniques. Several studies (Beck & Turner, 2001; Elmborg, 2002; McCutcheon

& Lambert, 2001; Woodard & Arp, 2005) offer advice to librarians about how to best

take advantage of the teaching moment during reference interactions. All of these studies

stress the importance of utilizing teaching techniques that encourage active learning,

critical thinking, and problem solving on the part of the student. Beck and Turner (2001)

note that “in the process of conducting reference, we also want to be coaching students in

applying problem-solving methods of library research.” McCutcheon and Lambert
(2001) encourage librarians to promote the goals of information literacy at the reference

desk. Elmborg (2002) observes that librarians need to unlearn the habit of answering

questions, and learn to ask them instead, to foster students‟ abilities to answer their own

questions.

       Fennewald (2006) compares the types of questions received by chat and in-person

reference services at Penn State University and finds that 72% of questions received by

the chat service are “Reference” (as opposed to directional, troubleshooting, or other

types) questions, in contrast to 38% of the questions received by the in-person service.

This may imply that a higher percentage of chat reference interactions are likely to

contain opportunities for the delivery of instruction. Johnston (2003) found that 60% of

chat reference interactions occurring via the University of New Brunswick‟s LIVE virtual

reference service contain some form of instruction, and that general reference and subject

specific questions were both the most frequently received types of questions and the

interactions that most frequently involved instruction.

       Graves and Desai (2006) examine the frequency with which various instructional

strategies are employed during chat reference interactions with and without a co-browse

feature and find that resource suggestion was the most common instructional strategy

used in co-browse environments, whereas leading was most typically employed when

relying on chat only. However, the authors speculate that this phenomenon may have had

more to do with librarians‟ discomfort with co-browse software than with any inherent

property of either reference mode. Ward (2004) used unobtrusive methodology to pose

questions to a chat reference service at the University of Illinois in order to assess the

“completeness” of interactions. He developed four criteria to measure completeness, two
of which (recommendation of a specific database and suggestion of key words and/or

search tips) he classified as “instructional” criteria, and found that 79% of the interactions

included both of these instructional criteria.

Standards-based reference instruction assessment

       The ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards (2008) and the

Eisenberg- Berkowitz Information Problem-Solving model have both formed the basis

for assessments of whether, and how, instruction during the reference interaction

promotes information seeking skills. Cottrell and Eisenberg (2001) assess in-person

reference interactions to determine what phase(s) of the information problem-solving

process is/are represented; they find that the location and access phase is by far the most

commonly addressed, whereas the task definition phase is a distant second. However,

Smyth (2003), in her comparison the usefulness of three different frameworks for

reference interaction evaluation, indicates that the Eisenberg-Berkowitz model is of

limited use because of the difficulty of determining how the patron is progressing through

the research process. She notes that the use of ACRL standards as a framework provides

interesting insights into which standards are rarely addressed during chat interactions.

Ellis (2004) coded 138 chat transcripts to determine which of the standards are most

frequently taught during virtual reference interactions. She found that the second

standard (dealing with information access) was most commonly taught, appearing in 62%

of the interactions examined, whereas the first standard (dealing with the nature and

extent of the information need) was second, appearing in 22% of the interactions

examined. Ellis also found, surprisingly, that none of the transcripts examined dealt with

the third standard, the evaluation of information sources; she speculates that this may be
due to the fact that instruction surrounding source evaluation is likely to be lengthy and

involved, and perhaps difficult to convey in a chat reference interaction.

Approaches to teaching

       Theory on teaching and learning approaches can provide a conceptual framework

upon which to base an assessment of instruction efforts during reference interactions. In

particular, Trigwell and Prosser‟s (2004) conceptual framework is both applicable and

appealingly simple. They propose a hierarchy of approaches to teaching, developed from

a qualitative study of teachers of first-year science at the college level. Approach A, at

the lowest level of the hierarchy, is a teacher-focused approach with the intention of

imparting a specific body of information. The prior knowledge of students is not

relevant, and it is assumed that the students will learn passively in this approach.

Approach E, at the highest level of the hierarchy, is a student-centered approach. The

intention is to create a conceptual change in students, with students constructing their

own knowledge. Students learn actively and integrate new worldviews with their already

existing knowledge. Approaches B-D represent intermediate stages between these two

extremes.

       The approaches can be roughly broken down into four different intentions (or

teacher ideas about student outcomes) interacting with three different strategies . Teacher

intentions include information transmission, concept acquisition, conceptual

development, and conceptual change. Strategies include teacher-focused, student/teacher

interaction, and student-focused approaches. Thus, Approach A is represented by the

intersection between the teacher-focused strategy and the intention of information

transmission. Approach E is at the intersection between student focused strategy and
conceptual change. These two extremes define a continuum between an Information

Transmission/ Teacher-focused approach and a Conceptual Change/ Student-focused

approach. Trigwell and Prosser (2004) emphasize that an individual teacher may use

elements of any of the approaches in different contexts; the approaches are meant to

typify teachers‟ approaches to particular teaching tasks.

       Multiple studies have identified a relationship between teaching approaches and

learning approaches. The Approaches to Teaching Inventory (ATI) is an index that

quantifies a teacher‟s position along the continuum described above with regards to a

particular teaching task. A corresponding Approaches to Learning Inventory quantifies a

student‟s position along a “surface learning” to “deep learning” continuum in regards to a

particular learning task. Trigwell , Prosser and Waterhouse (1999) found that students in

classes with teachers who scored high on the ATI tended to take more of a deep learning

approach. And, Gibbs and Coffey (2004) found that teachers displayed increases in their

ATI scores after a year-long training course when compared to their initial ATI scores.

Moreover, students of these teachers displayed increases in their learning inventory

scores over time.


Problem formulation

       Through this research I seek to determine whether differences exist in instruction

delivery between chat and in-person reference. My first question is, are there differences

in the frequency of instruction between these two modes of reference? I will address this

question by quantifying instances of instruction in reference interactions. My second

question is, are there differences between the two modes in the degree to which

instruction promotes information literacy skills and “deep learning”? This question has
two parts. The first is an evaluation of the degree to which the ACRL Information

Literacy Competency Standards (2008) are promoted in the two types of reference

interactions. The second involves analyzing teaching approaches demonstrated during

reference interactions, based upon the framework of the Approaches to Teaching

Inventory described above (Trigwell & Prosser, 2004).

       The unit of analysis for the first question will be one reference interaction, but in

the second question the unit of analysis shifts to individual teaching behaviors. The

independent variable for all questions is the mode of reference; chat reference

interactions will be compared to in-person reference interactions for the first question,

and chat reference behaviors will be compared to in-person reference behaviors for the

second question. The first question examines the relationship between the mode of

reference and whether or not instruction occurs during a given interaction. The second

question will address whether the mode of reference impacts how frequently teaching

behaviors are exhibited that support each of the five ACRL standards. Additionally, the

second question will address whether the mode of reference impacts the teaching

approaches exhibited by the reference provider.

       In order to determine whether instruction has occurred during a given interaction,

it‟s important to generate a working definition. For the purposes of this study, instruction

includes any communication on the part of the reference provider that appears to be

intended to impart understanding of some aspect of the retrieval, use, or evaluation of

information. To assess whether instruction has occurred that supports one of the five

ACRL standards, a set of example behaviors have been developed to assist with coding

transcripts of the reference interactions. These example behaviors are shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Example instruction behaviors associated with ACRL standards 1-5

ACRL standard                                 Example behavior
1. …determin(ing) the nature and              Working through whether books or
extent of the information needed.             journal articles are more appropriate
2. … access(ing) needed information           Using online catalog, database, print
effectively and efficiently.                  reference source
3. … evaluat(ing) information and its
                                              Evaluating quality of web pages
sources critically...
                                              Discussion of research process or
4. … us(ing) information effectively
                                              analyzing, synthesizing info for
to accomplish a specific purpose
                                              assignment
5. … understand(ing) many of the
economic, legal, and social issues
surrounding the use of information and        Discussion of plagiarism, explanation of
access(ing) and us(ing) information           access issues for library
ethically and legally



Other teaching behaviors that are encountered as the transcripts are coded will be

evaluated to determine whether they support any of the five ACRL standards, and will be

counted as well.

       As described in the literature review, the Approaches to Teaching Inventory

(Trigwell & Prosser, 2004) examines teacher approaches to a given instructional task

along two continuums, information transmission – conceptual change and teacher-

oriented – student oriented. Teaching behaviors that occur during reference interactions

will be evaluated in light of these approaches; therefore, here I operationalize how these

concepts might be manifested as teaching behaviors. An information transmission

behavior is any instructional activity that appears to be intended to transfer simple

information from the reference provider to the patron. A conceptual change behavior is

any instructional activity that appears to be intended to bring about a change in the way

the patron understands a concept or process; i.e. a change in the patron‟s “worldview”
about information. A teacher-oriented behavior is any behavior in which the teacher

takes the active role; whereas a student-oriented behavior is any behavior in which the

student (in this case, the patron) takes the active role. Example behaviors for each of

these categories are shown in Table 2.



Table 2. Example behaviors associated with Approaches to Teaching categories

Approach to teaching                          Example behavior
                                              An explanation of what the online catalog
Information transmission
                                              is used for.
Conceptual change                             Eliciting ideas about the research process
Teacher-oriented                              A demonstration of an article database
                                              Guiding the patron as she searches the
Student-oriented
                                              online catalog


The following null hypotheses will be tested by this research:

H0a. No significant difference exists in the frequency of instruction between chat and in-

person reference interactions.

H0b. No significant difference exists in the frequency with which each ACRL info lit

standard is addressed between chat and in person reference modes.

H0c. No significant difference exists in the frequency with which each teaching

approach is exhibited between chat and in person reference modes.


Methodology

Reference environments

       The ten university libraries in the University of California system participate in a

cooperative “Ask a UC Librarian” program that provides chat reference services.
Although anyone can log on and ask a question, the program is primarily intended for use

by UC students, faculty, and staff. The chat service is staffed by librarians from each of

the ten participating schools, and uses QuestionPoint 24/7 software as a platform.

       In order to create a directly comparable pool of reference interactions, in-person

reference interactions will be conducted at the reference desks of main and branch

libraries of each of the ten UC schools that participate in the “Ask a UC Librarian”

program.

       I will conduct all of the reference interactions myself to avoid the difficulties

involved in recruiting and training proxies and insuring consistent data collection. Since

it would be difficult for me as an individual to appear at a reference desk forty times with

forty different questions over a short time span without compromising my anonymity, I

felt that focusing the study on the entire UC system would help to circumvent this

difficulty. Additionally, since many chat reference services run by individual universities

receive relatively few queries, there‟s a risk of “swamping” a smaller service if forty

questions are submitted over a relatively brief period of time. Disadvantages of

collecting data from the UC system include the need to find time and money to travel to

each school, and the necessity of enlisting the support of each library in the system before

beginning the research.



Procedure

       The data collected in this study will be transcripts from two sets (in- person or

chat) of reference interactions, between University of California reference providers and

an observer (myself) who will pose as a patron of the library. A list of forty questions
will be created, and each of these questions will be asked both via chat and in person, for

a total sample of eighty reference interactions. The forty in-person questions will be

distributed equally amongst the 10 different UC schools, with four questions randomly

assigned to each school. Hubbertz (2005) notes that most unobtrusive evaluations of

reference services are flawed by the fact that different questions are posed to each

treatment group, which may mean that variations in the questions themselves may

introduce biases in the data. Although different questions will be asked at each of the in-

person reference services at the 10 different UC schools, the overall set of questions

posed to in person and chat reference librarians will be identical. Since differences

between UC schools are not being examined, this design will not introduce bias into the

sample.

       In an effort to avoid oversampling of a particular chat reference librarian, chat

reference questions will be spread evenly throughout the open hours of the service. Since

most librarians only participate in the service for 1-2 hours per week, this will hopefully

prevent one librarian handling multiple questions. Similarly, in-person questions at each

of the UC schools will either be posed at different subject specialty libraries within the

school, or at different times to ensure that different librarians are staffing the reference

desk. This measure will also, hopefully, help to preserve the anonymity of the observer.

       If possible, permission will be obtained to record the in-person interactions. The

recordings of these interactions will be transcribed. Transcripts of the chat interactions

will be saved by the observer. To supplement the transcripts, immediately after the

interactions the observer will make notes about pertinent activities and events that may

have occurred during the interaction but that weren‟t captured in the recording. For
instance, if the reference provider has the observer move to a terminal and navigate

through an online resource, this will be noted.

         To ensure that kinks in data collection are ironed out before data is collected, the

observer will conduct ten practice reference interactions, five in person and five via chat.

In order to avoid contamination of the system under study, these practice interactions will

be conducted at San Jose State‟s King Library, and using San Jose State‟s AskNow chat

reference service, which also uses QuestionPoint software.



Questions

         The questions used in this study will be specifically formulated to contain

teaching opportunities. Ready-reference, directional, and policy questions will be

avoided; instead, the questions will all fall into the “strategy” or “extended” types of

reference questions, as classified by Fennewald (2006). Questions will be devised by

informally surveying librarians for examples of “real-world” reference questions that

they‟ve dealt with that have contained an instructional component. Excessively

complicated, obscure, or specialized questions will be avoided, as these questions may

result in a referral or a request (from chat librarians) that the patron ask the question in

person. Ten back-up questions will be prepared in case a question does result in a

referral.

         Since some questions will predispose themselves to particular instructional tasks,

an attempt will be made to select questions that require the use of a variety of information

resources, so that comparisons can be made on the basis of multiple types of instructional

tasks.
Data collection and analysis

       Data will be collected during the Fall 2008 semester. Practice interactions will be

conducted in September 2008, and actual interactions will be conducted during October –

November 2008. No interactions will be conducted during Thanksgiving or Fall breaks,

in an attempt to maintain some consistency in the level of busyness experienced by the

reference services when the questions are posed. Both in person and chat interactions

will be evenly distributed across all open hours for each service, insofar as this is

possible.

       The observer will record the time and date that each interaction takes place, the

university by which the librarian is employed, and whether the interaction is live or chat.

The observer will also record the length of the interaction and whether it was terminated

due to a referral, technical difficulties, or other reason. Interactions that are prematurely

terminated by technical difficulties will be re-attempted. Interactions that result in a

referral will be discarded, and that question will be removed from both the chat and in-

person dataset and a new question introduced from the back-up pool.

       Once these basic data have been recorded for each interaction, the transcripts will

be coded according to the scheme described in the “Problem formulation” section of this

proposal. Coding will be carried out by the observer and two assistants. The assistants

will be familiarized with the ACRL information literacy competency standards and the

Approaches to Teaching inventory, but will not be made aware of the central purpose of

the study; the comparison between in-person and chat reference interactions, to help

minimize bias in coding. The observer and assistants will code the practice interactions
collected from San Jose State together, in an effort to standardize coding practices and

resolve questions and points of confusion. Then, both the observer and the assistants will

separately code all eighty of the reference interaction transcripts according to the

following protocol, resulting in three separate coding sets. First, each interaction will be

evaluated to determine whether or not instruction occurred. If instruction did occur, one

or more teaching behaviors will be identified within the transcript. These teaching

behaviors will be flagged and evaluated based on the following three questions:

       1. Does this behavior support any of the ACRL‟s information literacy standards?

           If so, which one(s)?

       2. Does this behavior typify an information transmission or a conceptual change

           teaching approach, or neither of the two?

       3. Does this behavior typify a teacher-focused or a student-focused teaching

           approach, or neither of the two?

The three coding sets will be compared in order to achieve consensus on a) what is coded

as a teaching behavior and b)how that teaching behavior is coded according to the three

questions, above. If two or three coders agree on a given code, it will be accepted. If

there is no agreement between code sets for a given code, the coders will discuss the code

until a consensus is reached. If no consensus is reached, that datum will be discarded

from the study.

       Analyses of the data collected will be primarily descriptive, since most of the

variables under examination for this study are nominal. For the first research question,

the number of interactions that contained instruction will be compared between chat and

in-person interactions. A chi-square analysis will be conducted to determine whether or
not differences in frequency of instruction between the two sample groups are significant.

For the research question regarding ACRL standards, two types of comparisons will be

made for each of the five standards. One will compare the percentage of total teaching

behaviors that support a particular standard for chat and in-person reference. The other

analysis will compare the number of teaching behaviors that support a particular

standard, between chat and in-person reference. The research question regarding

teaching approaches will be examined similarly, with each of the four teaching approach

categories being analyzed separately.


Anticipated Results


       Keeping in mind that any predictions I make are purely speculation that may or

may not be borne out by the data, I expect that the differences in frequency of instruction

between chat and in-person reference will be minimal. There is solid support in the

literature for the notion that chat can be an effective tool for delivering instruction during

reference interactions (Graves & Desai, 2006; Ward, 2004; Woodard & Arp, 2005), and

chat reference has been a mode of reference delivery for enough years now that I believe

most reference providers who practice it are familiar with the notion of providing

instruction via chat. It‟s possible that staff just coming to the chat environment may not

be comfortable with this technique, but new reference staff offering in-person reference

may not have developed their reference skills enough to be comfortable with offering

instruction, as well. Another factor that may come into play is that the Ask-a-UC-

Librarian service is less likely to be staffed by paraprofessionals than the in-person

reference services.
       Based upon Ellis‟ (2004) findings, I expect that ACRL‟s standard 2, regarding

accessing information resources, will be by far the most frequently supported in both

reference environments. Further, I expect that ACRL‟s standard 3, regarding the

evaluation of information resources, will be supported more frequently during in-person

reference interactions than chat reference interactions. Ellis found that no instruction

occurred surrounding evaluation of resources in the chat transcripts that she analyzed, but

in-person interactions may lend themselves to the more involved explanations that

accompany discussions of resource evaluation.

       I suspect that concept-changing and student-oriented teaching approaches will be

uncommon in both chat and in-person interactions. Though there have been calls in the

literature for teaching approaches that involve asking questions rather than giving

answers (Elmborg, 2002) and allowing patrons to take the lead when navigating online

resources (Woodard & Arp, 2005), based on my limited personal experience this advice

seems seldom heeded in the “real world” of reference. It may be that student-oriented

teaching approaches are more common during in-person reference interactions, because

of the possibility of accompanying students to computer terminals, the stacks, or other

physical resources in the library, and allowing them to try information seeking activities

for themselves. However, the co-browse feature in QuestionPoint allows patrons to

navigate through webpages, so it‟s possible that some reference providers may ask

patrons to take the reins during a chat reference interaction.

       I hope that the results of this research will elucidate some key questions that still

surface in discussions of instruction in chat and in-person reference interactions. First, I

hope that some light will be shed on the continuing debate regarding the adequacy of chat
as a tool for the provision of reference services. Although chat has been widely adopted

in academic libraries as a reference tool, and although many assessments of the use of

chat in providing instruction in reference interactions have been published in the

literature, it is still common to hear reference providers express skepticism about the

usefulness of chat reference. Given that there are so few direct comparisons of chat and

in-person reference in the literature, a study like this could provide considerable insight

into this issue. I hope, as well, that the data collected about ACRL standards and

teaching approaches will provide some food for thought for reference providers as to how

teaching goals that promote information literacy and “deep learning” might be met.


Study limitations and suggestions for further study

       Because this study uses unobtrusive methodology, the reference interaction

transcripts that are collected will be of “staged” rather than “real world” interactions.

Although every attempt will be made to create questions that are representative of those

that might typically be asked of the UC systems reference service, the fact that the

interactions are carried out by an observer rather than a student might influence their

content. For instance, the observer may be more likely to engage in behaviors that elicit

instruction from the reference provider, being more aware than the average patron of the

types of instruction that can be given during a reference interaction.

       Results from this study will be indicative of the chat and in-person reference

environments in the UC system. The way in which reference is provided by these

services may be influenced by the system‟s institutional culture; therefore, although I

believe the results will be informative, they may not be applicable to other academic
libraries. The chat reference interactions will take place via QuestionPoint, making it

difficult to generalize results to other chat reference services.

        Transcripts of the reference interactions will capture spoken or typed words, but

won‟t capture activities such as navigating through online resources or going to the stacks

or the reference collection to consult printed material. The data collection protocol

specifies that the observer will take notes of these activities, which will help to fill in the

gaps, but the notes inevitably will not be as detailed and precise a source of data as the

transcripts will be.

        The dataset that will be collected for this study has the potential to be a rich

source for qualitative analyses. It would be very interesting to explore the dataset using a

grounded theory approach, to see what sorts of patterns not captured by the analyses

described here might emerge. Since each question will be posed twice, once to a chat and

once to an in-person reference service, these paired transcripts could be examined and

compared, perhaps using a cross-case study method.

        Future work could also explore differences in instruction in reference interactions

involving real patrons, perhaps by positioning an observer near the reference desk to take

extensive notes during in-person reference interactions, and then following a similar

protocol to take notes from chat transcripts. Such a study would require obtaining

permission from patrons of both chat and in-person reference services after the reference

interaction occurred, but this might be an opportunity to gather patron data to see, for

instance, if there are differences in instruction delivered to underclassmen,

upperclassmen, graduate students, faculty, members of the public, et cetera.
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