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					       Information Seeking and
          Subject Access for
       Knowledge Construction

       Ross J. Todd
     Carol C. Kuhlthau
   School of Communication,
Information and Library Studies
Rutgers, the State University of
           New Jersey
       4 Huntington Street
 NEW BRUNSWICK NJ 08901
    rtodd@scils.rutgers.edu
  kuhlthau@scils.rutgers.edu
              CONTEXT:
Learning in an Information Age School

Transition from print to digital & web-based
information environments
Information environments in schools increasingly
complex and fluid
Shift from dependence on contained information
collections, textbooks and regurgitation of
information
How best classroom teachers and librarians can
provide an instructional climate and process that
foster the development of learners being able to
construct their own understanding from this
complex, information-rich environment.
                LEARNING
Active search for meaning and understanding by the
learner.
As a cumulative process of becoming informed
through study, instruction and experience, its
outcome is the gain of new knowledge, sills,
attitudes and values, and the transforming of prior
knowledge.
Active personal process of construction, fitting in
new information with what one already knows and
extending this knowledge to create new
perspectives.
      RESEARCH FOCUS

The relationship between information
seeking, the research process and learning,
and the essential and critical role that school
librarians can play in the teaching and
learning processes to make a real difference
to student learning outcomes
        RESEARCH GAPS
Limited evidence that shows the impact of an
effective school library on student learning
outcomes: Rhetoric vs Evidence
Limited understanding of how students in specific
curriculum areas learn from a variety of information
sources in the school library when undertaking an
inquiry project
Considerable range of learning dilemmas when
interacting with and using information from the
WWW
          OVERALL GOAL
To test, verify and refine measures to track, assess
and document student learning in school libraries;

To develop a Student Learning Impact Measurement
(SLIM) package for application in diverse classroom
contexts and school settings;

To develop training institutes for CISSL facilitate
implementation of the SLIM package.
          SPECIFIC FOCUS
To understand what happens in students’ minds as they
search for and make use of information to build their own
knowledge in electronic information environments
- to understand more fully the knowledge construction
process
- to identify patterns of subject access during the search
process
- to identify patterns of cognitive intents during the
search process

BENFITS
Instructional design that foster students’ interaction with
electronic and print resources in meaningful ways.
Identify some of the barriers and dilemmas that students
face when they engage in learning tasks that require
them to actively search for information in electronic
sources particularly on the Internet.
                         INFORMING FRAMEWORKS

Tasks            Initiation            Selection Exploration Formulation Collection Presentation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------→

Feelings uncertainly                     optimism           confusion              clarity                 sense of   satisfaction or
(affective)                                                 frustration                                    direction/ disappointment
                                             doubt                                                         confidence
Thoughts                        vague-------------------------------------→focused
(cognitive)                                                               -----------------------------------------------→
                                                                                 increased interest
Actions    seeking relevant information----------------------------→seeking pertinent information
(physical)   exploring                                                documenting




                      INFORMATION SEARCH PROCESS
     TODD: INFORMATION INTENTS
    Adolescents’ patterns of cognitive information
    utilization shows that they interact with information
    in different ways with their intention or objective
    changing during the information search process.

    Intents: get a complete picture, get a clearer picture,
    get a changed picture, get a verified picture, get a
    position in a picture.


        VAKKARI: UTILITY STUDIES
•   Usefulness of references
•   Contribution of references
•   Topicality and useful information types
•   Patterns of contribution of references in searches
     MAPPING KNOWLEDGE
        STRUCTURES
Graesser & Clark: Conceptual Graph
Structure.
Externalization of knowledge as sets of
expressions;
Empirical research has established its
functionally adequate approach to mapping
declarative knowledge;
Propositionally based: analysis of concepts
and relations expressed.
             SAMPLE
43 Grade 9 students at Gill St Bernards’
School, Gladstone NJ (21 girls, 22 boys)
Semester long course: “Research Project”
School librarian / teacher collaboration
Instructional Intervention: Understanding
Information Search Process, Web searching,
information analysis and note taking
2 phases of course: Instructional
intervention culminating in major oral
presentation (7 weeks); guided free-choice
research paper (7 weeks) within the theme:
“Celebration in Culture”
         DATA COLLECTION
1.   Written protocol at three key stages in the
     Information Search Process (Initiation,
     Formulation, Presentation)
2.   Structured search logs kept by each student
     during the progress of assignment
3.   Affective Domain statement and Next Task
     statement
4.   Product analysis at completion of the assignment
  WRITTEN PROTOCOLS
Free generation: to uncover respondents’ base
knowledge
- How they label their project
- Recording all that they know about their topic
- Why chosen topic
- Perception of how much they know about their
topic
- Aspects of research process that they will
enjoy most and least
 MEASURING CHANGE IN KNOWLEDGE
Number of concepts – isolated or embedded in
propositional statements
Number of propositional statements
Analysis of propositions:
- Properties: describes characteristics
- Manner: describe processes, styles, actions
- Reason: explanations of how and why
- Outcome: end result
- Causality: some event causally leads to another
- Set Membership: class inclusion
- Implication: source idea and end idea exist at same time
- Value judgment: personal position or viewpoint
Coherence and structural centrality:
- discrete ideas, unrelated
- some coherent structure, interrelatedness
- high level of coherence, structural centrality
STRUCTURED SEARCH LOGS
 List the words you used to look for information.
 (These are the words you put into the school library
 catalog, or a search engine on the WWW, or look up
 an index )
 Source used (give its citation)
 What were you hoping this information would enable
 you to do? For each source, write one or more of
 the numbers from the list below that match best
 what were you hoping this information would enable
 you to do? (Cognitive Intents)
 For each source, give it a rating of its usefulness to
 you in doing the topic: Very useful; Somewhat
 useful; Not useful at all. (Utility measure)
                 Cognitive intents:
What were you hoping this information would
                     enable you to do?
                                      work out if I should stick with my
find some new facts about my topic    ideas / viewpoint
get some background information       sort out some vague ideas I have
on my topic                           about the topic
develop my particular theme more      find some explanations for the ideas I
get more specific details about       have
facts I already know                  find some different viewpoints about
help me find some connections         the topic
between facts I already have          clarify things I didn’t fully understand
correct some ideas I know are         before
wrong                                 help me work out what my viewpoint
change my mind about some of my       is on the topic
ideas                                 help me form an opinion on the topic
help me find out if some ideas I      come to some conclusion about these
already have are right or wrong       ideas
help me feel stronger about some of   work out if I agree or disagree with
my ideas                              the ideas I have
see if some guesses I have made       find an argument to back up my ideas
are right
                                      other
AFFECTIVE DOMAIN AND TASK
        ANALYSIS
 Date
 Write one sentence about how you are
 feeling about your project
 My next task is:

 CODING: confident, disappointed,
 frustrated, relieved, confused,
 doubtful, optimistic, satisfied,
 uncertain, sure, other
SOME PRELIMINARY PATTERNS
 Increase in number of propositional statements
 Initial representations primarily property (is a), manner
 Final representations: reasons, outcomes, causality,
 implications, predictive, reflective (increased complexity)
 Higher levels of conceptual coherence and structural
 centrality
 Cognitive intents: From initiation to formulation : getting
 a bigger picture (building background) getting a changed
 picture (correcting misinformation); getting a verified
 picture (confirming existing ideas)
 From formulation to presentation: getting a bigger
 picture, getting a clearer picture, getting a position in a
 picture)

				
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posted:9/10/2011
language:English
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