We recently surveyed hundreds of faculty members across the country to gain a better understanding of how they perceive students’ information literacy skills. More than 200 faculty responded to an open-ended question about what impact poor student information literacy skills had on their work. Almost two-thirds reported time lost addressing this gap and preparing information literacy materials, and five percent stated that it affected their decision on whether or not to assign research projects.
“What students don't know, I feel it is my obligation to teach them. HOWEVER, that becomes problematic when so many other concepts and topics need to be covered within a semester course.”
61% of respondents said they had to spend their already limited time either teaching basic concepts or preparing lessons and materials to help them learn the basics of good research.
“Grading a sheaf of poor papers takes a lot of time if you want to provide quality feedback. Time is in short supply for your average professor.”
15% of those surveyed remarked that poorly written papers take longer to grade.
More One-on-One Time
“The instructor may have to stay later than normal, or work with the student one on one.”
13% noted the extra time spent proofreading student essays and working with students one-on-one.
Finding Sources for Students
“It takes away the thrill of seeing someone actually finding something new.”
10% help students find the sources for their research assignments, rather than trust them to locate relevant scholarly information on their own.
“Having to constantly flag plagiarism is a nightmare.”
7% of respondents noted emotional drain of citing students for plagiarism.
Assigning Fewer/Smaller Projects
“I am frequently hesitant to assign research projects because of the tremendous workload on myself.”
5% of faculty admitted to either altering the type of research assignment, or to not assigning a research project altogether due to poor student information literacy skills.
Image Credit: University of Washington, via National Science Foundation website: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_images.jsp?cntn_id=131403&org=NSF