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Information Literacy: Teaching & Learning: Project Information Literacy

Findings from a Recent Report

Skills Adapted from College

Here are some of the findings that relate to "Inquiry":

  • “As a whole, graduates prided themselves on their ability to search, evaluate, and present information, skills they honed during college.  Yet, far fewer said that their college experience had helped them develop the critical thinking skill of framing and asking questions of their own, which is a skill they inevitably needed in their post-college lives.” (from the Abstract)
  • “A large majority of the graduates believed they had transferred information skills from college for interpreting and applying search results (76%) and reflecting on the ways they learned best (74%).  Yet far fewer – less than a third (27%) – agreed that college had helped them develop the ability to formulate and ask questions of their own.”  (page 5)
  • “Two significant trends emerged from the indices.  First, three-quarters of the respondents, on average, believed that their college experiences had taught them information competencies they could adapt and apply in their lives today.  These competencies were essential to the continued learning process from searching and interpreting to applying and self-assessing their own learning styles.  While these findings bode well for preparing students to be lifelong learners after graduation, the second major finding from this analysis does not.  That is, very few graduates in our sample – slightly more than one in four respondents – believed that college had helped them develop the ability to frame and ask questions of their own.  As such, these finding suggest that graduates in our sample left college fairly accomplished at answering other people’s questions – but were not very experienced with formulating their own questions.  (pages 47-48)
  • “We found, on average, three-quarters of the sample believed that their college experience had taught them information competencies, such as searching, evaluating, and presenting, and that they had adapted and applied in their post-college lives.  Yet, what was most telling is that far fewer said they had developed the ability of framing and asking their own questions about topics as independent learners.  Many acknowledged they had needed to develop the skill of asking their own questions once they entered the workplace after graduation and began their careers.  (page 60)


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