Computer-literate, maybe...Research-literate, unlikely

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an interesting article in the Chronicle:

Not Enough Time in the Library by Todd Gilman

*"While college students may be computer-literate, they are not, as a rule, research-literate. And there's a huge difference between the two."

*"Students do not come to college armed with those skills, nor are they likely to be acquired without guidance. Yet students desperately need such skills if they hope to function effectively in our information-driven economy. As Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams opine in The Craft of Research: The "vast majority of students will have careers in which, if they do not do their own research, they will have to evaluate and depend on the research of others. We know of no way to prepare for that responsibility better than to do research of one's own." "

*"Faculty members in Yale's English department clearly recognize the growing importance of research education: They have just agreed to increase fivefold the number of undergraduates who will attend library sessions as an integral part of their introductory writing and literature courses (from 350 to roughly 1,900)."

*Reinforce the lesson with an assignment. Devise a for-credit assignment that echoes what you and the librarian have shown the students....You might also incorporate a component that challenges students to evaluate the quality of information they find, such as comparing the top results returned by a keyword search in Google with those returned in Academic Search Premier with the peer-reviewed box checked. Which results are more authoritative, and how can students tell?"

What do you think?

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