Friday, April 04, 2008

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

Evidence Based Library and Information Practice has just published its latest issue at
One of the main articles is: DeLuca et al's "Developing a Comprehensive Search Strategy for Evidence Based Systematic Reviews" and the evidence summaries include "Computer-Assisted Library Instruction and Face-to-Face Library Instruction Prove Equally Effective for Teaching Basic Library Skills in Academic Libraries" and "Too Few Articles in the Journal Literature on Instruction in Academic Libraries are Research-Based". The latter 2 items are providing critical summaries of research articles - these critical summaries are a very useful feature of the journal.

As an aside (looking at one of the titles), I would add the comment that the effectiveness of the face-to-face and computer-assisted teaching will depend on a whole set of variables such as the educational approach of the teacher, the nature of the learners, the ability of the teacher to use the medium (f2f or online) effectively and appropriately, and the context of the learning task. I find it a bit baffling that people are still trying to "prove" that one or other approach is "best" overall, although obviously it can be helpful to evaluate varying approaches in a specific context.

1 comment:

Kevin Moore said...

What confused me was that I don't know what they mean by "equally effective." Does that mean both methods are equally successful? Or that they both suck?

But I agree with you. There are so many individual variables - esp. teaching styles and learning styles, both in face to face and CAI - that it seems very hard to draw broad generalizations. I think librarians can get a lot from reading about these studies and adapting the research methodologies that best suit their institutional practices and objectives.