Tuesday, October 09, 2012

George Kuh article for discussion in October

The article which the ACRL Student Retention Discussion Group has chosen for October is:
Kuh, G. and Gonyea, R.M. (2003) The Role of the Academic Library in Promoting Student Engagement in Learning. College and Research Libraries, 64(4), 256-282. http://crl.acrl.org/content/64/4/256.abstract
To join the discussion, go to http://connect.ala.org/node/189260
George Kuh is an influential figure in US Higher Education, and I think that this article is still worth reading (whether or not you decide to join in the debate!) The authors took data from the College Student Experiences Questionnaire and compared various sets of questions including the set of questions relating to library use, some key questions to do with satisfaction, and a set of questions which they selected as being a (sort of) match with ACRL standards.
The authors make some pertinent remarks about how important variables to do with previous academic achievement, ethnicity etc. are, when trying to link library use with academic success, something which some other studies gloss over.
The evidence does not support an easy correlation between academic excellence and library use, or library use and (the authors' measure of) information literacy. The final paragraph reads:
"The findings of this study indicate that it takes a whole campus to produce an information-literate college graduate. For this reason, librarians would do well to redouble their efforts to collaborate with faculty members, instructional development staff, and student affairs professionals in promoting the value of information literacy in various in-class and out-of-class activities and to provide students with as many opportunities as possible to evaluate the quality of the information they encounter, on and off the campus."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Autumn arriving, Sheffield, October 2012

No comments: