Friday, May 24, 2013

Recent articles - international students' information behaviour

- Alzougool, B. et al . (2013) "Finding Their Way around: International Students’ Use of Information Sources." Journal of Advanced Management Science, 1 (1), 43-49 doi: 10.12720/joams.1.1.43-49 (you have to register, but it is free. I got an error message in the middle, but found I had in fact been registered. This paper was written by academics in Australia: this and the third article do not come from library and information researchers, interestingly) "There has been some research on the information behaviour of international students that is related to their academic issues (e.g. coursework and patterns of library use). However, little research has explored other non-academic issues (e.g. access health services and accommodation) of international student everyday life. This paper therefore explores the sources of information that international students rely on for academic and everyday living as well as the patterns students use in accessing these information sources. By analyzing interview data from a series of 7 focus groups, this study shows that international students rely on a wide range of information sources and display different patterns in using these sources depending on the source type, origin and amount as well as the students’ education level. Some practical implications to effectively provide information to international students are suggested."
- He, D. et al.(2012) "Undergraduate students’ interaction with online information resources in their academic tasks: A comparative study." Aslib proceedings, 64 (6), 615-640. (One of the co-authors is Anna Fu, who was a Masters student here is Sheffield last academic year. The paper compare behaviour of USA and Chinese students) "This paper aims to identify the opinions of undergraduate students on the importance of internet-based information sources when they undertake academic tasks. Based on a set of identified typical academic tasks for undergraduate students, three research questions were designed around the students’ usage and views of information resources for completing these tasks. Web-accessible questionnaires were used to collect data from participants in two universities in the USA and China, and the data were analyzed using quantitative methods, which included several statistic methods. The results confirm that undergraduate students use different information resources for various academic tasks. In their tasks, online electronic resources including search engines are the most commonly used resources, particularly for complex academic tasks. Social networking sites are not used for the students’ individual academic tasks, and traditional resources still play equal or more important roles in certain specific academic tasks. Students in collaborative tasks look for resources that make it easy to share documents. Participants from the two countries also exhibit interesting and important differences in their usage of information resources."
- Thompson, C., Morton, J. and Storch, N. (2013) "Where from, who, why and how? A study of the use of sources by first year L2 university students." Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12, 99-109. "Knowing how to use sources effectively often poses considerable challenges for first year undergraduate students for whom English is a second language (L2). In this longitudinal case study we investigated the selection and self-reported use of source materials by thirteen first year L2 undergraduate students from a range of disciplines enrolled at a major Australian university. Our findings show that students at the beginning of their studies selected material from a wide range of sources but relied predominantly on Internet sources using Google as a search engine. The main criteria guiding students’selection of sources were authoritativeness, ease of understanding and relevance. By the end of the first year, not all students (notably those from Engineering, Science and Music)were able to report further on their use of sources, as they had not undertaken any independent research in the second half of the year. In contrast, students from Arts, who also tended to be more proficient L2 learners, continued to undertake research-based assignments and demonstrated an awareness of the role played by task type, argumentation and writer authority in their selection and use of sources. We conclude this paper by considering the implications of these findings for EAP pedagogy and future research" This is one of a set of articles about "source use in academic writing" by 2nd language students, in this issue:
Photo by Sheila webber: Fern in the bluebell wood, Sussex, may 2013

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