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Title: What do they know? What do they think they know?: International Students and Research Skills
Authors: Houlihan, Meggan
Lindsay, Beth Daniel
Keywords: international students, research skills, mixed-methods study, focus groups, skills quiz
Issue Date: 4-Apr-2018
Abstract: As the scholarly output on international students and academic libraries continues to flourish, there is an increasing demand for evidence-based scholarship on how to best serve and teach this population (Click et al., 2016; Peters, 2010). Much recent scholarship has highlighted specific lesson plans and active learning activities, such as experimenting with the flipped classroom approach to better instruct international students (Hughes et al., 2016). While these studies are vital to better understanding how to teach and serve diverse student bodies, it also important to consider how tiered library instruction programs can impact international students’ learning, research skills, and overall library experience. This exploratory study seeks to measure the research skill level of international students at a diverse institution and gain a better understanding of their experience with library instruction, in order to make evidence-based programmatic changes that encourage student learning and skill building. Librarians at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) designed a mixed-method study that measured international students research skills, based on academic year, while also gathering qualitative data about their experiences with library instruction, research assignments, and prior library experience. A skills-based survey consisting of twenty questions related to locating, evaluating, and using information ethically, was completed by 58 undergraduate students from all academic years and majors. Within that set of students, 14 students participated in focus groups. Grounded theory was used to code the focus group transcripts. The results of the study showed that international students, like many national students, have trouble understanding primary sources, subject headings, and more higher-level information literacy skills. Students who were impacted by university-wide library instruction initiatives had a better understanding of the research process and generally felt more comfortable with research assignment than those students who did not participate in a tiered library instruction program. Further research results will also be highlighted and discussed. The evidence collected from this study directly impacted the planning and execution of the NYUAD library instruction program. Librarian training, peer evaluations, and curriculum mapping have been used to improve quality and content of instruction to international students, thus creating a better learning experience for this student population. This presentation will be of interest to LIS practitioners who work with diverse student populations and who are interested in incorporating evidence-based decision making into their library instruction programs. Additionally, participants will learn about research design and data collection.
Appears in Collections:Beth Daniel Lindsay's Collection

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