- 84 percent of students have difficulty getting started with course-based research
- students take how they learned to research in high school with them to college
- students regard research as a search for the correct answer
"Not being aware of the diverse resources that exist or the different ways knowledge is created and shared is dangerous. College is a time to find information and learn about multiple arguments, and exploring gets sacrificed if you conduct research in this way." (quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education)I suspect that searching for the "correct" answer stems from research experiences in high school. There certainly could be tensions over adopting this approach in middle school and high school.
First, let me engage in some self-criticism. Many of the Search Challenges that are found on the 21st Century Information Fluency site have a correct answer. In some cases there are multiple correct answers, but this does not reinforce the concept that diverse resources should be investigated. A diet consisting solely of Internet Search Challenges would lead most students to conclude that searching is totally about finding an answer to a question.
21cif Search Challenges, for the most part, exist to improve speculative searching by:
- strengthening ability to turn questions into queries
- helping students identify databases that are likely to contain relevant information
- helping students modify searches by careful examination of snippet results (abstracts)