The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Students Don't Know How to Think About Google

Lead research anthropologist for the Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries Andrew Ascher found that students are highlyunskilled in performing searches.

“Student overuse of simple search leads to problems of having too much information or not enough information … both stemming from a lack of sufficient conceptual understanding of how information is organized,” he said. Even computer science students!

Read about his study of their use of Google and other tools in this Inside Higher Ed article.

"“they’re not getting adequate training as they’re going through the curriculum,” he said.

"Asher moved swiftly through a few slides featuring excerpts from interviews with students, each eliciting both chuckles and gasps from the audience of librarians and technologists. “I’m just trusting Google to know what are the good resources,” responded one sophomore biology student."

This alarming result--even among students who are academic achievers is what you get when education focuses on information and testing at the expense of cognitive development and independent thinking.

Another researcher suggested they get instruction on how to do searches. But the real problem lies in the fact that their minds are not conceptually organized--they don't know what is relevant or connected to a topic or idea and what is not. This is the serious deficit of education.

No comments: