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We used an informationseeking behavior approach to collecting data in our study.We gathered data about students experiences, searching behaviors, and obstacles encountered, while using online and offline resources for academic research.
Our discussion group data revealed a diverse swath of real world topics that students selected for their argument papers.
Participants recalled writing about working mothers and feminism, Hurricane Katrinas impact on New Orleans, college athletes and self esteem, i Pods and their impact on human isolation, teen suicide, divorce, Satanism, and the gay rights movement, among other topics.
First steps in the research process Topics students selected for assignments were current and unfolding, and often received attention from public sites on the Internet.
A rapidly updated communication channel, such the Internet, offered students information rarely found in books or most academic journals, which have longer publishing cycles.
The campus is a Catholic, Lasallian Christian Brothers liberal arts institution in Moraga, California.
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Enrollment is 2,489 undergraduates and 1,473 graduates with a 12:1 studenttoteacher ratio (, 2007).We explored existing assumptions about students reliance on the Internet for carrying out courserelated research.We studied three primary areas of the student research process: Our research study was conducted at Saint Marys College of California (SMC).Instead, students in our study used a hybrid approach for conducting courserelated research.A majority of students leveraged both online and offline sources to overcome challenges with finding, selecting, and evaluating resources and gauging professors’ expectations for quality research.Major findings from our study can be summarized as follows: Inside the students research world The most frequently assigned research assignment in humanities and social sciences classes was the four to sixpage argument paper.The argument paper required students to conduct scholarly research about a topic and present sound evidence that advanced a proposition.Introduction Methods Results Discussion Conclusions The growing buzz about the omnipotence of Google left us wondering, what do students think about conducting research for course assignments today?Last spring, a team of faculty and campus librarians conducted an insiders view of the students research process.A large percentage of the assignment handouts offered no guidelines for consulting the Web (87 percent) or the campus librarys Web site (73 percent) for research.A majority of the handouts also made no mention of consulting with a reference librarian (83 percent) or using library resources from the shelves (70 percent). Students reported they had the best chance of succeeding ( Recent research has made claims about students reliance on the Internet for academic research over their use of campus libraries.