Alison Head, Ph.D.
Executive Director and Lead Researcher
Project Information Literacy
Presentation Title: "Information Literacy through the Lens of the Student Experience"
Since 2008, as part of our ongoing national study at Project Information Literacy (PIL), we have surveyed more than 11,000 students at over 50 colleges and universities in the US. We have investigated how college students say they find information and conduct research — their needs, strategies, and workarounds — for solving information problems that occur during course-related research and in their everyday lives. We have found the large majority of students we have studied across all types of higher-education institutions still attend college to learn, but many are lost in a thicket of information overload. They struggle with managing the IT devices that permeate their lives. Our findings indicate that nearly all students intentionally use a small compass for navigating the ever-widening and complex information landscape they inhabit. Key-takeaways are presented from the PIL studies, including a discussion of their implications for teaching, learning, work, and community in the 21st century.
Alison Head is an information scientist and researcher. She is the founder and director of Project Information Literacy, a large-scale national research study about how college students find and use information for course work and in their everyday lives in the digital age. Alison is a Research Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Innovation Library Lab, both at Harvard University. She is also an Associate Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington's Information School.
Alison's research about the information-seeking behavior of today's college students has been covered by Atlantic Magazine, The Huffington Post, National Public Radio, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, and Library Journal. Alison has a Ph.D. and MLS from U.C. Berkeley's Information School and was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Her research interests include information-seeking behaviors of early adults, information literacy and lifelong learning, Web adoption and diffusion, and usage of social media for collaborative learning.
You can find out more about Dr. Head's project at: http://projectinfolit.org/