Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We Need to Teach Students Sound Research Sources


While the internet has been a boon for information access and availability, three out of four educators strongly agree that "search engines have conditioned students to expect to be able to find information quickly and easily," according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project study entitled, How Teens Do Research in the Digital World.

Most of the advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project teachers in this study said students are "very likely" to use Google, Wikipedia, and social media sites for typical research assignments.

  • Google or other online search engine (94%)
  • Wikipedia or other online encyclopedia (75%)
  • Social media sites (52%)
  • Their peers (42%)
  • Study guides (41%)
  • News sites (25%)
  • Print or electronic textbooks (18%)
  • Online research databases (17%)
  • A research librarian at their school or public library (16%)
  • Printed books other than textbooks (12%)
  • Student-oriented search engines(10%)
    * Pew Internet & American Life Project
This is consistent with findings from Turnitin's recent research that analyzes the most frequently matched Internet sources (released in January) which show that Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers, and eNotes were the top three among secondary students. At the college and university level, the top three were Wikipedia, OPPapers (a paper mill), and SlideShare. Learn more about this study:

Spacer SE Infographic Spacer HE Infographic

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