Journal article

Creating a student-centered alternative to research guides: developing the infrastructure to support novice learners

Research libraries Academic performance Information literacy University students Higher education United States of America

Research and course guides typically feature long lists of resources without the contextual or instructional framework to direct novice researchers through the research process. An investigation of guide usage and user interactions at a large university in the southwestern United States revealed a need to re-examine the way research guides can be developed and implemented to better meet the needs of these students by focusing on pedagogical support of student research and information literacy skill creation.

This article documents the justification behind making the changes as well as the theoretical framework used to develop and organise a system that will place both pedagogically-focused guides as well as student-focused answers to commonly asked questions on a reimagined FAQ/research page.

This research offers academic libraries an alternative approach to existing methods of helping students. Rather than focusing on guiding students to a list of out-of-context guides and resources, it re-conceptualises our current system and strives to offer pedagogically-sound direction and alternatives for students who formerly navigated unsuccessfully through the library’s website, either requiring more support, or failing to find the assistance they needed.

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