Just released is Project Information Literacy released a new research, "Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students" (41 pages, PDF, 2MB). Tune into a short PIL video (2:22) for a summary of key findings from the handout study.
The report presents findings from a content analysis of 191 course-related research assignment handouts professors distributed to undergraduates on 28 U.S. campuses.
Researchers found the majority of handouts in the sample placed more attention on the mechanics of preparing a research assignment than on conveying substantive information that students also needed, such as how to define and focus a research strategy within the complex information landscape that most college students inhabit today.
Project Information Literacy is an ongoing national research study, led by the iSchool's Alison Head and Mike Eisenberg. This year's research is funded with contributing funds from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.