College Students Don’t Know How to Search
Last week, Mashable published a story entitled The Google Gap: College Kids Aren’t Good At Searching where they highlighted a recent study conducted by Northeastern Illinois University which examined the research habits of 160 college aged students. Most concerning of all the findings was that the majority of students poorly use search logic for obtaining useful search results when using Google and other academic database search engines.
From speaking with the other HackCollege writers, there seems to be ample opportunities to learn how to formulate and refine a search query on campus, whether it be through a classroom lecture or by speaking with a librarian, so why is that so few students understand how a search box work?
Good search technique is critical when conducting focused research, it’s important to understand how to use a tool like Google for the classroom, but it’s also important to recognize that Google can only take you so far. Becoming comfortable and proficient with academic journal databases should be a focus of yours as they will take your research to the next level.
This story is perhaps more of a Public Service Announcement to the new Freshman than anything else; seek out guidance in formulating a query early in your college careers. You’ll be glad you took the time to learn later on when you’re neck deep in papers and you’re scraping for sources.