In our end of quarter surveys of freshmen, we asked them:
How useful were the following tools for finding resources for your research paper assignment?
(0=did not use, 1=Not at all useful, 2=A little useful, 3=Useful, 4=Very useful)
- Socrates (Library Catalog)
- Library Databases
- Google Scholar
- Online Class Research Guide
Most Used resources:
- Socrates (Library Catalog) 99%
- Google 94%
- Library Databases 92%
- Wikipedia 71%
- Online Class Research Guide 71%
- Google Scholar 49%
Most Useful Resources (1-4 Scale: 4=Very useful, 3=useful, 2=A little useful, 1=Not very useful)
- Socrates (Library Catalog) 3.37
- Library Databases 3.36
- Google 3.10
- Google Scholar 2.91
- Online Class Research Guide 2.67
- Wikipedia 2.37
I am very pleased that 99% of students (335 out of 337) used the library catalog to find resources for their paper, and 92% used a library database. I have no problem with 94% of them using Google, but am happy to see that they rate the library catalog and the databases as more useful than Google.
I am disappointed in the low usefulness rating of the Online Research Guides, but wonder if that is due to the fact that the Research Guides are one step removed from actually getting to content.
I was also pleased to see that nearly 40% of students say they consulted a librarian about their research.
For results of some of our open-ended questions, see What do students learn in Library workshops?