During the Winter Quarter, DePaul University was one of a small number of institutions across the country to pilot a new survey of student research habits designed by Ithaka S&R. Ithaka S&R is a research and consulting service focused on the future of academic and cultural institutions, libraries, and scholarly publishing, and is best known for its Faculty Survey, which was conducted at DePaul in 2013.
Over 1,000 undergraduate students completed this survey of their use of assigned course materials, their study and research habits, their co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, their career plans, and their perception of the role of the library in their academic work.
While initial review of survey results demonstrate continuity with broader studies of college students’ research habits – 43% of DePaul students responding to the survey reported beginning their research with a general search engine such as Google, while only 28% reported beginning their research with a more specialized search engine or scholarly resource such as JSTOR – we are currently mining the data for additional insights into the way in which different resources are employed in DePaul coursework and the avenues through which DePaul students most regularly seek assistance in conducting their academic work. The survey, for example, documents the variety of assignments given to DePaul students by their faculty (e.g., research papers, fieldwork, responses to class readings), as well as the people and places (physical and digital) that students consult in seeking assistance with their academic work.
We are currently pursuing comparative data from other institutions that completed the pilot program in 2014 and will provide additional information on the results in Fall 2014.