Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate traditional freshmen value attitudes towards the secondary research process. Design/methodology/approach – The study utilized a single‐question qualitative survey, which asked the open‐ended two‐part question: “Do you like research? Why or why not?” The survey was administered to first semester freshmen communication classes where the students were able to write freely about their feelings towards the research process. These results were then contextualized through the lens of Krathwohl, Bloom, and Masia's Affective Domain. Findings – Based on a content analysis of the written responses, three groups, which comprised eight themes, emerged. A substantial contingent of students (33 percent) described their motivations for conducting research as solely extrinsic in nature and maintained adverse emotions and attitudes towards the process, while a smaller number of students (16 percent) were both intrinsically and extrinsically driven to participate in the research process and reported no negative emotions. The majority of participants (49 percent), however, resided on what could be considered an intellectual borderland where the value of secondary research was entirely dependent on the specific topic of study. Originality/value – The study adds to the well‐established macro research thread examining the relationship between information literacy and the affective domain and the less‐established micro research thread describing student emotional predispositions towards the academic library. As a result of this study, librarians will be better able not only to understand the attitudes freshmen students “carry” with them regarding the value of secondary research but also to consciously incorporate affective components into their work in order to craft more impactful library sessions.
Reference Services Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 16, 2010
Keywords: Academic libraries; Attitude Surveys; Attitudes; Information literacy; Library management; Values
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