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Why do students have poor research skills?

21 Nov

A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education describes a study suggesting that many students lack basic research skills.  I think most teachers and professors would probably think to themselves, “Well, duh”  when reading this. 

Alison J. Head, a co-principal investigator for the project, said the results suggest that today’s students struggle with a feeling of information overload…Ms. Head said the findings show that college students approach research as a hunt for the right answer instead of a process of evaluating different arguments and coming up with their own interpretation.

I suspect Ms. Head is correct in suggesting that students are “hunting” for the right answer.  So why are students approaching school work and research in this manner?  And what do we, as educators, do about it?

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