WorldCat Identities

Head, Alison J. 1957-

Works: 12 works in 48 publications in 1 language and 1,793 library holdings
Genres: Case studies  Use studies 
Roles: Author
Classifications: QA76.9.H85, 004.019
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Alison J Head
Design wise : a guide for evaluating the interface design of information resources by Alison J Head( Book )

19 editions published between 1997 and 2000 in English and Undetermined and held by 581 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A badly designed Web site interface can result in a site that is hard to find and hard to use but a well-designed interface helps users find and utilize the information they need quickly and easily. Explaining what interface design is and how to evaluate it, this guide explores the importance of interface design to users, reveals how a product gets designed, and provides a design evaluation template and design analyses of CD-ROMs, Web sites, and online providers
On-the-job research : how usable are corporate research intranets? by Alison J Head( Book )

4 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 62 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Design wise : a guide to evaluating the interface design of information resources by Alison J Head( Book )

4 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and held by 26 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Truth be told : how college students evaluate and use information in the digital age by Alison J Head( Book )

4 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A report about college students and their information-seeking strategies and research difficulties, including findings from 8,353 survey respondents from college students on 25 campuses distributed across the U.S. in spring of 2010, as part of Project Information Literacy. Respondents reported taking little at face value and were frequent evaluators of Web and library sources used for course work, and to a lesser extent, of Web content for personal use. Most respondents turned to friends and family when asking for help with evaluating information for personal use and instructors when evaluating information for course research. Respondents reported using a repertoire of research techniques--mostly for writing papers--for completing one research assignment to the next, though few respondents reported using Web 2.0 applications for collaborating on assignments. Even though most respondents considered themselves adept at finding and evaluating information, especially when it was retrieved from the Web, students reported difficulties getting started with research assignments and determining the nature and scope of what was required of them. Overall, the findings suggest students use an information-seeking and research strategy driven by efficiency and predictability for managing and controlling all of the information available to them on college campuses, though conducting comprehensive research and learning something new is important to most, along with passing the course and the grade received. Recommendations are included for how campus-wide stakeholders--faculty, librarians, and higher education administrators--can work together to help inform pedagogies for a new century. Appended are: (1) Methods; (2) Complete Data Sets; and (3) Survey Instrument. (Contains 32 figures and 55 footnotes.)
Lessons learned : how college students seek information in the digital age by Alison J Head( Book )

4 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 3 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A report of findings from 2,318 respondents to a survey carried out among college students on six campuses distributed across the U.S. in the spring of 2009, as part of Project Information Literacy. Respondents, while curious in the beginning stages of research, employed a consistent and predictable research strategy for finding information, whether they were conducting course-related or everyday life research. Almost all of the respondents turned to the same set of tried and true information resources in the initial stages of research, regardless of their information goals. Almost all students used course readings and Google first for course-related research and Google and Wikipedia for everyday life research. Most students used library resources, especially scholarly databases for course-related research and far fewer, in comparison, used library services that required interacting with librarians. The findings suggest that students conceptualize research, especially tasks associated with seeking information, as a competency learned by rote, rather than as an opportunity to learn, develop, or expand upon an information-gathering strategy which leverages the wide range of resources available to them in the digital age. Research Methods and Sampling are appended. (Contains 15 figures and 30 footnotes.) [Funding for this paper was provided by ProQuest.]
Finding context : what today's college students say about conducting research in the digital age by Alison J Head( Book )

3 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

A report of preliminary findings and analysis from student discussion groups held on 7 U.S. campuses in Fall 2008, as part of Project Information Literacy. Qualitative data from discussions with higher education students across the country suggest that conducting research is particularly challenging. Students' greatest challenges are related to their perceived inability to find desired materials. Students seek "contexts" as part of the research process. A preliminary typology of the research contexts is developed and introduced. Finding contexts for "backgrounding" topics and for figuring out how to traverse complex information landscapes may be the most difficult part of the research process. Our findings also suggest that students create effective methods for conducting research by using traditional methods, such as libraries, and self-taught, creative workarounds, such as "presearch" and Wikipedia, in different ways. Appended are: (1) Research Methods and Sampling; and (2) Purpose of Discussion Groups, Use of Data. (Contains 4 figures and 8 footnotes.)
Web Usability and Essential Interface Design Issues( )

1 edition published in 1997 in Undetermined and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Learning curve : how college graduates solve information problems once they join the workplace by Alison J Head( Book )

2 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Qualitative findings about the information-seeking behavior of today's college graduates as they transition from the campus to the workplace. Included are findings from interviews with 23 us employers and focus groups with 33 recent graduates from four us colleges and universities, conducted as an exploratory study for Project Information Literacy's (PIL's) Passage Studies. Most graduates in our focus groups said they found it difficult to solve information problems in the workplace, where unlike college, a sense of urgency pervaded and where personal contacts often reaped more useful results than online searches. Graduates said they leveraged essential information competencies from college for extracting content and also developed adaptive information-seeking strategies for reaching out to trusted colleagues in order to compensate for what they lacked. At the same time, employers said they recruited graduates, in part, for their online searching skills but still expected and needed more traditional research competencies, such as thumbing through bound reports, picking up the telephone, and interpreting research results with team members. They found that their college hires rarely demonstrated these competencies. Overall, our findings suggest there is a distinct difference between today's graduates who demonstrated how quickly they found answers online and seasoned employers who needed college hires to use a combination of online and traditional methods to conduct comprehensive research. Methods are appended. (Contains 11 figures and 42 footnotes.) [Research conducted in collaboration with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.]
Learning the ropes : how freshmen conduct course research once they enter college by Alison J Head( )

2 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This paper presents findings about the challenges today's college freshmen face, and the information-seeking strategies they develop, use, and adapt as they make the transition from high school to college and begin to complete college-level research assignments. Included are data from a comparative analysis of library resources in 30 US high school and 6 college and university libraries; interviews with 35 first-term freshmen from 6 US colleges and universities; and an online survey with 1,941 US high school and college student respondents. Findings indicate a majority of freshmen find it difficult to effectively search academic library portals. To a lesser extent, they struggle with reading and comprehending scholarly materials once they are able to find them and have trouble figuring out faculty expectations for course research assignments. Taken together, our findings suggest the Google-centric search skills that freshmen bring from high school only get them so far with finding and using trusted sources they need for fulfilling college research assignments. Moreover, many freshmen appeared to be unfamiliar with how academic libraries--and the vast array of digital resources they provide--can best meet their needs. Included are recommendations for how campus-wide stakeholders--librarians, faculty, and administrators--can work together when instructing freshmen to be better researchers
Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today'sCollege Students. Project Information Literacy Progress Report by Alison J Head( Book )

2 editions published in 2010 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A report of findings from a content analysis of 191 course-related research assignment handouts distributed to undergraduates on 28 college campuses across the U.S., as part of Project Information Literacy. A majority of handouts in the sample emphasized standards about the mechanics of compiling college research papers, more so than guiding students to finding and using sources for research. Most frequently, handouts advised students to use their campus library shelves and/or online library sources when conducting research for assignments, though most handouts lacked specific details about which of the library's hundreds of databases to search. Few handouts advised students about using Internet sources, even though many of today's students almost always integrate the Web into their research activities. Very few handouts recommended consulting a librarian about research assignments. Details about evaluating information, plagiarism, and instructor availability appeared in only a minority of the handouts analyzed. The findings suggest that handouts for academic research assignments provide students with more how-to procedures and conventions for preparing a final product for submission, than guidance about conducting research and finding and using information in the digital age. Appended are: (1) Methods; and (2) Coding form. (Contains 15 figures and 36 footnotes.)
Balancing Act: How College Students Manage Technology while in theLibrary During Crunch Time. Project Information Literacy Research Report by Alison J Head( Book )

2 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The paper presents findings from 560 interviews with undergraduates on 10 campuses distributed across the us, as part of Project Information Literacy (pil). Overall, the findings suggest that students use a "less is more" approach to manage and control all of the it devices and information systems available to them while they are in the library during the final weeks of the term. In the hour before we approached them for an interview, more respondents had checked for messages (E.G., Facebook, email, texts, IMs) more than any other task while they were in the library. A majority of respondents who had checked for messages during the previous hour had also prepared assignments and/or studied for courses. More respondents reported using library equipment, such as computers and printers, more than they had used any other library resource or service. Over half the sample considered their laptop their most essential it device and most had a Web browser and, to a lesser extent, a word processing application running at the time of the interviews. Most students were using one or two Web sites at the time of the interviews, but there was little overlap among the Web sites they were using. A large majority of the respondents could be classified as "light" technology users, I.E., students who use one or two it devices to support one or two primary activities (at the time of the interviews). A preliminary theory is introduced that describes how students' technology usage may be influenced by locale (I.E., the campus library) and circumstance (I.E., crunch time). Recommendations are made for how campus-wide stakeholders--faculty, librarians, higher education administrators, and commercial publishers--can work together to improve pedagogies for 21st century undergraduates. Appended are: (1) Methods; and (2) Interview Script. (Contains 23 figures and 51 footnotes.)
Project Information Literacy : What Can Be Learned about the Information-Seeking Behavior of Today's College Students? by Alison J Head( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Project Information Literacy (PIL) has conducted six studies since 2008 to investigate what it is like to be a college student in the digital age. Survey and interview data has been collected from more than 11,000 US college students to investigate how they find, evaluate, and use information for their course work and for addressing issues that arise in their everyday lives. This paper highlights findings from these studies. In particular, the students surveyed have reported having more difficulty with defining and narrowing research topics than with conducting searches for materials, and they use the same small set of information resources when conducting course-related and everyday life research. Taken together, findings from the six studies suggest these students use strategies driven by efficiency and predictability in order to manage and control the vast amount of information that is available to them. PIL's typology is reviewed about the four information contexts undergraduates seek during their research processes
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Design wise : a guide for evaluating the interface design of information resourcesDesign wise : a guide to evaluating the interface design of information resources
Alternative Names
Head, Alison 1957-

English (46)

Design wise : a guide to evaluating the interface design of information resources