The assignments in INFO 200 are meant to build on student knowledge of a community’s information behavior, understanding of peer-reviewed research articles and community-created resources related to the group, and a synthesis of our course content with findings about the community. Blogging and the other major assignments should provide content and insights for successful completion of the research paper. Content can be remixed and reused.
For example, the student work below focuses on the community of adolescents and young adults with anxiety or depression and illustrates the path from blogging, through the assignments, to a successful paper.
Sample description of the community:
The community of teens who struggle with anxiety and depression demonstrates the five characteristics of an information community as described by Durrance and Fisher (2003). The characteristics are summarized as follows:
- There is an emphasis on collaboration among diverse providers
- It has formed around information needs
- It exploits the information-sharing qualities of technology
- It transcends barriers to information sharing
- It fosters social connectedness
While teens may actively seek advice on how to cope with anxiety or depression, another information need for many teens is confirmation that they are not alone. Many of the social media websites utilized by teens provide this (more nebulous) kind of information. PostSecret allows its users to post their difficult-to-discuss stories or secret traumas so that others may read them. In this process of sharing, teens encounter others who have similar experiences from which they can learn. Users can also chat publicly or privately with other members. All of this can help to decrease the sense of isolation that teens struggling with anxiety and depression often feel.
Though allowances need to be made for her definition of “small worlds,” these teens do share common interests and often prefer “first level information . . . or hearsay from someone who is accepted as having knowledge of the matters to be discussed” (Savolainen, 2010, p. 1783) (i.e. another teen with a similar experience in dealing with depression). This desire and willingness to accept information more readily from human sources have been documented by others in LIS as well, such as Savolainen and Williamson (Savolainen, 2010, pp. 1782, 1784).
Fisher, K. E., & Durrance, J. C. (2003). Information communities. In K. Christensen, & D. Levinson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of community: From the village to the virtual world. (pp. 658-661). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. Retrieved from http://sk.sagepub.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/reference/community/n248.xml
Savolainen, R. (2010). Everyday life information seeking. In M. Bates & M.N. Maack (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition (pp. 1780-1789). doi: 10.1081/E-ELIS3-120043920
Information Sources Survey: Adolescents and Young Adults with Anxiety or Depression (Note: This assignment was written before we started using the template.)
Thanks to INFO 200 student Jennifer M. DeMonte for sharing her work.
– Updated on December 10, 2017 by Tamara Foster