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Thursday, February 8 • 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Session 6.2C - Juried Papers: The Beginning, Acting, Telling (BAT) Model: Integrating Information-Seeking Research and Information Literacy Research.

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In the LIS discipline, as research into information-seeking behavior and information literacy has become much more commonplace, the two concepts have remained largely separate, the former demonstrating an emphasis on how users search for information inside and outside the workplace and the latter on instructional strategies in educational environments, specifically in the context of school or academic libraries. Where the research does overlap is in the emphasis on information retrieval, especially pertaining to searching and to a lesser extent to evaluation and relevancy; information-seeking behavior focusing more on the user, and information literacy on instructional strategies. Furthermore, research into information-seeking behavior has resulted in the development of several diagrammatic process models (Bates, 1989; Dervin, 1983, 1992; Wilson, 1999) that can predict behavior in different contexts to provide a series of steps or stages that users can follow on their own. Information literacy research, however, tends to report on instructional strategies that help users understand how to better find information by exploiting different navigational tools such as indexes, online library catalogs, and search engines. Neither research area, however, examines in-depth other aspects of the process such as before the search begins or how the information is used once retrieved and evaluated.
A specific example of these two major gaps is found in the results of a larger study into the information-seeking behavior of third grade students (Nesset, 2009). The results revealed that these younger students required extensive preparation through instruction before they were ready to begin searching for information on the topic under investigation and that they also needed guidance afterwards in such aspects as interpreting the information and integrating it to fit the parameters of the assignment.  To address these gaps, features from research into information-seeking behavior (e.g., diagrammatic modeling) and information literacy (instructional strategies) were combined to form a model for information literacy instruction, the Beginning, Acting, Telling (BAT) model.  




Information-Seeking Behavior and Information Literacy Instruction
One of the main purposes of modeling information-seeking behaviors is to present a more simplified, concrete version of reality and identify and describe relationships between concepts (Case 2012). These models, for example, Kuhlthau’s (1991, 2004, 2008) Information Search Process (ISP), focus primarily on the users, documenting and illustrating their thoughts, feelings, and actions through the use of visual imagery, usually diagrams, as they move through a series of stages. While the diagrammatic structure and simplicity of the models allows the user to visualize what the process will look like, these models often emphasize a particular stage to the detriment of others and struggle to adequately depict the need to revisit certain features as part of an iterative process. 
Unlike models of information-seeking behavior, literacy instruction models, for example, the Big6 (Eisenberg & Berkowitz, 1990) are almost always textual and do not take into account the affective or physical domains. They often appear as a series of steps to be followed or questions to be asked in a certain order. As they do not make use of visual cues as models do, they are more abstract, requiring the user to memorize the steps or questions, potentially making them more difficult to apply. Similar to the models of information-seeking behavior, however, is the inadequate explication of an often-iterative process.
 
An Integrated Model
The Beginning, Acting, Telling (BAT) model (Figure 1) is a three-stage diagrammatic model that was designed to bridge these gaps to provide a more holistic overview of the research process by incorporating aspects from both approaches. The BAT incorporates the diagrammatic features characteristic of models of information-seeking behavior in its use of the visual image of a bat. A bat was chosen to represent the process because it provided a useful mnemonic both visually and in its name. A bat’s body comprises three main parts – two wings and its head. The head is literally the brains of the animal, directing all movement, with the ears acting as its navigational system through the use of sonar. The wings act as the support for the head and allow the bat to carry out its various tasks such as searching for food. Thus, in the diagrammatic representation, to emphasize the equal importance of all of the stages, the same way that an actual bat requires all of its body parts to work together, no stage acts in isolation of another or is perceived as more important. The first stage (Beginning) represented by the wing to the left of the image is a highly instructional stage to prepare the student to begin the actual search for information, listing such instructional aspects as inquiry into the broad topic under investigation, reading, and construction (i.e., activities such as concept mapping and vocabulary building). The focused inquiry , the actual assignment or task that must be completed by the student, is represented by the ears because it directs the process in the same way sonar guides the bat. The second stage (Acting) which outlines the various actions the student must take during the information search is represented by the head (i.e., brains) because it is largely self-directed.  The final stage (Telling), represented by the right wing integrates aspects related to information use, often requiring guidance by an educator. Thus the wings (Beginning, Telling) while they act as support mechanisms for the head (Acting) they are equally important as they are the sole means of movement. Indeed, the lines representing the wings in motion are used to represent additional, more abstract aspects of the research process. In the same way that the bat’s flight may be influenced by external factors such as the wind, the research process is also affected. Such things as what the student learns as they navigate the process (thinking) and whether or not metacognition takes place (reflection), affective behaviors (feelings), and impact factors or things largely out of the student’s control such as currency of resources and website design (things that matter), all influence the process in some way. Making them explicit can help the student to be aware of their potential effects whether positive or negative and increase or mitigate their influence as appropriate. Finally, all actions depicted in the model are in the present, active tense to help provide a sense of being a part of the model in real time.




Insert Figure 1: The BAT (Beginning, Acting, Telling) Model: Final Iteration  




This final version of the BAT which was revised informed by findings of a validation study that presented a very basic version that showed only the actions associated with each stage to two third-grade classes in an inner-city school in New York State (Nesset, 2014a, 2014b, 2015). The model has also been aligned to indicators in the New York State Information Fluency Continuum (New York City School Library System, 2013), which forms part of the Common Core curriculum (Nesset, 2017) and as it is content-independent, can be applied to any subject. In fact, preparations are underway for the model to be integrated into the 2017-2018 curriculum for a special science program to be offered to a select group of students in a school district in a city in New York State.
 
Conclusion
By providing a visual model that shows the entire research process at a glance the BAT incorporates the best aspects of the results of research into information-seeking behavior and research into information literacy instruction. Easy to remember, engaging, and informative, the BAT serves as an example of how the integration of concepts from these two approaches can be used to bridge the gaps inherent within both thus expanding the LIS educational universe by enhancing th

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Speakers

Thursday February 8, 2018 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Meadowbrook II

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