Does Forcing Students to Ask for Help Work? Assessing the Effect of REQUIRING Term Paper Consults

Students in the Media Management and Policy class at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Media & Journalism are required to meet individually with a librarian as they do research for their 12-15 page paper. In fall 2014, we surveyed students to assess their response to this requirement. We wanted to know if an individual meeting helped to ease their library anxiety; if the requirement was a negative influence on their view of the library; and if they planned to visit with a librarian for future papers.

Analysis of the data shows that requiring students to ask for help works, while simply encouraging them to do so is not nearly as effective: we met with approximately 40 students per class after this requirement was implemented, compared with 10 in prior semesters. Survey results demonstrate that this arrangement increases students' willingness to ask for help from a librarian in the future and improves their view of the value of the library. Finally, our review of the appointments and the comments pointed to changes that could enhance the appointments and even the assignment itself.

This poster will illustrate responses from students to our survey as well as feedback from the professor and changes we have implemented over the semesters.

The bottom line: requiring students to ask for help works.

CogSciLibrarian's picture
Stephanie Willen Brown
director, Park Library
the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Session Time Slot(s): 
Wed., Oct. 21, 03:15pm-Wed., Oct. 21, 04:00pm
Guilford Ballroom D,E,F,G
Allowed Types: