“Searching as Learning: Perspectives, Assessment, and Future Directions ” iSchool Colloquium Series with Dr. Soo Young Rieh

Searching as Learning: Perspectives, Assessment, and Future Directions 

The majority of popular search systems are designed as information retrieval tools optimized to satisfy generic, short-term information needs, and may not work effectively for more complex search tasks such as human learning. The purpose of this talk is to present the challenges and opportunities for future research into the capacity of search systems to enhance learning outcomes and experiences. The talk will begin by introducing a conceptual framework of “searching as a learning process” in which people engage in various search activities for learning such as assessing credibility, comparing search results, and differentiating information. Dr. Rieh will then present a lab-based user study in which she investigated potential indicators of learning in web searching, effective query strategies for learning, and the relationship between searching behavior and learning outcomes. She will conclude the talk by discussing core theoretical constructs and design modules to advance search systems toward supporting critical thinking and creativity during the search process.


About the speaker
Soo Young Rieh is an Associate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan where she served as the Director of the Master of Science in Information (MSI) Program from 2014 to 2017. Rieh’s research spans topics in human information behavior, web searching behavior, and human information interaction, focusing on examining people’s assessment of information credibility and quality. In recent years, she has conducted research on developing a conceptual framework of “searching as learning” and assessing learning outcomes in web searching. Her long-term research goal is designing academic search systems that support critical thinking and creativity. Currently she is leading the IMLS-funded “Library as Research Lab” Project which investigates library assessment on student learning, scholarship and service. She is an elected director-at-large to the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) Board, and an associate editor for Information and Learning Science. She received her Ph.D. in communication, information, and library studies from Rutgers University.


Location: Dodson Room, 3rd floor of Irving K. Barber Learning Centre