32 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 290 2017 Student Focus Group Shows Issues with Scaffolding Even though the hypothesis of “presence of research assignment results in higher levels of satisfaction” might appear to have been confirmed by the results above, there still remained untested variables. Does time influence the memory of library instruction negatively? Does the presence of the instructor while the survey is administered impact students’ perception of its helpfulness in a positive way? In order to understand better what might be behind the contradictory results, we decided to use a self-selected student group, the standing Student Library Advisory Council (SLAC) and discuss the results with them. The students on SLAC are representative of the student population at Cornell in the sense that each college or school dean nominates two representatives to serve on the council. However, they are not a representative sample in that they have been nominated precisely because they are invested in the library and its engagement with the academic enterprise in one way or another. Their investment in the success of the library, as well as the fact that we already had experience working with the group (the university librarian and the associate university librarian for research and learning services meet with the group monthly) and were familiar with how vocal and frank with their concerns they could be, suggested to us that we would get useful feedback. We presented the results of the faculty and student surveys and asked the members of SLAC to brainstorm reasons why such considerable differences in perceptions of helpfulness and value existed, as well as suggest ideas of how library instruction might be improved. The reasons proposed as an explanation of the low ratings library instruction received on the COFHE survey, included: Library instruction is forced Many students have gone through library instruction in high school
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