Program Goal IV: Theory and Praxis

Students have a critical grounding in theoretical perspectives that draw on research in LIS as well as other fields of knowledge, that inform their professional practices including research, organization, management, and access to information.

  • IV.a. Students will describe applications of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in library and information science.

Applications of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies in LIS are many, as any quantitative skills I had were developed long before the technologies of today, I found that using tools such as spreadsheets and creating useful and informative visualizations from such sources was a weak point for me. To help alleviate this weakness, I took the course Visualization of Big Data in Fall 2016. In this course I was able to review Statistics as well as several spreadsheet and data analysis tools. I was also introduced to coding in R to generate useful information and visualizations from large data sets. Most of the assignments in this course were done as blog posts with a culminating final report.

Visualization of Big Data final report: https://1drv.ms/w/s!Ap6gMKkB15dDohzNbihLUDROYjMk

And some blog post assignments:

https://arlenehaessler.com/2016/10/23/module-9-an-introduction-to-r/

https://arlenehaessler.com/2016/11/06/shiny-happy-animation/

https://arlenehaessler.com/2016/10/31/ggplot2-the-r-exploration-continues/

I realized I still want a deeper understanding of statistics for use in LIS related research and to have a more thorough understanding of research results in clinical and scientific studies for my hoped for future work in an academic/health sciences library. So for my last semester, I decided to enroll in PHC 6050, Biostatistics 1 for Public Health. The course so far has been a challenge but I am beginning to remember how to do simple calculations again! As a bonus we are also working with SPSS statistical software and I am gaining experience with the use of another tool for analyzing data.

  • IV.b. Students will identify opportunities for research and develop plans for research in applied settings in library and information science.

I have identified a research area and developed a proposal for a project in the Research Methods course. I am currently working on the minimal funding I need so that I can carry out the project. My goal is to conduct an email survey of Florida licensed massage therapy (MT) practitioners and massage therapy certification program students in order to discover more about this population’s information and research literacy (IRL) skills and needs. There is a great deal of work being done in the massage therapy community to encourage research literacy and even more evidence based practice; however, no one has looked at the actual IRL skills of MT practitioners and students. In my research proposal, I discuss other work done evaluating IRL skills of students in health and pre-medical programs and have designed a preliminary survey: https://1drv.ms/w/s!Ap6gMKkB15dDpHld9xOh7M-VX1cX.

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