Newcomers’ Information Seeking

@ University of Maryland, College Park | iSchool (College of Information Studies)

Primary Researcher / Online Survey + Semi-structured Interview + Cognitive Map

Who was a neighbor to those from the other side of the globe?: International newcomer students’ local information behaviors in unfamiliar environments

This research (dissertation) examines international and domestic newcomer students’ information and technology practices and the role that their socio-national contexts play during their adjustment to unfamiliar host environments. Specifically, I developed a theoretical construct “local co-national context” through which I examined the varying information and technology practices of international students from around the world. I used a longitudinal mixed-method approach by conducting online surveys, follow-up semi-structured interviews, and cognitive mapping (a research method in which participants draw their own map of an area; see pictures below) over a two-year period.

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Through this longitudinal, mixed method approach, I achieved a holistic characterization of the information behaviors of international newcomer students and identified the social and technological contexts that shape their varying information and technology practices during adjustment to host environments. My dissertation-based article has recently been published in Early View at the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).