FOSTERING COLLABORATION THROUGH QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS: INVESTIGATING INFORMATION NEEDS OF GEOSCIENCE EDUCATORS
An interpretive, naturalistic inquiry approach was employed to investigate the information needs and behaviors of geoscience educators for course development and instruction. Triangulation of research methods included semi-structured interview, document review, and observation. A purposive sample of seven educators from four universities located in Mid-western USA participated. While the researcher was the primary data-gathering instrument, the study was conducted in the natural setting of participants, educators' offices and classrooms. Multiple interviews were transcribed verbatim; interview transcripts and document review analyses were checked for accuracy and interpretation by participants.
In contrast to past research findings, this study demonstrated that for university course development and instruction participant preference went beyond the use of book or journal and that these educators bypassed their academic libraries and librarians. While these research results cannot be generalized for all educators, the research design may act as a model to foster collaboration between geoscience educator and librarian to raise awareness of current library services and lead to new opportunities to enhance teaching.