Chirag Shah with graduate students

Ph.D. Youth, Information, Technology and Learning

Youth, Information, Technology and Learning


Information seeking can inherently be seen as a human learning process that involves human inquiry. Expertise in the LIS department in Youth, Information, Technology and Learning comprises the work of multiple faculty members and involves a broad range of scholarly domains.

Collectively, the work being conducted by faculty aims to reach a deeper understanding of the cognitive and social processes that facilitate inquiry, learning, and knowledge co-construction, often through learners’ uses of information and technology environments. Work advances theories of learning, inquiry, and information seeking, as well as design of learning systems and instructional models. We invite continued growth in this departmental specialty area.

We also house the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL), dedicated to research, scholarship, education, and consultancy for school library professionals. It focuses on how school library programs enable and demonstrate learning in information-age educational settings, and how inquiry-based learning and teaching processes can contribute to learners’ educational success and workplace readiness.

Examples of research we can support include:

  • Studies relating to information seeking processes during both formal and informal learning endeavors
  • Design and use of learning systems
  • Design and use of information systems in which learning is a process or outcome
  • Learning and/or information seeking by the full diversity of youth, adults, elders and specialized populations
  • Learning and information uses at work, at school, in the school library, and/or at play
  • School librarianship pedagogy and praxis
  • Digital divide, literacies, access, and learning systems
  • Optimizing system design features for inquiry-based learning
  • Learning analytics and/or data science perspectives on inquiry activity with learning or information systems
  • Perspectives of data sharing, information architecture, and knowledge ecosystems in E-learning
  • Information, communication, and technology (ICT) issues in computer supported collaborative learning
  • Ethnographic, emancipatory, critical-race theory and post-structural research involving information and learning
  • Social and ethical issues and privacy and security concerns in cyberlearning


Relationships among tasks, collaborative inquiry processes, inquiry resolutions, and knowledge outcomes in adolescents during guided discovery-based game design in school, published by the Journal of Information Science: Special Issue on Searching as Learning and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Defining, designing for, and measuring ‘social constructivist digital literacy,’ published by the Journal of Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D) and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Social justice as strategy: Connecting school libraries, collaboration and IT, published by The Library Quarterly

Researching students’ information choices: Determining identity and judging credibility in digital spaces. Data collection for this project, which investigates format agnosticism and credibility during students’ uses of STEM learning resources, is in progress. It is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

School librarians as stakeholders in the children and media community: A dialogue, published by the Journal of Children and Media

ARONI: Argumentative online inquiry in building students’ knowledge work competences. Data collection for this project, which aims to gain insight into the best practices for implementing the Guided Inquiry framework in U.S. high schools, is in progress. It is funded by the Academy of Finland through 2019.

Cyberbullying detection using social network analysis, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Bridging digital divide via social computing activities, published by the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Empowering students for a digital world:  Global concerns, local school evidence and strategic actions, presented at the 45nd International Conference incorporating the 20th International Forum on Research in School Librarianship

See dissertations listings.

Affiliated Faculty:

Marc Aronson, Kay Cassell, Marija Dalbello, Michael Lesk, Lilia Pavlovsky, Marie Radford, Rebecca Reynolds, Vivek Singh, Chirag Shah, Sharon Stoerger, Ross Todd, Joyce Valenza, Nina Wacholder