START Conference Manager    

ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012

Third Space as an Information System and Services Intervention Methodology for Engaging the User's Deepest Levels of Information Need
Carol Kuhlthau and Charles Cole

Sunday, 3:30pm


The paper discusses overview principles of information system and services intervention strategies for students researching a school assignment, then tests these principles in a field study. The principles are based on Kuhlthau's ISP Model, Cole's theory of information need and Maniotes' concept of Third Space. The six-stage ISP Model describes information barriers that arise for students researching a school assignment while they are exploring information in Stage 3; they must transition to a focus formulation in Stage 4, but information overload and other barriers frequently block their thinking. The theory of information need seeks to explain successful Stage 3-to-Stage 4 transition as the student engaging his or her ways of knowing, which will enable focus formulation. Third Space is an intersection zone between the school curriculum and the student's knowledge and ways of knowing, creating a dynamic conception of the learning space that involves the student's outside-the-classroom knowledge. A content analysis study illustrates a methodology for operationalizing and testing these concepts and principles in a naturalistic setting.