kills of Analyzing and Synthesizing Textual Information in University Students: Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Approach
One of the most important tasks that the field of higher education is facing in the epoch of information technologies is the formation of a new type of specialist who is a professional in one’s area of expertise as well as an informational erudite having the necessary skills to productively work with large flows of information. Presently, this task is far from completion.
Two researchers, a journalist and a psychologist, with different cultural backgrounds combined their pedagogical experience and the results of long-term research of the contemporary university students. They studied their students’ abilities to analyze and synthesize information in the texts when performing various learning assignments, such as titling publications, annotating sources of information, and writing research papers.
The results showed that most students in each specialty and culture had underdeveloped information skills, i.e. were informationally incompetent. Their mistakes were systematic and similar. The most difficult task for them was to identify key words, phrases and fragments in the texts. Consequently, such students had no full-fledged understanding of the semantic aspect of information. To denote this feature of cognitive activity of many university students, the authors the study used the term fuzzy thinking.
The authors concluded that the educators’ efforts should be aimed at teaching university students how to work with texts professionally. Students in academia should be trained on developing skills to analyze and synthesize information because they are the main mechanisms which assure meaningful intellectual activity.
Toom, A. & Inshakova, N. (2018, October). Skills of analyzing and synthesizing textual information in university students: interdisciplinary and intercultural approach. Presentation at the Asian Conference of Education by the International Asian Forum, Tokyo, Japan.