Skills of Analyzing and Synthesizing Textual Information in University Students: Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Approach

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Conference Proceeding

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One of the most important tasks that the higher school 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. Nowadays, 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 observations and experimental research of contemporary university studenthood. They studied their students' abilities to analyze and synthesize information in the texts when performing various educational assignments, such as naming, citing and annotating sources of information, writing review and research papers. The results showed that most students in each specialty and culture had underdeveloped informational skills, i.e. were informationally incompetent. Their mistakes were systematic and similar. The most difficult task for them was to find the key words, key phrases, and key fragments in the texts. Consequently, such students had no full-fledged understanding of the semantic aspect of information. To denote this feature of intellectual activity of many university students, the authors 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. We should train young generations on developing skills to analyze and synthesize information because they are the main mechanisms which assure meaningful intellectual activity.