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PIL "Age of Algorithms" study: Interested in participating?
To mark the 10th anniversary of Project Information Literacy (PIL), we are conducting a national study during 2019 on information literacy among college students in the age of algorithms -- the endless lines of opaque coding that make lightening-fast calculations and decisions for and about us that affect the course of our everyday lives in both helpful and unhelpful ways.

Grounded in knowledge gained from PIL’s decade of large-scale studies on how college students find and use information for course work and in their personal lives, and more recently, on the interplay of journalism, new platforms, and trust in media, our research report will summon educators to embrace the challenge of understanding new forms and channels of information. A set of recommendations will be offered for three groups — librarians, educators, and journalists — that work where information and young adults intersect.

A major part of this report will be qualitative research we conduct in the fall during August - October 2019 and will be: (1) focus groups with a total sample of 65+ students, and (2) telephone interviews with a total sample of 35+ faculty members in a range of disciplines. Data will be collected and analyzed to derive deeper insights into their awareness and concerns about the effect algorithms are having on knowledge, and extrapolate what that means for teaching and learning. Our institutional sample for the focus groups and the faculty interviews will consist of 6 U.S. higher education institutions, i.e., community colleges and four-year public and private colleges and universities.

Would you like us to consider your campus as a possibility for our institutional sample?

If so, please take a few moments to answer the following questions and send us this form by May 6, 2019. (We only need one representative from each school to to sign up as our project's "research liaison.") By completing this form you are expressing an interest in participating in our news study, not a firm commitment to participate. We anticipate there may be more responses for campus participation than there are available openings in our sample. We will, therefore, make the final sample selection based on geographic representation, student diversity, mix of small and large campuses, mix of rural vs. metropolitan campuses, and related factors. (Thanks in advance for understanding the necessity of our selection process.)

For more about the age of algorithm study and what participation in the institutional sample entails, please read our Algo Study FAQ at

Thank you!

- Alison Head, PIL Executive Director and PI, The Algo Study

In a few words, tells us why you want your campus to participate in our study sample? *
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Tell us one thing that makes your institution a particularly good choice for our study sample? *
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Do you have the necessary approvals (e.g., your dean or director) to participate in this study? *
While PIL will complete your campus IRB application if you are selected for the sample, how much direct experience do you have with IRB review on your campus? *
What's the current turnaround for an exempt IRB application on your campus? *
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Your name and title? *
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Your school's name, location, and undergraduate enrollment? *
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How'd you hear about our call for study participation? *
Anything else we should know?
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