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  • What is PIL?

    Project Information Literacy (PIL) is a large-scale, national study about early adults and their research habits, conducted in partnership with the University of Washington's iSchool. To learn more, watch a short video about PIL. Read PIL's FAQ. Read a summary of our research findings. Read our latest op-ed, "At Sea in a Deluge of Data" from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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  • Latest Research

    How do first year college students make the critical information transition from high school to college? How do they begin to conduct college-level research? During the 2012-13 academic year, the PIL research team conducted interviews with 35 freshmen from six U.S. colleges and universities. Read the research report (48 pages, 6.2MB).
    Watch the preview video (2:40 minutes)

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  • Smart Talks

    In our latest interview, we talk with Zach Sims, co-founder of Codecademy, a highly successful interactive platform offering free classes in programming with 25 million users worldwide. Zach says: "We built a chunked, gamified, learn-by-doing teaching's that experience that makes Codecademy most valuable for people of any age and education level..."

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Inception: 2008

Institutional Home: The University of Washington's iSchool

Director: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Purpose: PIL is a nonprofit conducting an ongoing academic study about how early adults conceptualize and operationalize research tasks in the digital age.

Volunteer Sample: Over 200 U.S. colleges and universities. Read the FAQ about joining the sample.

Who's in the Sample?
See the community colleges, public colleges and universities, and private colleges and universities in the U.S. that have already joined the volunteer sample.

Contributing Supporters (present & past): Institute of Museum and Library Services, MacArthur Foundation, Cable in the Classroom, Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, University of Washington's iSchool, Cengage Learning, and ProQuest.

The Lifelong Learning Study

In fall 2013, PIL and the University of Washington's iSchool were awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 2013 National Leadership Grant (NLG).

During 2013-15, we are conducting a two-year, large-scale quantitative study investigating how a sample of "relatively recent" college graduates from 10 U.S. colleges and universities find, evaluate, and use information for lifelong learning once they leave campus.

We are studying how graduates find and use information for staying competitive in the workforce, engaging in civic affairs, and taking part in learning for personal and social enrichment. Our final research report will be released in December 2015.

To learn more, read a trends report (6 pages) from our 2014 Phase One telephone interviews with 63 recent graduates. Tune into a PIL video, based on excerpts from the interviews (2:39 minutes). Read Barbara Fister's column in Library Journal and her response to our early qualitative findings. Read our entry in Berkman's 2014 Internet Monitor, "Why Blogs Still Matter to the Young." 



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