The highway to student´s hearts: An improvement of the online tutorial Søk & Skriv based on a collaboration between academic writing experts and librarians

Solveig Kavli, Amund Børdahl


The online tutorial Søk & Skriv (Search and Write) was launched March 2007. The site has been under continuous development, from being an online tutorial in mainly information literacy connected with academic writing, to covering broader aspects such as intellectual property rights and thorough views on ethics and academic guidelines related to student work. The original Søk & Skriv is the result from a joined project between the academic libraries of Bergen University College, the Norwegian School of Economics and Bergen University Library.

To improve the product we have extended the project group with the academic writing unit at the University of Bergen. The University of Oslo library has also joined the project group, in this way the online tutorial reaches further out nationally.

The point of departure for launching the new version of Søk & Skriv is based in the findings from our online survey; Søk & Skriv i et brukerperspektiv: Rapport fra spørreundersøkelsen høsten 2010; a Danish evaluation done on three different online tutorials in information literacy in Norway called Studerende, læring og webtutorials, and readings on the so called Google generation. Our findings indicate that the generation n, persons born after 1980 tend to use a small amount of time to search for information (Feiertag and Berge, 2008).

Information search as sense-making

Information search is understood as an action. As you go along doing your searches you must decide and evaluate whether and how the information at hand will be useful for your research (Dervin, 1999, p.745). Like Dervin we understand information search as sense-making. The source alone is not the authoritative voice, but is dependent on the student who must define the value of the text, and take a stand. This also coincides with the use of Stephen Toulmins model on argumentation (Toulmin, 2003; Rienecker 2012, pp.299-319), both in the text the students are reading, and in the text they are to write themselves. By using Toulmins model in Søk & Skriv we demonstrate a tool on how to read and evaluate the sources by questioning the sources at hand. The purpose is to enable the students to decide whether the information will be useful for their research. Students must demonstrate how (and why) the sources they find are relevant for their thesis.

The aim of this article is to present the work we have done in our new version of Søk & Skriv where the goal is to get students from generation n to invest time in searching, reading, evaluating and writing; and to connect their writing with ethical use of sources. The new version of the product is the result of a thorough collaboration between academic writing experts and librarians.



Dervin, B.B. (1999). On Studying Information Seeking Methodologically: The Implications of Connecting Metatheory to Method. Information Processing and Management 35(6), 727-750.

Feiertag, J. & Berge, Z. L. (2008). Training Generation N: how educators should approach the Net Generation. Education + Training 50(6), 457-464. Retrieved from

Forras, P., Kavli, S., Mikki, S., Austrheim, G. & Elvebakk, E. (2011). Søk & Skriv i et brukerperspektiv: Rapport fra spørreundersøkelsen høsten 2010. Retrieved from

Hyldegård, J., Lund, H., Moring, C., Pors, N.P., & Schreiber, T. (2011). Studerende, læring og webtutorials: En analyse af 3 norske læringssystemer. København: Det informationsvidenskabelige akademi.


Copyright (c) 2013 Solveig Kavli, Amund Børdahl

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