Second article published!

The second article for my PhD has just been published! My main supervisor, Tove Dahl, is the first author and I’m the second. Here’s the reference:

Dahl, T. I., & Nierenberg, E. (2021). Here’s the TRIQ: The Tromsø Interest Questionnaire Based on the Four-Phase Model of Interest Development. Frontiers in Education, 6(402), 1-17.

Tove and I began collecting data for this “interest article” already in February, 2019, so it’s been a long time in the making.

Here we are, not collecting data.

During her career, Tove has done a lot of reading and research on interest. For an educational psychologist, interest is – well, interesting 🙂 – because of its role in motivation and learning. One of the most important models of interest – the Four-Phase Model of Interest Development – was proposed by Hidi and Renninger in 2006.

In this model, the authors divide interest into 4 developmental phases, from triggered situational interest to well-developed individual interest, each with their own psychological states. No one had previously operationalized this model (i.e. devised a way to test if it was valid, based on its theoretical underpinnings), until now. In our study, Tove and I have created and tested the first self-report measure for measuring interest based on the Four-Phase Model’s underlying premises.

Our questionnaire, The Tromsø Interest Questionnaire (TRIQ), is composed of 7 subscales: general interest, situational dependence, positive affect, competence level, competence aspirations, meaningfulness, and self-regulation. You can find TRIQ on the TROILS website, together with other measures developed in my doctoral research.

So, how is this related to information literacy, you might be asking yourself? The interest measure that we have created can be used to measure any interest, including information literacy. In fact, we tested our questionnaire both with students’ self-chosen objects of interest (such as skiing or bird-watching), and with a prespecified interest, namely interest in being or becoming information literate.

Results are valuable not only in validating the Four-Phase Model, but also in (a) determining how students’ interest in being or becoming information literate influences their IL learning, and (b) following the development of students’ identities as information literate individuals. Both of these are major focuses of my doctoral study.

My PhD thesis is article-based (also called “thesis by publication”), as opposed to a monograph. This requires writing a minimum of 3 articles, and a synopsis/extended abstract (40-80 pages). I must be the first author of at least half of of the articles, and at least 2 of them must be published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. The remaining articles must be of sufficient quality to submit to journals. I plan to write 4 articles for my thesis. Two are now published, the third is accepted for publication, and the fourth will be much later, since it’s the culmination of my longitudinal study, with data collection as late as June ’22. So I’m on track, and working hard!

“Here’s the TRIQ” contains elements of both psychology and information literacy. It establishes that developing interest in IL is important for IL learning, and prompts us to ask questions about how to improve our IL teaching by taking interest into account.

Please read our article here:

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