Digital Visitors and Residents: What Motivates Engagement with the Digital Information Environment?


Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Donna Lanclos, and David White. 2012. Visitors and Residents: Exploring What Motivates Students to Engage With Digital Services. EDUCAUSE 2012, 9 November 2012, Denver, Colorado (USA). (ppt: 7.9MB/15 slides). Photos from the event on Storify.

White, David. Higher Education Academy, The. 2012. New places to learn: Flexible learning and online residency. Symposium given online and at Saïd Business School by The Higher Education Academy, April 19, 2012, in Oxford, England.

Reflections on the Event

    Anyangew, Eliza. 2012. "Developing digital literacy in higher education: Live chat." The Guardian: Higher Education Network (blog), February 28, 2012.

    Cann, A. J. 2012. "Micropedagogy and macropedagogy." Science of the Invisible (blog), April 24, 2012.

    Jordan, Lindsay. 2012. "Residents and Visitors." Lindsay's Blog (blog), April 23, 2012.

    Mackness, Jenny. 2012. "Online residency." Jenny Mackness (blog), April 20, 2012.

    White, David. 2012. "Education should move us." TALL blog (blog), April 24, 2012.

    White, David. 2012. "Capture." By Aleks Krotoski. The Digital Human. BBC Radio 4 (April 30, 2012). Podcast.

        Reflections on the Broadcast

            St. John, Max. 2012. "Visitors and residents, not immigrants and natives." Maxwellinever (blog), April 30, 2012.


Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Donna M. Lanclos, and Erin M. Hood. 2013. "'I always stick with the first thing that comes up on Google. . . ' Where People Go for Information, What They Use, and Why." Educause Review Online. Available online at:


Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, David White, and Lorcan Dempsey. 2011. Digital Visitors and Residents: What motivates engagement with the digital information environment? An update on current findings. A video production of OCLC Research, October 13, 2011, Dublin, Ohio (USA).

Blog Posts

Donna Lanclos - The Anthropologist in the Stacks (blog)

  • " Information literacy and deciding what is 'good'," August 25, 2011.
  • "More on Visitors and Residents," January 18, 2012.
  • "Science Friday, digital scholarship, and the end of the (academic) world as we know it (with apologies to REM)," January 27, 2012.
  • "SOPA protest outcomes, activism vs. everyday life," January 19, 2012.
  • "THATCamp, digital humanities, hammers and nails," March 12, 2012.

David White - TALL Blog

  • "Education should move us," April 24, 2012.
  • "New places to learn," March 16, 2012.
  • "Questions of creativity," February 24, 2012.
  • "Visitors and Residents—An update," December 16, 2011.
  • "The learning black market," September 30, 2011.
  • "The cost of Residency?" August 15, 2011.
  • " Visitors & Residents: The Video. 14 October 2009.

Guardian Higher Education Network

Trade Publications

From Alone to Together Again: Using Data to Deliver Value

Worthington Libraries (WL) and OCLC partnered to assess library users’ needs by gathering data from WL users from 2018 to 2020 to look at the most important factors influencing individuals’ library use and what role the library plays in individuals’ lives. The study used a mixed methods design that included survey data and semi-structured interviews. This article, published by Public Libraries Online, describes the research and reflects on themes that emerged from the findings to model approaches that libraries can use to evaluate their activities and offerings based on community behaviors, needs, and expectations.

Read Article > > (external link)

Examples of V&R Being Used in Professional Practice

Truelove, Ian. BA (Hons) graphic arts & design. Leeds Metropolitan University.

Cann, Alan J. 2011. "Information is beautiful, Google+ more so." Science of the Invisible (blog), October 20, 2011. (Full paper being drafted)

Jordan, Lindsay. 2012. "Residents and Visitors." Lindsay's Blog (blog), April 23, 2012.

Hall, Chris. MA lifelong learning: Adult continuing education. Swansea University.

[One of the assignments they have to undertake is to complete a reflective journal over the 10 weeks of the module on their experience of using technology in learning. In this assignment a number of students have talked about how at the start of the module they felt like Digital Natives—a term they had heard and felt or had been told applied to them. Some also thought that perhaps all this social technology stuff was something they ought to be doing. As they course progressed they began to feel less like this and the Visitors and Residents Principle has been a useful metaphor to help them make sense of and describe their own behaviour.

For example, one student who opened her reflection with the statement: "I have never felt totally at ease with ICT systems . . . and as a result looked forward to this module with dread." later reflected that: "It was at this stage [after exploring the Visitors and Residents Principle] that I began to feel confident not only in my use of ICT but also how I could utilize it [in teaching]"]

V&R mapping being used in Northumbria University as a tool for staff development.

V&R used in "Change11" Massively Open Online Course.

Emerging findings from the project being used in an online teacher training course run by Brookes University.

Other impacts

Interest in the recently published First Monday paper on Visitors and Residents by the commercial sector (Confused of Calcutta)

Positive comment on Learning Black Market post from Blackboard's President of Learning and Teaching.

Interest from Oxford University Press in relation to their discoverability activities.