ERIC Number: ED456787
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The Place of the Web in College Choice: Information or Persuasion? AIR 2001 Annual Forum Paper.
LeFauve, Linda M.
The college choice process has taken on new levels of complexity as the Web has grown in both importance and pervasiveness. Admissions offices struggle to balance their resource investment in the Web and traditional publications. Using both qualitative and quantitative analyses, researchers examined the "persuasion" and "information" dimensions of these two ways to reach prospective students. Through focus groups and individual interviews, students expressed their opinions of Web and traditional publications, contrasting Web sites with "viewbooks." Students were also asked to "build" a Web site or viewbook. Findings support the hypothesis that prospective students perceive a college's materials differently depending on the vehicle used to present them, and that, in fact, they look to different methods of presentation for specific kinds of material. Web pages are more likely to be a source of information consulted early in the decision-making process to narrow the field or late in the process after a decision has been made. Web sites are used by students to find answers to questions they have already formulated. Viewbooks are more likely to be a vehicle of persuasion and the sources that narrows a prospective student's choices. Viewbooks are also absorbed by students in ways that lead to affective change. Viewbooks seem to work best as an individual experience. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Institutional Research (41st, Long Beach, CA, June 3-6, 2001).