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ERIC Number: EJ1016348
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1436-4522
A Systematic Understanding of Successful Web Searches in Information-Based Tasks
Zhou, Mingming
Educational Technology & Society, v16 n1 p321-331 2013
The purpose of this study is to research how Chinese university students solve information-based problems. With the Search Performance Index as the measure of search success, participants were divided into high, medium and low-performing groups. Based on their web search logs, these three groups were compared along five dimensions of the search process for answers to the assigned tasks: frequency counts of different activities during search process, time allocation on each search activity, search patterns, search query as well as selection of information. The results documented students' varying abilities to search. The key factor that determines search performance is the effective use of search queries. Successful searchers made use of advanced search options such as extracting relevant and effective key terms from further reading, in contrast with simpler strategies by unsuccessful searchers like adding, removing unimportant words, or using synonyms. High-performing students also showed more monitoring awareness and strategy, such as changing search engines, reformulation of existing search queries as well as backtracking to task questions.
International Forum of Educational Technology & Society. Athabasca University, School of Computing & Information Systems, 1 University Drive, Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3, Canada. Tel: 780-675-6812; Fax: 780-675-6973; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A