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ERIC Number: EJ891742
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1932-2909
An Exploratory Study of School-Age Children's Use of a Heterogeneous Resource Site
Holmes, Jason; Robins, David; Zhang, Yin; Salaba, Athena
Journal of Web Librarianship, v2 n2-3 p263-285 2008
In this study, students' use of a new educational Web portal was evaluated with particular emphasis on searching and browsing strategies. The effects and implications of a federated search system are also discussed. Fifty-four students, ranging from 5th to 12th grade, were given five tasks to complete using the SchoolRooms interface. The tasks required students to use both the search box and the categorical browse feature on the Web portal. Data collected were analyzed to determine time on task, rate of success and the subjects' awareness of success, and the type of search method chosen to complete the tasks. In general, students preferred the search-box strategy to the categorical-browse strategy, but exposure to both strategies resulted in increased use of the browse strategy. Success rates varied widely by task. Students had a difficult time distinguishing between various media and format types returned by the federated search. Results suggest that while students prefer a search-box strategy, it is by no means the only way they search for information. Students experienced difficulty in trying to de-aggregate the results of a federated search engine. These findings have implications for information literacy and library instruction. Forthcoming analysis of these data will address the factors related to search success. (Contains 7 figures, 10 tables and 17 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio