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ERIC Number: EJ1182241
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1368-1613
Use of Web Search Engines and Personalisation in Information Searching for Educational Purposes
Salehi, Sara; Du, Jia Tina; Ashman, Helen
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v23 n2 Jun 2018
Introduction: Students increasingly depend on Web search for educational purposes. This causes concerns among education providers as some evidence indicates that in higher education, the disadvantages of Web search and personalised information are not justified by the benefits. Method: One hundred and twenty university students were surveyed about their information-seeking behaviour for educational purposes. We also examined students' information access while using Web search, through twenty-eight one-on-one study sessions. Analysis: Survey participants ranked their preference towards different information resources on a 5-point Likert scale. Given equal exposure to the first five standard pages of the search results during the study sessions, students' explicit and implicit feedback was used to evaluate the relevance of the search results. Results: First, most participating students declared that they use Google search engine as their primary or only information-seeking tool. Second, about 60% of the clicked result links during the study sessions were located in pages 2+ of the search results without personalisation influencing the relevance of the top-ranked search results. In real-life scenarios pages 2+ of the search results receive only ~10% of the clicks. Students also expressed more satisfaction with the relevance of non-personalised over personalised search results. These differences presented a missed information opportunity, an opportunity bias, for students.
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia