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- An Analysis of the Ability of an Instrument to Measure Quality of Library Service and Library Success
- This study consisted of an examination of how service quality should be measured within libraries and how library service quality relates to library success. A modified version of the SERVQUAL instrument was evaluated to determine how effectively it measures library service quality. Instruments designed to measure information center success and information system success were evaluated to determine how effectively they measure library success and how they relate to SERVQUAL. A model of library success was developed to examine how library service quality relates to other variables associated with library success. Responses from 385 end users at two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers libraries were obtained through a mail survey. Results indicate that library service quality is best measured with a performance-based version of SERVQUAL, and that measuring importance may be as critical as measuring expectations for management purposes. Results also indicate that library service quality is an important factor in library success and that library success is best measured with a combination of SERVQUAL and library success instruments. The findings have implications for the development of new instruments to more effectively measure library service quality and library success as well as for the development of new models of library service quality and library success.
- The Effects of Task-Based Documentation Versus Online Help Menu Documentation on the Acceptance of Information Technology
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The objectives of this study were (1) to identify and describe task-based documentation; (2) to identify and describe any purported changes in users attitudes when IT migration was preceded by task-based documentation; (3) to suggest implications of task-based documentation on users attitude toward IT acceptance. Questionnaires were given to 150 university students. Of these, all 150 students participated in this study. The study determined the following: (1) if favorable pre-implementation attitudes toward a new e-mail system increase, as a result of training, if users expect it to be easy to learn and use; (2) if user acceptance of an e-mail program increase as expected perceived usefulness increase as delineated by task-based documentation; (3) if task-based documentation is more effective than standard help menus while learning a new application program; and (4) if training that requires active student participation increase the acceptance of a new e-mail system. The following conclusions were reached: (1) Positive pre-implementation attitudes toward a new e-mail system are not affected by training even if the users expect it to be easy to learn and use. (2) User acceptance of an e-mail program does not increase as perceived usefulness increase when aided by task-based documentation. (3) Task-based documentation is not more effective than standard help menus when learning a new application program. (4) Training that requires active student participation does not increase the acceptance of a new e-mail system.
- Factors Influencing How Students Value Asynchronous Web Based Courses
- This dissertation discovered the factors influencing how students value asynchronous Web-based courses through the use of qualitative methods. Data was collected through surveys, observations, interviews, email correspondence, chat room and bulletin board transcripts. Instruments were tested in pilot studies of previous semesters. Factors were identified for two class formats. The asynchronous CD/Internet class format and the synchronous online Web based class format. Also, factors were uncovered for two of the instructional tools used in the course: the WebCT forum and WebCT testing. Factors were grouped accordingly as advantages or disadvantages under major categories. For the asynchronous CD/Internet class format the advantages were Convenience, Flexibility, Learning Enhancement, and Psychology. The disadvantages included Isolation, Learning Environment, and Technology. For the synchronous online Web based class format the advantages were Convenience, Flexibility, Human Interaction, Learning Enhancement and Psychology, whereas the disadvantages included Isolation, Learning Environment and Technology. Concurrently, the study revealed the following factors as advantages of the WebCT Forum: Help Each Other, Interaction, Socialization, Classroom News, and Time Independent. The disadvantages uncovered were Complaints, Technical Problems and Isolation. Finally, advantages specified for the WebCT testing tool were Convenience, Flexibility and Innovations, and its disadvantages were Surroundings Not Conducive to Learning, and Technical Problems. Results indicate that not only classroom preference, learning style and personality type influence how students value a Web based course, but, most importantly, a student's lifestyle (number of personal commitments, how far they live, and life's priorities). The WebCT forum or bulletin board, and the WebCT testing or computerized testing were seen mostly by students, as good tools for encouraging classroom communication and testing because of the convenience and flexibility offered. Still, further research is needed both quantitatively and qualitatively to ascertain the true weight of the factors discovered in this study.
- Information Seeking in a Virtual Learning Environment
- Duplicating a time series study done by Kuhlthau and associates in 1989, this study examines the applicability of the Information Search Process (ISP) Model in the context of a virtual learning environment. This study confirms that students given an information seeking task in a virtual learning environment do exhibit the stages indicated by the ISP Model. The six-phase ISP Model is shown to be valid for describing the different stages of cognitive, affective, and physical tasks individuals progress through when facing a situation where they must search for information to complete an academic task in a virtual learning environment. The findings in this study further indicate there is no relationship between the amount of computer experience subjects possess and demonstrating the patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions described by the ISP Model. The study demonstrates the ISP Model to be independent of the original physical library environments where the model was developed. An attempt is made to represent the ISP model in a slightly different manner that provides more of the sense of motion and interaction among the components of thoughts, feelings, and action than is currently provided for in the model. The study suggests that the development of non-self-reporting data collection techniques would be useful in complementing and furthering research to enhance and refine the representation of the ISP Model. Additionally, expanding the research to include the examination of group interaction is called for to enhance the ISP Model and develop further applications that could potentially aid educational delivery in all types of learning environments.
- Korean studies in North America 1977-1996: A bibliometric study
- This research is a descriptive bibliometric study of the literature of the field of Korean studies. Its goal is to quantitatively describe the literature and serve as a model for such research in other area studies fields. This study analyzed 193 source articles and 7,166 citations in the articles in four representative Korean and Asian studies journals published in North America from 1977 to 1996. The journals included in this study were Korean Studies (KS), the Journal of Korean Studies (JKS), the Journal of Asian Studies (JAS), and the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (HJAS). Subject matters and author characteristics of the source articles were examined, along with various characteristics such as the form, date, language, country of origin, subject, key authors, and key titles of the literature cited in the source articles. Research in Korean studies falls within fourteen broad disciplines, but concentrated in a few disciplines. Americans have been the most active authors in Korean studies, followed closely by authors of Korean ethnicity. Monographic literature was used most. The mean age of publications cited was 20.87 and the median age of publications cited was 12. The Price Index of Korean studies as a whole is 21.9 percent. Sources written in English were most cited (47.1%) and references to Korean language sources amounted to only 34.9% of all sources. In general, authors preferred sources published in their own countries. Sources on history were cited most by other disciplines. No significant core authors were identified. No significant core literature were identified either. This study indicates that Korean studies is still evolving. Some ways of promoting research in less studied disciplines and of facilitating formal communication between Korean scholars in Korea and Koreanists in North America need to be sought in order to promote well-balanced development in the field. This study suggests that as many and as great a variety of titles in all formats as possible need to be collected to support research in Korean studies.
- A Personal Documenation System for Scholars: A Tool for Thinking
- This exploratory research focused on a problem stated years ago by Vannevar Bush: "The problem is how creative men think, and what can be done to help them think." The study explored the scholarly work process and the use of computer tools to augment thinking. Based on a review of several related literatures, a framework of 7 major categories and 28 subcategories of scholarly thinking was proposed. The literature was used to predict problems scholars have in organizing their information, potential solutions, and specific computer tool features to augment scholarly thinking. Info Select, a personal information manager with most of these features (text and outline processing, sophisticated searching and organizing), was chosen as a potential tool for thinking. The study looked at how six scholars (faculty and doctoral students in social science fields at three universities) organized information using Info Select as a personal documentation system for scholarly work. These multiple case studies involved four in-depth, focused interviews, written evaluations, direct observation, and analysis of computer logs and files collected over a 3- to 6-month period. A content analysis of interviews and journals supported the proposed AfFORD-W taxonomy: Scholarly work activities consisted of Adding, Filing, Finding, Organizing, Reminding, and Displaying information to produce a Written product. Very few activities fell outside this framework, and activities were distributed evenly across all categories. Problems, needs, and likes mentioned by scholars, however, clustered mainly in the filing, finding, and organizing categories. All problems were related to human memory. Both predictions and research findings imply a need for tools that support information storage and retrieval in personal documentation systems, for references and notes, with fast and easy input of source material. A computer tool for thinking should support categorizing and organizing, reorganizing and transporting information. It should provide a simple search engine and support rapid scanning. The research implies the need for tools that provide better affordances for scholarly thinking activities.
- A theory for the measurement of Internet information retrieval.
- The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a measurement model for Internet information retrieval strategy performance evaluation whose theoretical basis is a modification of the classical measurement model embodied in the Cranfield studies and their progeny. Though not the first, the Cranfield studies were the most influential of the early evaluation experiments. The general problem with this model was and continues to be the subjectivity of the concept of relevance. In cyberspace, information scientists are using quantitative measurement models for evaluating information retrieval performance that are based on the Cranfield model. This research modified this model by incorporating enduser relevance judgment rather than using objective relevance judgments, and by adopting a fundamental unit of measure developed for the cyberspace of Internet information retrieval rather than using recall and precision-type measures. The proposed measure, the Content-bearing Click (CBC) Ratio, was developed as a quantitative measure reflecting the performance of an Internet IR strategy. Since the hypertext "click" is common to many Internet IR strategies, it was chosen as the fundamental unit of measure rather than the "document." The CBC Ratio is a ratio of hypertext click counts that can be viewed as a false drop measure that determines the average number of irrelevant content-bearing clicks that an enduser check before retrieving relevant information. After measurement data were collected, they were used to evaluate the reliability of several methods for aggregating relevance judgments. After reliability coefficients were calculated, measurement model was used to compare web catalog and web database performance in an experimental setting. Conclusions were the reached concerning the reliability of the proposed measurement model and its ability to measure Internet IR performance, as well as implications for clinical use of the Internet and for future research in Information Science.