Date: May 2002
Creator: Abbas, June M.
Description: Middle school student's interaction within a digital library is explored. Issues of interface features used, obstacles encountered, search strategies and search techniques used, and representation obstacles are examined. A mechanism for evaluating user's descriptors is tested and effects of augmenting the system's resource descriptions with these descriptors on retrieval is explored. Transaction log data analysis (TLA) was used, with external corroborating achievement data provided by teachers. Analysis was conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods. Coding schemes for the failure analysis, search strategies and techniques analysis, as well as extent of match analysis between terms in student's questions and their search terms, and extent of match analysis between search terms and controlled vocabulary were developed. There are five chapters with twelve supporting appendixes. Chapter One presents an introduction to the problem and reviews the pilot study. Chapter Two presents the literature review and theoretical basis for the study. Chapter Three describes the research questions, hypotheses and methods. Chapter Four presents findings. Chapter Five presents a summary of the findings and their support of the hypotheses. Unanticipated findings, limitations, speculations, and areas of further research are indicated. Findings indicate that middle school users interact with the system in various sequences of patterns. ...
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