Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment Page: 49
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Obviously one of the important roles faculty members have always played is
teaching students how to conduct research and find information. As previously discussed,
mastering information literacy skills becomes more important in the electronic access
environment of the Intemrnet. Amstutz and Whitson (1997) researched this topic at the
University of Wyoming. They also researched what resources faculty members used to
acquire needed information, the characteristics of faculty members who made use of
electronic resources, and how faculty members encouraged students to use technology to
find information. In their survey, Amstutz and Whitson found that over 35% of the
faculty members used the Intemrnet on a "very often" basis. However, 47% used the more
traditional approach of using the library as the first site to find needed information. A
slight majority of the faculty members encouraged or required their students to use the
Internet and E-mail to complete assignments or seek information. "This reliance on
traditional sources may indicate that faculty are most comfortable acquiring and using
information in the way they were trained. The percentages of faculty who never mention
CD-ROM sources (50 percent), the Intemrnet (44 percent), or the computer library catalog
system (52 percent) suggest that faculty pass on their biases when presenting information
sources" (p. 23). Unfortunately in training students for the information age and the use of
technology, these faculty members could be failing their students' needs. "There appears
to be a stronger connection between technology use and reason for information needs:
faculty who declared research as their main information need were more likely to use
electronic tools such as the Intemet" (pp. 23-24).
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Fortin, Maurice G. Faculty Use of the World Wide Web: Modeling Information Seeking Behavior in a Digital Environment, dissertation, December 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2723/m1/56/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .