UNT Libraries - Browse


Smoothing the information seeking path: Removing representational obstacles in the middle-school digital library.

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. User groups' interactions and scaffold use are influenced by the teacher's objectives for using the ADL. Users preferred to use single word searches over Boolean, phrase or natural language searches. Users tended to use a strategy of repeating the same exact search, instead of using the advanced scaffolds. A high percent of users attempted at least one search that included spelling or typographical errors, punctuation, or sequentially repeated searches. Search terms matched the DQ's in some instantiation 54% of all searches. Terms used by the system to represent the resources do not adequately represent the user groups' information needs, however, ...
Date: May 2002
Creator: Abbas, June M.

Makeshift Information Constructions: Information Flow and Undercover Police

Description: This dissertation presents the social virtual interface (SVI) model, which was born out of a need to develop a viable model of the complex interactions, information flow and information seeking behaviors among undercover officers. The SVI model was created from a combination of various philosophies and models in the literature of information seeking, communication and philosophy. The questions this research paper answers are as follows: 1. Can we make use of models and concepts familiar to or drawn from Information Science to construct a model of undercover police work that effectively represents the large number of entities and relationships? and 2. Will undercover police officers recognize this model as realistic? This study used a descriptive qualitative research method to examine the research questions. An online survey and hard copy survey were distributed to police officers who had worked in an undercover capacity. In addition groups of officers were interviewed about their opinion of the SVI model. The data gathered was analyzed and the model was validated by the results of the survey and interviews.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Aksakal, Baris

Perceived attributes of diffusion of innovation theory as predictors of Internet adoption among faculty members of Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University.

Description: The Internet is the most common communication and research tool worldwide. Perusal of the World Wide Web quickly reveals the variety of information available. Internet adoption can be considered the late 20th century's most important event. In academic environments today, Internet use among faculty members has been widely expanded, with professors now integrating Internet technology into classroom activities. Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University (IMSU) is a pioneering public university in Saudi Arabia. Until recently, some faculty members at IMSU were unable to access the Internet through the university. It is important to study the effects of this delay on faculty members regarding research and academic activities. This study identified the statistically significant differences in demographic characteristics of Internet adopters and non-adopters among faculty members at IMSU, examined whether faculty members' perceptions of the Internet affected adoption, determined if the university administration's decisions impacted faulty members' decisions to adopt the Internet, identified factors motivating faculty members to adopt the Internet, identified obstacles influencing faculty members' decisions to use the Internet, and determined whether innovation characteristics as perceived by faculty members predicted Internet adoption. Using Rogers' diffusion of innovation theory, the influence of eight attributes were examined regarding Internet adoption among IMSU faculty members. Multiple regression and chi-square techniques were conducted to analyze the data and answer research questions. Statistically significant differences were identified among Internet adopters and non-adopters regarding gender, age, academic rank, discipline, and English proficiency. The data revealed 54.7% of IMSU faulty members used the Internet for research and academic activities twice a month or less, indicating a low Internet adoption rate. Statistically significant differences were noted among adopters and non-adopters relative to income level and English proficiency. Multiple regression analysis showed that all attributes of innovation individually predicted Internet adoption. The combination of all attributes indicated the ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Almobarraz, Abdullah

The Adoption and Use of Electronic Information Resources by a Non-Traditional User Group: Automotive Service Technicians.

Description: The growing complexity of machines has led to a concomitant increase in the amount and complexity of the information needed by those charged with servicing them. This, in turn, has led to a need for more robust methods for storing and distributing information and for a workforce more sophisticated in its use of information resources. As a result, the service trades have "professionalized," adopting more rigorous academic standards and developing ongoing certification programs. The current paper deals with the acceptance of advanced electronic information technology by skilled service personnel, specifically, automotive service technicians. The theoretical basis of the study is Davis' technology acceptance model. The purpose of the study is to determine the effects of three external factors on the operation of the model: age, work experience, and education/certification level. The research design is in two parts, beginning with an onsite observation and interviews to establish the environment. During the second part of the research process a survey was administered to a sample of automotive service technicians. Results indicated significant inverse relationships between age and acceptance and between experience and acceptance. A significant positive relationship was shown between education, particularly certification, and acceptance.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Almquist, Arne J.

Functional Ontology Construction: A Pragmatic Approach to Addressing Problems Concerning the Individual and the Informing Environment

Description: Functional ontology construction (FOC) is an approach for modeling the relationships between a user and the informing environment by means of analysis of the user's behavior and the elements of the environment that have behavioral function. The FOC approach is an application of behavior analytic techniques and concepts to problems within information science. The FOC approach is both an alternative and a compliment to the cognitive viewpoint commonly found in models of behavior in information science. The basis for the synthesis of behavior analysis and information science is a shared tradition of pragmatism between the fields. The application of behavior analytic concepts brings with it the notion of selection by consequence. Selection is examined on the biological, behavioral, and cultural levels. Two perspicuous examples of the application of the FOC modeling approach are included. The first example looks at the document functioning as a reinforcer in a human operant experimental setting. The second example is an examination of the verbal behavior of expert film analyst, Raymond Bellour, the structure of a film he analyzed, and the elements of the film's structure that had behavioral function for Bellour. The FOC approach is examined within the ontological space of information science.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Anderson, Richard L.

Human concept cognition and semantic relations in the unified medical language system: A coherence analysis.

Description: There is almost a universal agreement among scholars in information retrieval (IR) research that knowledge representation needs improvement. As core component of an IR system, improvement of the knowledge representation system has so far involved manipulation of this component based on principles such as vector space, probabilistic approach, inference network, and language modeling, yet the required improvement is still far from fruition. One promising approach that is highly touted to offer a potential solution exists in the cognitive paradigm, where knowledge representation practice should involve, or start from, modeling the human conceptual system. This study based on two related cognitive theories: the theory-based approach to concept representation and the psychological theory of semantic relations, ventured to explore the connection between the human conceptual model and the knowledge representation model (represented by samples of concepts and relations from the unified medical language system, UMLS). Guided by these cognitive theories and based on related and appropriate data-analytic tools, such as nonmetric multidimensional scaling, hierarchical clustering, and content analysis, this study aimed to conduct an exploratory investigation to answer four related questions. Divided into two groups, a total of 89 research participants took part in two sets of cognitive tasks. The first group (49 participants) sorted 60 food names into categories followed by simultaneous description of the derived categories to explain the rationale for category judgment. The second group (40 participants) performed sorting 47 semantic relations (the nonhierarchical associative types) into 5 categories known a priori. Three datasets resulted as a result of the cognitive tasks: food-sorting data, relation-sorting data, and free and unstructured text of category descriptions. Using the data analytic tools mentioned, data analysis was carried out and important results and findings were obtained that offer plausible explanations to the 4 research questions. Major results include the following: (a) through discriminant ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Assefa, Shimelis G.

Factors Influencing Older Adults' Patterns of Information Acquisition

Description: A group of 101 older adults (sixty-five years of age and over) who lived independently in three retirement apartment residences in Denton, Texas, were asked about their patterns of reading, television viewing, and radio listening habits for two periods in their lives: (1) at age forty to fifty-five and (2) at the present. Respondents were asked about their use of external information sources (public library, grocery store, newsstand, etc.) and their use of proximate information sources (radio, friends/relatives, television, etc.) They were also asked about access to transportation, income satisfaction, status of general health, vision, hearing, physical mobility and reasons for utilizing various information sources. Four hypotheses relating changes in health, environment, economic status, and education to reasons for reading and use of information sources were tested through the use of t-tests, regression analysis and analysis of variance. Within this group of older adults, use of external information sources decreased from the past to the present. There was, however, no change in the use of information sources located in or near the residence as difficulties in these areas increased. A relationship was found between educational level and reading for pleasure earlier in life. Also, those with higher educational levels reported fewer differences in their reasons for reading in the present and in the past.
Date: May 1989
Creator: Barnett, Mary Jane, 1952-

The Effect of Information Literacy Instruction on Library Anxiety Among International Students

Description: This study explored what effect information literacy instruction (ILI) may have on both a generalized anxiety state and library anxiety specifically. The population studied was international students using resources in a community college. Library anxiety among international students begins with certain barriers that cause anxiety (i.e., language/communication barriers, adjusting to a new education/library system and general cultural adjustments). Library Anxiety is common among college students and is characterized by feelings of negative emotions including, ruminations, tension, fear and mental disorganization (Jiao & Onwuegbuzie, 1999a). This often occurs when a student contemplates conducting research in a library and is due to any number of perceived inabilities about using the library. In order for students to become successful in their information seeking behavior this anxiety needs to be reduced. The study used two groups of international students enrolled in the English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) program taking credit courses. Each student completed Bostick's Library Anxiety Scale (LAS) and Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) to assess anxiety level before and after treatment. Subjects were given a research assignment that required them to use library resources. Treatment: Group 1 (experimental group) attended several library instruction classes (the instruction used Kuhltau's information search process model). Group 2 (control group) was in the library working on assignment but did not receive any formal library instruction. After the treatment the researcher and ESOL program instructor(s) measured the level of anxiety between groups. ANCOVA was used to analyze Hypotheses 1 and 2, which compared pretest and posttest for each group. Research assignment grades were used to analyze Hypothesis 3 comparing outcomes among the two groups. The results of the analysis ascertained that ILI was associated with reducing state and library anxiety among international students when given an assignment using library resources.
Access: This item is restricted to the UNT Community Members at a UNT Libraries Location.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Battle, Joel C.

Wayfinding tools in public library buildings: A multiple case study.

Description: Wayfinding is the process of using one or more tools to move from one location to another in order to accomplish a task or to achieve a goal. This qualitative study explores the process of wayfinding as it applies to locating information in a public library. A group of volunteers were asked to find a selection of items in three types of libraries-traditional, contemporary, and modern. The retrieval process was timed and the reactions of the volunteers were recorded, documented, and analyzed. The impact of various wayfinding tools-architecture, layout, color, signage, computer support, collection organization-on the retrieval process was also identified. The study revealed that many of the wayfinding tools currently available in libraries do not facilitate item retrieval. Inconsistencies, ambiguities, obstructions, disparities, and operational deficiencies all contributed to end-user frustration and retrieval failure. The study suggests that failing to address these issues may prompt library patrons-end users who are increasingly interested in finding information with minimal expenditures of time and effort-may turn to other information-retrieval strategies and abandon a system that they find confusing and frustrating.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Beecher, Ann B.

Elementary School Climate Factors and Personality and Status Variables Associated with School Library Media Specialists Chosen by Classroom Teachers for Cooperation on Instructional Problems

Description: This study investigated relationships between the extent to which elementary classroom teachers tend to choose school library media specialists for cooperation on instructional problems and several school climate and faculty related characteristics including the general academic effectiveness of the school, the overall cohesion and cooperativeness of the teaching faculty on instructional matters, and the propensity of the group and individual faculty to seek cooperation to solve instructional problems. The instructional choice status of the school library media specialist was also studied in relation to various individual personality factors, as measured by Cattell's 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire, as well as school media specialist status variables including degreed or non-degreed status, total years of experience as a school library media specialist, years of experience on campus as a school library media specialist, and total number of years of experience in the field of education. The instructional status of the school library media specialist was also examined in relationship to the size of the school served. The study included 1,079 elementary classroom teachers and thirty-nine school library media specialists from thirty-nine Texas elementary schools similar in important wealth, size, and student demographic characteristics. Twenty of the schools ranked in the bottom 25% of all schools in the state as to how well their students performed on the 1988 Texas Educational Assessment of Minimum Skills (TEAMS) test. Nineteen schools ranked among the top 25%of all schools in the state in academic effectiveness. As compared to the low academic schools, the high academic schools were found to be significantly more instructionally cohesive, and classroom teachers in those schools were significantly more disposed to choose the school library media specialist to cooperate with them on instructional problems. No significant relationships were discovered between the instructional choice status of the school media specialist and his or her ...
Date: December 1990
Creator: Bell, Michael David, 1943-

The Effects of Task-Based Documentation Versus Online Help Menu Documentation on the Acceptance of Information Technology

Description: 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.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Bell, Thomas

Perceived value of journals for academic prestige, general reading and classroom use: A study of journals in educational and instructional technology.

Description: Conducting research, evaluating research, and publishing scholarly works all play an extremely prominent role for university faculty members. Tenure and promotion decisions are greatly influenced by the perceived value of publications as viewed by members of faculty evaluation committees. Faculty members seeking tenure may be limited to publishing in a limited group of journals perceived to be valuable by members of an academic committee. This study attempted to determine the value of various kinds of periodicals (journals, magazines, and e-journals), based on three principal criteria, as perceived by professionals (university faculty, K-12 practitioners, and corporate trainers) in the educational/instructional technology (E/IT) field. The criteria for journal evaluation were Academic Prestige, General Reading, and Classroom Use. The perceived value of journals based on each criterion was compared to determine any significant differences. Members of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) were asked to rate 30 journals in the E/IT field using the three criteria. Statistically significant differences were found among ratings in 63% of the journals. The statistical analyses indicated that differences in the perceived value of journals among E/IT professionals across the three criteria (Academic Prestige, General Reading, and Classroom Use) were statistically significant. It is also noted that refereed journals were rated higher than nonrefereed journals for the Academic Prestige criterion. Survey respondents indicated that individual journals were not valued for the same reasons. This finding implies that the formation of any equitable measure for determining the value of faculty members' journal article publications would be best if based on definable criteria determined by colleagues. Lists of valued journals for each area of faculty assessment would provide standards of excellence both inside and outside the E/IT field for those who serve on tenure and promotion committees in educational institutions.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Bray, Kaye Evitt

Factors Related to the Professional Progress of Academic Librarians in Louisiana

Description: Three groups of Academic librarians in Louisiana were surveyed to determine what factors other than job performance influenced professional progress (Salary increases, promotion and tenure) for them. Staff development activities were also investigated to determine if they played any significant role in influencing professional progress. Three opinion questions were also asked in this investigation about the feasibility of using an index that was developed to assess quantitatively staff development activities.
Date: May 1991
Creator: Brazile, Orella Ramsey, 1945-

A Personal Documenation System for Scholars: A Tool for Thinking

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 1999
Creator: Burkett, Leslie Stewart

Information Seeking in a Virtual Learning Environment

Description: 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.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Byron, Suzanne M.

Children's Color Association for Digital Image Retrieval.

Description: In the field of information sciences, attention has been focused on developing mature information retrieval systems that abstract information automatically from the contents of information resources, such as books, images and films. As a subset of information retrieval research, content-based image retrieval systems automatically abstract elementary information from images in terms of colors, shapes, and texture. Color is the most commonly used in similarity measurement for content-based image retrieval systems. Human-computer interface design and image retrieval methods benefit from studies based on the understanding of their potential users. Today's children are exposed to digital technology at a very young age, and they will be the major technology users in five to ten years. This study focuses on children's color perception and color association with a controlled set of digital images. The method of survey research was used to gather data for this exploratory study about children's color association from a children's population, third to sixth graders. An online questionnaire with fifteen images was used to collect quantitative data of children's color selections. Face-to-face interviews investigated the rationale and factors affecting the color choices and children's interpretation of the images. The findings in this study indicate that the color children associated with in the images was the one that took the most space or the biggest part of an image. Another powerful factor in color selection was the vividness or saturation of the color. Colors that stood out the most generally attracted the greatest attention. Preferences of color, character, or subject matter in an image also strongly affected children's color association with images. One of the most unexpected findings was that children would choose a color to replace a color in an image. In general, children saw more things than what were actually represented in the images. However, the children's interpretation ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Chang, Yun-Ke

Effect of Technology Integration Education on the Attitudes of Teachers and their Students

Description: This study analyzed the effect of technology integration education on teachers' and students' attitudes toward information technology. Two instruments measuring similar attributes were used to assess teachers' and students' attitudes. Differences in pre- and post-test scores were used to determine changes that occurred during the course of the study.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Christensen, Rhonda

Korean Studies in North America 1977-1996: A Bibliometric Study

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 1999
Creator: Chun, Kyungmi

A Framework of Automatic Subject Term Assignment: An Indexing Conception-Based Approach

Description: The purpose of dissertation is to examine whether the understandings of subject indexing processes conducted by human indexers have a positive impact on the effectiveness of automatic subject term assignment through text categorization (TC). More specifically, human indexers' subject indexing approaches or conceptions in conjunction with semantic sources were explored in the context of a typical scientific journal article data set. Based on the premise that subject indexing approaches or conceptions with semantic sources are important for automatic subject term assignment through TC, this study proposed an indexing conception-based framework. For the purpose of this study, three hypotheses were tested: 1) the effectiveness of semantic sources, 2) the effectiveness of an indexing conception-based framework, and 3) the effectiveness of each of three indexing conception-based approaches (the content-oriented, the document-oriented, and the domain-oriented approaches). The experiments were conducted using a support vector machine implementation in WEKA (Witten, & Frank, 2000). The experiment results pointed out that cited works, source title, and title were as effective as the full text, while keyword was found more effective than the full text. In addition, the findings showed that an indexing conception-based framework was more effective than the full text. Especially, the content-oriented and the document-oriented indexing approaches were found more effective than the full text. Among three indexing conception-based approaches, the content-oriented approach and the document-oriented approach were more effective than the domain-oriented approach. In other words, in the context of a typical scientific journal article data set, the objective contents and authors' intentions were more focused that the possible users' needs. The research findings of this study support that incorporation of human indexers' indexing approaches or conception in conjunction with semantic sources has a positive impact on the effectiveness of automatic subject term assignment.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Chung, EunKyung

Increasing Telecommunications Channel Capacity: Impacts on Firm Profitability

Description: In calling for the deployment of high-capacity telecommunications infrastructures, the Clinton Administration is relying on market forces to drive demand toward self-sustaining development. There is little doubt that many firms will embrace the new telecommunications services for a variety of reasons including market differentiation, vertical market integration, and other organization-specific factors. However, there is little evidence at the firm level that adopting the use of increased-capacity telecommunications technologies is associated with improvements in firm profitability. This study seeks to identify the presence of impacts on firm income that can be associated with the adoption of T1 telecommunications services.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Clower, Terry L.

Are Online Catalogs for Children Giving Them What They Need? Children's Cognitive Development and Information Seeking and Their Impact on Design

Description: Research shows children in an online environment often search by browsing, which relies heavily on recognition and content knowledge, so catalog systems for children must use effective symbols or pictorial representations, which correspond with children's own cognitive schema and level of recognition knowledge. This study was designed to look at the success of young children (ages 5 to 8) in searching 3 online public library catalogs designed for them, and it focused specifically on the pictorial representations and text descriptors used in the systems' browsing hierarchy. The research sought answer whether young children (ages 5 to 8) are really poor searchers because of cognitive development and lack of technology skills or if system design is the major reason for poor search results; i.e., Do current children's online catalog designs function in a manner that is compatible with information seeking by children? Although these results can not be generalized, this study indicates that there was a disconnect between the cognitive abilities of young users and catalog design. The study looked at search success on the 3 catalogs in relation to the catalog characteristics and individual user characteristics and makes 3 significant contributions to the field of library and information science. The first contribution is the modification of an existing model posed by Cooper and O'Connor and modified by Abbas (2002). The second significant contribution is the proposal of a new model, Creel's second best choice (SBC) model, that addresses the cognitive gap and design flaws that impact the choices participants made. The third significant contribution is that this study addresses and fills a gap in the literature.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Creel, Stacy

An Evaluation of the Effect of Learning Styles and Computer Competency on Students' Satisfaction on Web-Based Distance Learning Environments

Description: This study investigates the correlation between students' learning styles, computer competency and student satisfaction in Web-based distance learning. Three hundred and one graduate students participated in the current study during the Summer and Fall semesters of 2002 at the University of North Texas. Participants took the courses 100% online and came to the campus only once for software training. Computer competency and student satisfaction were measured using the Computer Skill and Use Assessment and the Student Satisfaction Survey questionnaires. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory measured students' learning styles. The study concludes that there is a significant difference among the different learning styles with respect to student satisfaction level when the subjects differ with regard to computer competency. For accommodating amd diverging styles, a higher level of computer competency results in a higher level of student satisfaction. But for converging and assimilating styles, a higher level of computer competency suggests a lower level of student satisfaction. A significant correlation was found between computer competency and student satisfaction level within Web-based courses for accommodating styles and no significant results were found in the other learning styles.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Du, Yunfei