The purpose of this study was to develop information and understanding concerning the use of instructional resources, including library materials, by community junior college vocational-technical instructors. The study sought to determine whether the kinds and amounts of instructional resources used by vocational technical instructors in their courses were related to their: (a) level of formal education, (b) number of courses in Higher Education completed, (c) years of teaching experience, and (d) teaching status (full or part-time). Further, the study sought to determine whether the attitudes toward use or non-use of the library were related to such instructor characteristics. The analyses of the data revealed that vocational technical instructors at Tarrant County Junior College utilized a wide variety of instructional resources in their courses. Instructional resources used in at least 50 percent of vocational-technical courses were: audio-visual materials, 88 percent; departmental books, 73 percent; personally owned books, 72 percent; manufacturers' literature other than service manuals, 63 percent; information from notes of previously taken courses, 63 percent; departmentally prepared syllabi, 58 percent; personally owned journals, 56 percent; self-prepared syllabi, 53 percent; manufacturers' service manuals, 52 percent; and association publications, 50 percent.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between selected basic library skills and the use of the library by freshman community college students, and to determine or evaluate the extent to which the use of the library by such students is related to or influenced by the level of their library skills. The population utilized in this study was the total enrollment of freshman students beginning their second semester of study at two typical Texas rural community colleges, namely Cooke County College at Gainesville, Texas, and Grayson County College at Sherman, Texas. Data regarding library skills were obtained through the use of a standardized test instrument, A Library Orientation Test for College Freshmen. Data regarding library use, relevant demographic traits, and selected control variables (age, sex, hours worked, self-perceived library skills, school attended, a measure of intelligence, marital status, and major course of study) were obtained through the use of a specially prepared questionnaire instrument. Through the use of generalized scattergrams with both present study and pilot study data a possible simple linear relationship was found to obtain between library skills and library use in both instances. Bivariate Spearman correlations were then computed for all variables considered in the present study. Those variables showing a strength greater than 0.10 were "promoted" to Pearson correlation values and utilized as input for a multiple linear regression analysis. A conjectural model was constructed from the output of the multiple linear regression analysis which suggested that, if the direction of influence is ignored, the relative importance of the variables utilized in this procedure would be, from most important to least important, tested library skills, hours worked other than attending school, age, and self-perceived library skills.
The purpose of this research was to identify predictors of job satisfaction among academic librarians. Structural models were developed and examined with path analytic procedures to determine the effects of the following variables on librarians' job satisfaction: 1) selected characteristics of individual librarians (education, experience, sex, age, salary, and position), 2) selected characteristics of library organizations (annual budget, sex of director, size of staff, average annual salary of staff, organizational status of librarians, and size of collection), and 3) librarians' perceptions of their job (perceptions of the work, adequacy of pay, promotion opportunities, supervision, associates, and job security).
This study addresses the problem of reading among older adults and the relation of such reading to their sense of life satisfaction. The study also considers the relation between reading interests and activity of older adults and the availability to them of library materials and services.
This study sought to determine if there were differences in the types of reading interests of seventh- and eighth-grade pupils associated with their racial origins, their socioeconomic status, or their school environments. It also sought to consider the strength of reading interest scores as related to other variables and to consider the relationship between these scores and the number of hours spent in reading and the change in amount of reading since the previous school year.
The problem addressed by this investigation is whether the provision of centralized school library services is related to the reading habits and reading abilities of elementary school children. In considering this problem, a survey approach was utilized which entailed the examination of standardized reading achievement test scores, student reading records, and parent, teacher, and student questionnaire responses.
The objectives of this investigation were two-fold. The first was to determine the personal characteristics of Bibliographic Network Coordinators, both past and present; the second was to compare these identified characteristics with those of persons working in traditional library positions at comparable levels of responsibility.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the introduction of a regular librarian-centered reading guidance program as an integral part of the entire school program would improve the reading attitudes and habits of elementary school students and increase the reading achievement scores on a standardized test of elementary school students. In addition, the reading attitudes of students were compared with reading achievement scores to assess any relationship between the two.
This study reports changes in online database searching at North Texas State University when equipment speed was increased. Data were from database vendor invoices and price and sale data of online equipment. The hypotheses examined the relationship between the decrease in the cost of online equipment and the change to faster online equipment and the change in the number of databases that changed for online types. The change in equipment was related to changes in the number of offline prints per hour, the average time per search, the average number of descriptors per search, the number of searches per month, and the rank order of database use over the studied period. The increase in the number of databases with billed types was related to the number of online billed types produced. The number of prints was related to the number of billed types. Time spent online was examined for annual seasonal cycles. The major statistical tool was time-series analysis, although other methods were applied.
The main purpose of this study was to identify the major obstacles to cooperation as perceived by school library media specialists in the state of Mississippi and to determine if members of the Coastal Mississippi Library Cooperative (CMLC) believe that there are fewer obstacles to cooperation than do non-members. The secondary purpose was to evaluate the CMLC to some extent to determine if success was achieved through organization when defined by the variables, planning, governance, funding, communication, administration, and evaluation. The population of the study was all of the librarians (academic, public, school, and special) in the six-county area which comprises the CMLC, and a random sample of public school librarians throughout the remainder of the state. All of the school librarians were sent a questionnaire that requested their responses to statements of barriers to cooperation. All of the librarians in the CMLC region were sent a questionnaire to obtain their perceptions of participation in the CMLC. Pour librarians, members of the CMLC, were Interviewed to obtain information on the organizational factors of the CMLC. Data received from school library media specialists were submitted to various statistical tests. The Chi-Square statistic was used on the demographic portion of the questionnaire, which revealed that four of the variables and the dependent variable, membership in the CMLC, were significantly different. A t-test performed on the barriers to cooperation section produced no significant differences between the member and non-member responses. The perceptions of participation in the CMLC data revealed that there were differences among the four library systems (academic, public, school, and special) involved, but most of the respondents considered the CMLC to be successful. Data from the interview also revealed that the CMLC was successful in its organization. Due to the overall low response to the survey, the stated hypotheses could not ...
Academic librarians have for a number of decades been interested in understanding more about how and why students use libraries. This study contributes to that area of library administration by focusing on nine factors thought to be associated with student use of academic libraries.
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.
The purpose of this study, in addition to measuring and comparing attitudes of teachers, principals and library media specialists toward the role of the school library media specialist, was to identify and measure factors contributing to those attitudes. Nine factors were identified. Further path analysis revealed that the performance level of the library media specialist had the most influence on principals' and teachers' attitudes toward the Consultant, Technological and Instructional Roles. For principals and teachers, staff development had the most influence on attitudes toward the Management Role, while involvement in the school-wide program was most influential for library media specialists.
The purpose of this study was to test assumptions made about characteristics of nontheatrical film and video works that were thought to contribute to the frequency with which the works were purchased. This study proposed and tested three variables for which relationships to the sales success of nontheatrical film and video works were hypothesized, as well as four variables about which no hypotheses were forwarded. Nineteen film and video distribution organizations contributed unit sales data for the period 1982-1987 on 151 works copyrighted between 1982 and 1984. These data were analyzed for relationships between sales totals and 1) curricular significance of the works' subjects, 2) relevance to general reading interest in the works' subjects, 3) intensity of competition faced by the works, 4) the works' Dewey classifications as compared to the composition of typical K-12 school library book collections, 5) the series or non-series status of the works, 6) the media format(s) in which the works were available for purchase and 7) the sources of the works' production financing. Analyses of correlation and association were performed and no significant relationships were found between sales and curricular significance of the works' subjects, or their relevance to general reading interest. Some evidence was presented to suggest a significant association between the intensity of competition faced by a work and its eventual sales. None of the hypotheses about these variables was supported. However, the four remaining variables were found to be significant, or to approach significance, as correlates or associates of sales success. The best predictor of sales for works intended for the K-12 school market was the work's Dewey Decimal classification. Other important findings included associations between high sales and intense product competition, between high sales and non-series status, between high sales and availability for purchase in 16mm film and between high ...
The problem was to define the present status of the Social Research Studies and Information Center libraries in Saudi Arabia and to suggest ways in which they could be improved. The purposes of the study were two-fold: (1) to analyze and evaluate the current status of these libraries and to develop and improve the role and functions of these libraries; and (2) to consider the possibility of cooperation between these libraries.
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 ...
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.
The purpose of this research was to study job satisfaction among public school library media specialists based on the psychological needs of social needs, security needs, esteem needs, autonomy needs, and self actualization needs, according to Maslow's Hierarchy. Subjects were requested to respond to a questionnaire of 30 items pertaining to job satisfaction. Each item required two responses: first, as to the level of importance the item held; and secondly, the satisfaction currently received from that particular item.
The problem of this study was the lack of knowledge about user satisfaction with the library services which are provided at the library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Saudi Arabia. The purposes of the study were twofold: (1) to measure, evaluate, and analyze user satisfaction with the library services provided at the MFA Library for the employees; and (2) to develop a model for evaluation of user satisfaction of library services in government libraries in Saudi Arabia.
The purpose of this study was to determine the personal reading interests of students in the third, fourth and fifth grades and to determine if advances in technology in the past twenty years have changed their reading interests.
The primary purpose of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between the bibliographic citation practices of the members of a discipline and the emphasis placed on citation accuracy and purposes in the graduate instruction of the discipline.
The primary purpose of this study was to test the following hypothesis: The internal use (use within the technical services unit for decision making and planning) of statistical data will be significantly higher for managers scoring in the Sensing-Thinking (ST) scale of the self-assessment instrument Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. A Technical Services Statistics Survey Form was developed in order to collect statistical data from the technical services managers participating in the study. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was utilized to record managers' personal management style. Thirty-two managers participated in the two-part study. The hypothesis of the study was not supported because no significant differences in the predicted direction were found to exist between the use of the technical services statistics and management style groups as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. (A Mann-Whitney U Test was used due to the small, uneven sample size.) There were significant differences between Sensing-Thinking (ST) and Intuitive-Feeling (NF) types, but not in the direction predicted by the hypothesis. Possible explanations for this unexpected finding include the very small sample size, the larger percentage of male respondents in the NF type, and the larger percentage of respondents from smaller institutions in the NF type. (Gender and institutional size were not analyzed in this study.) A sharp contrast existed in the number and guality of comments provided by Sensing-Thinking (ST) and Intuitive-Thinking (NT) types, both of whom tended to write lengthy detailed comments elaborating on each statistic. Sensing-Feeling (SF) and Intuitive-Feeling (NF) types provided little or no comment on the Technical Services Statistics Form. The results of this research have implications for examining the technical services statistics collected in technical services units: the frequency of analysis; their importance for planning; the use of these statistics; and the level at which the statistic is used for decision making. Other ...
Is there a relationship between work role and information seeking behavior? Three behaviors were examined: choice of information channel, choice of method for information retrieval, and choice of method for storing retrieved information. The Protestant clergy was selected as a profession with clearly identified work roles, including preacher and administrator. Questionnaires were mailed to 150 randomly selected ministers in Tarrant County, Texas. Sixty-four responded. Additionally, fifteen ministers selected at random were interviewed for additional data. The data collected through the questionnaires were analyzed using nonparametric statistical techniques.
It is hypothesized that useful diagnostic information can reside in the wrong answers of multiple-choice tests, and that properly designed distractors can yield indications of misinformation and missing information in algorithmic reasoning on the part of the test taker. In addition to summarizing the literature regarding diagnostic research as opposed to scoring research, this study proposes a methodology for analyzing test results and compares the findings with those from the research of Birenbaum and Tatsuoka and others. The proposed method identifies the conditions of misinformation and missing information, and it contains a statistical compensation for careless errors. Strengths and weaknesses of the method are explored, and suggestions for further research are offered.
Document representation is a fundamental concept in information retrieval (IR), and has been relied upon in textual IR systems since the advent of library catalogs. The reliance upon text-based representations of stored information has been perpetuated in conventional systems for the retrieval of moving images as well. Although newer systems have added image-based representations of moving image documents as aids to retrieval, there has been little research examining how humans interpret these different types of representations. Such basic research has the potential to inform IR system designers about how best to aid users of their systems in retrieving moving images. One key requirement for the effective use of document representations in either textual or image form is thedegree to which these representations are congruent with the original documents. A measure of congruence is the degree to which human responses to representations are similar to responses produced by the document being represented. The aim of this study was to develop a model for the representation of moving images based upon human judgements of representativeness. The study measured the degree of congruence between moving image documents and their representations, both text and image based, in a non-retrieval environment with and without task constraints. Multidimensional scaling (MDS) was used to examine the dimensional dispersions of human judgements for the full moving images and their representations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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 ...
By allowing judgments based on a small number of exemplar documents to be applied to a larger number of unexamined documents, clustered presentation of search results represents an intuitively attractive possibility for reducing the cognitive resource demands on human users of information retrieval systems. However, clustered presentation of search results is sensible only to the extent that naturally occurring similarity relationships among documents correspond to topically coherent clusters. The Cluster Hypothesis posits just such a systematic relationship between document similarity and topical relevance. To date, experimental validation of the Cluster Hypothesis has proved problematic, with collection-specific results both supporting and failing to support this fundamental theoretical postulate. The present study consists of two computational information visualization experiments, representing a two-tiered test of the Cluster Hypothesis under adverse conditions. Both experiments rely on multidimensionally scaled representations of interdocument similarity matrices. Experiment 1 is a term-reduction condition, in which descriptive titles are extracted from Associated Press news stories drawn from the TREC information retrieval test collection. The clustering behavior of these titles is compared to the behavior of the corresponding full text via statistical analysis of the visual characteristics of a two-dimensional similarity map. Experiment 2 is a dimensionality reduction condition, in which inter-item similarity coefficients for full text documents are scaled into a single dimension and then rendered as a two-dimensional visualization; the clustering behavior of relevant documents within these unidimensionally scaled representations is examined via visual and statistical methods. Taken as a whole, results of both experiments lend strong though not unqualified support to the Cluster Hypothesis. In Experiment 1, semantically meaningful 6.6-word document surrogates systematically conform to the predictions of the Cluster Hypothesis. In Experiment 2, the majority of the unidimensionally scaled datasets exhibit a marked nonuniformity of distribution of relevant documents, further supporting the Cluster Hypothesis. Results of ...
This dissertation creates an information agent that correctly identifies Web pages containing scholarly research approximately 96% of the time. It does this by analyzing the Web page with a set of criteria, and then uses a classification tree to arrive at a decision. The criteria were gathered from the literature on selecting print and electronic materials for academic libraries. A Delphi study was done with an international panel of librarians to expand and refine the criteria until a list of 41 operationalizable criteria was agreed upon. A Perl program was then designed to analyze a Web page and determine a numerical value for each criterion. A large collection of Web pages was gathered comprising 5,000 pages that contain the full work of scholarly research and 5,000 random pages, representative of user searches, which do not contain scholarly research. Datasets were built by running the Perl program on these Web pages. The datasets were split into model building and testing sets. Data mining was then used to create different classification models. Four techniques were used: logistic regression, nonparametric discriminant analysis, classification trees, and neural networks. The models were created with the model datasets and then tested against the test dataset. Precision and recall were used to judge the effectiveness of each model. In addition, a set of pages that were difficult to classify because of their similarity to scholarly research was gathered and classified with the models. The classification tree created the most effective classification model, with a precision ratio of 96% and a recall ratio of 95.6%. However, logistic regression created a model that was able to correctly classify more of the problematic pages. This agent can be used to create a database of scholarly research published on the Web. In addition, the technique can be used to create a ...
The year 2000 (Y2K) problem presented a fortuitous opportunity to explore the relationship between estimated costs of software projects and five cost influence dimensions described by the Year 2000 Enterprise Cost Model (Kappelman, et al., 1998) -- organization, problem, solution, resources, and stage of completion. This research was a field study survey of (Y2K) project managers in industry, government, and education and part of a joint project that began in 1996 between the University of North Texas and the Y2K Working Group of the Society for Information Management (SIM). Evidence was found to support relationships between estimated costs and organization, problem, resources, and project stage but not for the solution dimension. Project stage appears to moderate the relationships for organization, particularly IS practices, and resources. A history of superior IS practices appears to mean lower estimated costs, especially for projects in larger IS organizations. Acquiring resources, especially external skills, appears to increase costs. Moreover, projects apparently have many individual differences, many related to size and to project stage, and their influences on costs appear to be at the sub-dimension or even the individual variable level. A Revised Year 2000 Enterprise Model is presented incorporating this granularity. Two primary conclusions can be drawn from this research: (1) large software projects are very complex and thus cost estimating is also; and (2) the devil of cost estimating is in the details of knowing which of the many possible variables are the important ones for each particular enterprise and project. This points to the importance of organizations keeping software project metrics and the historical calibration of cost-estimating practices. Project managers must understand the relevant details and their interaction and importance in order to successfully develop a cost estimate for a particular project, even when rational cost models are used. This research also indicates ...
This study used an experimental design and a direct test of recall to provide data about teacher immediacy and student cognitive learning. Four hypotheses and a research question addressed two research problems: first, how verbal and nonverbal immediacy function together and/or separately to enhance learning; and second, how immediacy affects cognitive learning in relation to student motivation. These questions were examined in the context of video instruction to provide insight into distance learning processes and to ensure maximum control over experimental manipulations. Participants (N = 347) were drawn from university students in an undergraduate communication course. Students were randomly assigned to groups, completed a measure of state motivation, and viewed a 15-minute video lecture containing part of the usual course content delivered by a guest instructor. Participants were unaware that the video instructor was actually performing one of four scripted manipulations reflecting higher and lower combinations of specific verbal and nonverbal cues, representing the four cells of the 2x2 research design. Immediately after the lecture, students completed a recall measure, consisting of portions of the video text with blanks in the place of key words. Participants were to fill in the blanks with exact words they recalled from the videotape. Findings strengthened previous research associating teacher nonverbal immediacy with enhanced cognitive learning outcomes. However, higher verbal immediacy, in the presence of higher and lower nonverbal immediacy, was not shown to produce greater learning among participants in this experiment. No interaction effects were found between higher and lower levels of verbal and nonverbal immediacy. Recall scores were comparatively low in the presence of higher verbal and lower nonverbal immediacy, suggesting that nonverbal expectancy violations may have hindered cognitive learning. Student motivation was not found to be a significant source of error in measuring immediacy's effects, and no interaction effects were detected ...
The current period of rapid technological change, particularly in the area of mediated communication, has combined with new philosophies of education and market forces to bring upheaval to the realm of higher education. Technical capabilities exceed our knowledge of whether expenditures on hardware and software lead to corresponding gains in student learning. Educators do not yet possess sophisticated assessments of what we may be gaining or losing as we widen the scope of distributed learning. The purpose of this study was not to draw sweeping conclusions with respect to the costs or benefits of technology in education. The researcher focused on a single issue involved in educational quality: assessing the ability of a student to complete a course. Previous research in this area indicates that attrition rates are often higher in distributed learning environments. Educators and students may benefit from a reliable instrument to identify those students who may encounter difficulty in these learning situations. This study is aligned with research focused on the individual engaged in seeking information, assisted or hindered by the capabilities of the computer information systems that create and provide access to information. Specifically, the study focused on the indicators of completion for students enrolled in video conferencing and Web-based courses. In the final version, the Distributed Learning Survey encompassed thirteen indicators of completion. The results of this study of 396 students indicated that the Distributed Learning Survey represented a reliable and valid instrument for identifying at-risk students in video conferencing and Web-based courses where the student population is similar to the study participants. Educational level, GPA, credit hours taken in the semester, study environment, motivation, computer confidence, and the number of previous distributed learning courses accounted for most of the predictive power in the discriminant function based on student scores from the survey.
Medical educators advocate the need for medical students to acquire information management skills, including the ability to search the MEDLINE database. There has been no published validated method available to use for assessing medical students' MEDLINE information retrieval skills. This research proposes and evaluates a method, designed as the MEDLINE Metric, for assessing medical students' search skills. MEDLINE Metric consists of: (a) the development, by experts, of realistic clinical scenarios that include highly constructed search questions designed to test defined search skills; (b) timed tasks (searches) completed by subjects; (c) the evaluation of search results; and (d) instructive feedback. A goal is to offer medical educators a valid, reliable, and feasible way to judge mastery of information searching skill by measuring results (search retrieval) rather than process (search behavior) or cognition (knowledge about searching). Following a documented procedure for test development, search specialists and medical content experts formulated six clinical search scenarios and questions. One hundred and forty-five subjects completed the six-item test under timed conditions. Subjects represented a wide range of MEDLINE search expertise. One hundred twenty complete cases were used, representing 53 second-year medical students (44%), 47 fourth-year medical students (39%), and 20 medical librarians (17%). Data related to educational level, search training, search experience, confidence in retrieval, difficulty of search, and score were analyzed. Evidence supporting the validity of the method includes the agreement by experts about the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully retrieve information relevant to a clinical question from the MEDLINE database. Also, the test discriminated among different performance levels. There were statistically significant, positive relationships between test score and level of education, self-reported previous MEDLINE training, and self-reported previous search experience. The findings from this study suggest that MEDLINE Metric is a valid method for constructing and administering a performance-based test to identify ...
Implementations of information technology solutions to address specific information problems are only successful when the technology is utilized. The antecedents of technology use involve user, system, task and organization characteristics as well as externalities which can affect all of these entities. However, measurement of the interaction effects between these entities can act as a proxy for individual attribute values. A model is proposed which based upon evaluation of these interaction effects can predict technology utilization. This model was tested with systems being implemented at a pediatric health care facility. Results from this study provide insight into the relationship between the antecedents of technology utilization. Specifically, task time provided significant direct causal effects on utilization. Indirect causal effects were identified in task value and perceived utility constructs. Perceived utility, along with organizational support also provided direct causal effects on user satisfaction. Task value also impacted user satisfaction in an indirect fashion. Also, results provide a predictive model and taxonomy of variables which can be applied to predict or manipulate the likelihood of utilization for planned technology.
Document representation is important for computer-based text processing. Good document representations must include at least the most salient concepts of the document. Documents exist in a multidimensional space that difficult the identification of what concepts to include. A current problem is to measure the effectiveness of the different strategies that have been proposed to accomplish this task. As a contribution towards this goal, this dissertation studied the visual inter-document relationship in a dimensionally reduced space. The same treatment was done on full text and on three document representations. Two of the representations were based on the assumption that the salient features in a document set follow the chi-distribution in the whole document set. The third document representation identified features through a novel method. A Coefficient of Variability was calculated by normalizing the Cartesian distance of the discriminating value in the relevant and the non-relevant document subsets. Also, the local dictionary method was used. Cosine similarity values measured the inter-document distance in the information space and formed a matrix to serve as input to the Multi-Dimensional Scale (MDS) procedure. A Precision-Recall procedure was averaged across all treatments to statistically compare them. Treatments were not found to be statistically the same and the null hypotheses were rejected.
The World Wide Web has become a significant source of medical information for the public, but there is concern that much of the information is inaccurate, misleading, and unsupported by scientific evidence. This study analyzes the validity of health claims on the World Wide Web for the herbal Opuntia using an evidence-based approach, and supports the observation that individuals must critically assess health information in this relatively new medium of communication. A systematic search by means of nine search engines and online resources of Web sites relating to herbal remedies was conducted and specific sites providing information on the cactus herbal remedy from the genus Opuntia were retrieved. Validity of therapeutic health claims on the Web sites was checked by comparison with reports in the scientific literature subjected to two established quality assessment rating instruments. 184 Web sites from a variety of sources were retrieved and evaluated, and 98 distinct health claims were identified. 53 scientific reports were retrieved to validate claims. 25 involved human subjects, and 28 involved animal or laboratory models. Only 33 (34%) of the claims were addressed in the scientific literature. For 3% of the claims, evidence from the scientific reports was conflicting or contradictory. Of the scientific reports involving human subjects, none met the predefined criteria for high quality as determined by quality assessment rating instruments. Two-thirds of the claims were unsupported by scientific evidence and were based on folklore, or indirect evidence from related sources. Information on herbal remedies such as Opuntia is well represented on the World Wide Web. Health claims on Web sites were numerous and varied widely in subject matter. The determination of the validity of information about claims made for herbals on the Web would help individuals assess their value in medical treatment. However, the Web is conducive to dubious ...
The purposes of this study were to determine the initial impact of the Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Grants on Oklahoma school library media programs; assess whether the Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Grants continue to contribute to Oklahoma school learning communities; and examine possible relationships between school library media programs and student academic success. It also seeks to document the history of the Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Program 1978 - 1994 and increase awareness of its influence upon the Oklahoma school library media programs. Methods of data collection included: examining Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Program archival materials; sending a survey to 1703 school principals in Oklahoma; and interviewing Oklahoma Library Media Improvement Program participants. Data collection took place over a one year period. Data analyses were conducted in three primary phases: descriptive statistics and frequencies were disaggregated to examine mean scores as they related to money spent on school library media programs; opinions of school library media programs; and possible relationships between school library media programs and student academic achievement. Analysis of variance was used in the second phase of data analysis to determine if any variation between means was significant as related to Oklahoma Library Improvement Grants, time spent in the library media center by library media specialists, principal gender, opinions of library media programs, student achievement indicators, and the region of the state in which the respondent was located. The third phase of data analysis compared longitudinal data collected in the 2000 survey with past data. The primary results indicated students in Oklahoma from schools with a centralized library media center, served by a full-time library media specialist, and the school having received one or more Library Media Improvement Grants scored significantly higher academically than students in schools not having a centralized library media center, not served by a ...
A descriptive analysis was given of the characteristics of the authors and citations of the articles in the journal Theological Studies from 1940-1995. Data was gathered on the institutional affiliation, geographic location, occupation, and gender and personal characteristics of the author. The citation characteristics were examined for the cited authors, date and age of the citations, format, language, place of publication, and journal titles. These characteristics were compared to the time-period before and after the Second Vatican Council in order to detect any changes that might have occurred in the characteristics after certain recommendations by the council were made to theologians. Subject dispersion of the literature was also analyzed. Lotka's Law of author productivity and Bradford's Law of title dispersion were also performed for this literature. The profile of the characteristics of the authors showed that the articles published by women and laypersons has increased since the recommendations of the council. The data had a good fit to Lotka's Law for the pre-Vatican II time period but not for the period after Vatican II. The data was a good fit to Bradford's Law for the predicted number of journals in the nucleus and Zone 2, but the observed number of journals in Zone 3 was higher than predicted for all time-periods. Subject dispersion of research from disciplines other than theology is low but citation to works from the fields of education, psychology, social sciences, and science has increased since Vatican II. The results of the analysis of the characteristics of the citations showed that there was no significant change in the age, format and languages used, or the geographic location of the publisher of the cited works after Vatican II. Citation characteristics showed that authors prefer research from monographs published in English and in U.S. locations for all time-periods. Research ...
This study examined the uses of computer-mediated communication (CMC) by educators in selected public schools. It used Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation Theory as the underpinnings of the study. CMC refers to any exchange of information that involves the use of computers for communication between individuals or individuals and a machine. This study was an exploration of difficulties users confront, what services they access, and the tasks they accomplish when using CMC. It investigated the factors that affect the use of CMC. The sample population was drawn from registered users on TENET, the Texas Education Network as of December 1997. The educators were described with frequency and percentages analyzing the demographic data. For the research, eight indices were selected to test how strongly these user and environmental attributes were associated with the use of CMC. These variables were (1) education, (2) position, (3) place of employment, (4) geographic location, (5) district size, (6) organization vitality, (7) adopter resources, and (8) instrumentality Two dependent variables were used to test for usage: (1) depth or frequency of CMC usage and amount of time spent online and (2) breadth or variety of Internet utilities used. Additionally, the users' perception of network benefits was measured. Network benefits were correlated with social interaction and perception of CMC to investigate what tasks educators were accomplishing with CMC. Correlations, SEQ CHAPTER h r 1 crosstabulations, and ANOVAs were used to analysis the data for testing the four hypotheses. The major findings of the study, based on the hypotheses tested, were that the socioeconomic variables of education and position influenced the use of CMC. A significant finding is that teachers used e-mail and for Internet resources less frequently than those in other positions. An interesting finding was that frequency of use was more significant for usage than amount of ...
This investigation identifies end-user cognitive heuristics that facilitate judgment and evaluation during information retrieval (IR) system interactions. The study extends previous research surrounding relevance as a key construct for representing the value end-users ascribe to items retrieved from IR systems and the perceived effectiveness of such systems. The Lens Model of user cognition serves as the foundation for design and interpretation of the study; earlier research in problem solving, decision making, and attitude formation also contribute to the model and analysis. A self reporting instrument collected evaluative responses from 32 end-users related to 1432 retrieved items in relation to five characteristics of each item: topical, pertinence, utility, systematic, and motivational levels of relevance. The nominal nature of the data collected led to non-parametric statistical analyses that indicated that end-user evaluation of retrieved items to resolve an information problem at hand is most likely a multi-stage process. That process appears to be a cognitive progression from topic to meaning (pertinence) to functionality (use). Each step in end-user evaluative processing engages a cognitive hierarchy of heuristics that includes consideration (of appropriate cues), differentiation (the positive or negative aspects of those cues considered), and aggregation (the combination of differentiated cue aspects needed to render an evaluative label of the item in relation to the information problem at hand). While individuals may differ in their judgments and evaluations of retrieved items, they appear to make those decisions by using consistent heuristic approaches.
This study explored university students' information needs and seeking behaviors on the Internet. A Web-based survey was administrated one time. Two hundred responses were received from the target sample within the two weeks period of the study. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, factor analysis, and graphical representation. The study explored various issues related to the usability, preferences, and activities of the Internet, such as searching tools, e-mail, search engines, and preferred primary sources of everyday-life information needs. The study explored the perceptions of the students toward the Internet and the traditional library. Kuhlthau's model of the information-seeking process, which includes six stages and affective components, was utilized and modified in the construction of the Web survey. A study by Presno (1998), which includes the four types of Internet anxiety, was utilized in the construction of the Web survey. With regard to the six stages of Kuhlthau model, the majority of the respondents experienced stage 5, which was about information gathering; stage 3 had the next highest number of respondents. Very few respondents experienced stages 1 and 2. There was a systematic pattern in which, the earlier the stages the respondents were in, the more negative adjectives they selected, and vice versa. The feeling adjectives section showed a difference in the behavior between males and females. The results indicated that most students had Internet time delay anxiety. In general, the study found that students have a great interest in the Internet and consider it an important source of information for their personal, educational, and communication activities.
This study explores the use of the information theory entropy equation in representations of videos for children. The calculated rates of information in the videos are calibrated to the corresponding perceived rates of information as elicited from the twelve 7 to 10 year old girls who were shown video documents. Entropy measures are calculated for several video elements: set time, set incidence, verbal time, verbal incidence, set constraint, nonverbal dependence, and character appearance. As hypothesized, mechanically calculated entropy measure (CEM) was found to be sufficiently similar to perceived entropy measure (PEM) made by children so that they can be used as useful and predictive elements of representations of children’s videos. The relationships between the CEM and the PEM show that CEM could stand for PEM in order to enrich representations for video documents for this age group. Speculations on transferring the CEM to PEM calibration to different age groups and different document types are made, as well as further implications for the field of information science.
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