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Graduate Students' Collaborative Information Seeking in a Group-based Learning Setting

Description: Working with others within an organization can have a variety of positive effects, and the benefits of collaboration have been discussed in various disciplines. In information science, interest in collaborative information seeking, including collaborative information seeking by students in an online learning environment is expanding. This study was aimed at understanding graduate students' collaborative information seeking behaviors through the process of a group project, including factors that affected students' perceptions of collaborative work and their difficulties during the collaborative process. The research was based on Yue and He's model, which describes information users' collaborative communication and information behaviors, and Kuhlthau's model, which describes users' individual information seeking behaviors. The participants were 43 students enrolled in a master's level course delivered primarily online. The students were required to work together in groups to complete a research project. Data were collected through a background survey, behavior survey, and online communication texts and analyzed using descriptive statistics, statistical tests, and content analyses. The results showed significant changes in collaborative and information seeking behaviors and perceptions across three stages of the project during the semester. Theoretical, practical, and methodological implications for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Lee, Jisu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of an Instrument to Measure the Level of Acceptability and Tolerability of Cyber Aggression: Mixed-Methods Research on Saudi Arabian Social Media Users

Description: Cyber aggression came about as a result of advances in information communication technology and the aggressive usage of the technology in real life. Cyber aggression can take on many forms and facets. However, the main focus of this study is cyberbullying and cyberstalking through information sharing practices that might constitute digital aggressive acts. Human aggression has been extensively investigated. Studies focusing on understanding the causes and effects that can lead to physical and digital aggression have shown the prevalence of cyber aggression in different settings. Moreover, these studies have shown strong relationship between cyber aggression and the physiological and physical trauma on both perpetrators and their victims. Nevertheless, the literature shows a lack of studies that could measure the level of acceptance and tolerance of these dangerous digital acts. This study is divided into two main stages; Stage one is a qualitative pilot study carried out to explore the concept of cyber aggression and its existence in Saudi Arabia. In-depth interviews were conducted with 14 Saudi social media users to collect understanding and meanings of cyber aggression. The researcher followed the Colaizzi’s methods to analyze the descriptive data. A proposed model was generated to describe cyber aggression in social media applications. The results showed that there is a level of acceptance to some cyber aggression acts due to a number of factors. The second stage of the study is focused on developing scales with reliable items that could determine acceptability and tolerability of cyber aggression. In this second stage, the researcher used the factors discovered during the first stage as source to create the scales’ items. The proposed methods and scales were analyzed and tested to increase reliability as indicated by the Cronbach’s Alpha value. The scales were designed to measure how acceptable and tolerable is cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking in Saudi ...
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Albar, Ali A
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Student-Perceived Instructor Demotivating Behaviors on Doctoral Students' Information Seeking Behaviors

Description: In their studies on student motivation in th4e 1990s, Gorham & Christophel and Christophel & Gorham found that students perceived their own demotivation to be caused by instructor behaviors. While there are studies that explore the topic of student demotivation and other studies that illustrate the great influence instructors have on student information seeking behaviors, research focusing on the connection between these two concepts is almost nonexistent. Using Gorham & Christophel's concept of instructor-owned student demotivation, this mixed-methods study sought to identify which instructor behaviors doctoral computer science and information science students found demotivating and to what extent their perceptions of these demotivating instructor behaviors influenced their information seeking behaviors in a face-to-face classroom. Demographic and student-perceived demotivating instructor behavior surveys along with semi-structured interviews and follow-up questions were used to collect data. The surveys will be analyzed using descriptive statistics in Excel, and the semi-structured interviews and follow up questions were analyzed using content analysis and Colaizzi's method of phenomenological enquiry in NVivo. The findings showed that instructor demotivating behaviors not only influence student information seeking behaviors in the classroom, but they also can lead to lasting effects on the student. In addition, the participants have expectations of instructor behaviors, which come from their own experiences. These expectations also influence the level of demotivation they feel in a face-to-face classroom.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cantu, Brenda Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Preparation of Academic Library Administrators

Description: The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine the preparation methods experienced by academic library deans and which methods they perceived to be most valuable. Rosser, Johnsrud, and Heck (2000, 2003) defined the theoretical constructs of effective academic leadership upon which this study is based. The instrument—a modified version of Greicar's (2009) Professional Preparation of Academic Deans Questionnaire—was administered online. The population was the chief administrators of academic libraries in the United States; there were 749 usable responses for a 30.4% response rate. Respondents were primarily female (61.7%), White non-Hispanic (90.0%), and born in the United States (95.7%), with a mean age of 56.4 (5.9% < 40, 11.0% > 65). The largest minority group was Black, non-Hispanic (3.9%). Many respondents held multiple advanced degrees; 90.0% held an MLS, 45.8% held a subject master's, and 18.8% held a doctorate. The instrument measured academic library deans' perceived value of various preparatory methods (formal and informal mentoring, on the job training, conferences or seminars, advanced degrees beyond the MLS, and training programs). The methods were tested for perceived effectiveness with Rosser, Johnsrud, and Heck's (2000, 2003) theoretical constructs of academic leadership. Each preparation method was measured using eight item-level variables and summed to create a scale. Parametric analyses were used to examine scale-level variables and nonparametric analyses to evaluate item-level variables. On the job training was both the most commonly-experienced method (86.6%) and the most highly-valued (M = 24.97). Mentoring was a particularly important preparation method for female and minority deans. Female deans perceived informal mentoring to be significantly more valuable than did males, t(447) = -2.12, p < .05. Minorities rated formal and informal mentoring significantly higher than did non-minorities, t(114) = 2.73, p < .05; t(441) = 3.05, p < .05. Practical implications and future research are discussed.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Hoffman, Starr
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Engagement with Graphic Narrative Text Formats on Student Attitudes Towards the School Library

Description: Comics, graphic novels, and manga differ appreciably from textual narrative formats, and materials with increasingly visual elements have found their way into progressive and student-centered library collections. But many educators and librarians still resist inclusion of graphic narratives in school libraries and devalue the reading practice of students who prefer more visual texts. Using the framework of radical change, which posits that both text conventions and reader expectations for text are increasingly multimodal as they possess characteristics of evolving digital media, this study considered the relationship of the characteristics of text individual students prefer, particularly those they select from the school library, and their attitudes towards aspects of reading practice as evidenced through the Adolescent Motivation to Read Profile instrument. Survey data was supplemented with circulation history from the library management system to inform a correlational study punctuating attitudinal differences based on reader preferences. Findings include high school students who engage with graphic narrative text formats reporting more favorable views of libraries and reading. There is a demonstrable distinction in attitudes between students who prefer more visual text when compared with peers with more traditional print affinities. Student engaging with graphic narrative texts also report more frequent engagement with text overall. These demonstrated relationships should help to legitimize the inclusion of more graphic narrative text formats in school library collections.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Stephens, Wendy Steadman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Enhancement of spatial ability in girls in a single-sex environment through spatial experience and the impact on information seeking.

Description: The test scores of spatial ability for women lag behind those of men in many spatial tests. On the Mental Rotations Test (MRT), a significant gender gap has existed for over 20 years and continues to exist. High spatial ability has been linked to efficiencies in typical computing tasks including Web and database searching, text editing, and computer programming. The relationships between the components of visuospatial ability and performance are complex. However, research strongly indicates that a connection exists, and further research is necessary to determine the interactions between the variables of environment, genetics, and spatial training. Spatial experience can enhance spatial skills. However, to what extent spatial skills can be enhanced in female adolescents through a spatial curriculum to reduce the gap in scores has not been fully researched, nor has the impact of spatial skill on information seeking. This research project investigated spatial skill in adolescent females by examining (1) the extent to which the intervention of teaching a spatial curriculum in a single-sex setting could improve mental rotation test scores, and (2) the impact of spatial skills on an information seeking task in a single-sex setting. The extent to which a spatial visualization curriculum can improve MRT scores from a pretest to a posttest for girls was the first factor examined using a spatial visualization curriculum. The information seeking task used 4 tasks from a doctoral study and utilized the scholarly journal database JSTOR® (JSTOR, Ann Arbor, MI, www.jstor.org).
Date: December 2008
Creator: Swarlis, Linda L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California

Description: This descriptive, non-experimental study examines the strength of the relationship between California school library media programs and student achievement, using data from California criterion-referenced state-wide tests, publically available school and community demographic data, and a state survey of school library programs. Results indicate a substantial discrepancy in library staffing levels from the elementary grades through the high schools. Nevertheless, statistically significant correlations were found between certificated staffing levels and student achievement at each grade. Significant correlations persisted at the elementary and middle school when controlling for five of six school and community variables, and at the high school when controlling for all six of those variables. Bivariate correlations between total staffing and student achievement were significant at both the middle school and high school level when controlling for all school and community variables. Generally, the strength of the correlations between both certificated and total staffing tended to increase with grade level; at the high school level, correlations were among the strongest reported in any statewide study to date. There was a significant positive relationship between a majority of the 21 library services regularly provided and student achievement at all levels. Total library services were significantly related to student achievement at all levels when controlling for all school and community variables. In multiple regression analyses, there was an increasingly stronger relationship between total library programs and student achievement by grade level when controlling for all school and community variables. At every level, certificated and total staffing levels were associated with the strength of library program elements. The findings from this study confirm a host of prior research on the relationship between school libraries and student achievement and point to inequitable access to school library services in California. Results from this study might also provide a baseline of data for qualitative research ...
Date: December 2008
Creator: Achterman, Douglas L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The State of the Field of Critical Information Literacy in Higher Education

Description: The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the state of critical information literacy (CIL) in higher education as it is enacted and understood by academic librarians. This qualitative study investigated the institutional support, nonsupport, and barriers to CIL programs and the effectiveness of experiential critical pedagogy for information literacy (IL) learning as taught and studied by 19 CIL specialists. Purposeful sampling was used to gather a sample of 17 academic librarians and two professors of library and information science who had previously worked as academic librarians. The sample included 11 females and eight males; 18 participants were Caucasian and one was African American. Data were collected through 40-60 minute semi-structured interviews and a brief demographic survey. Experiential education served as the broad theoretical framework for this study, which stems from the tradition of critical theory. This study was guided by the work of two major experiential learning theorists and theories: Paulo Freire and critical pedagogy and Jack Mezirow and transformative learning. Mezirow and Freire focused their work on adult education and grounded their approaches in critical theory and focused on power relationships, reflection, and the emancipatory potential of education. The findings were framed through a lens of Freire’s conception of critical pedagogy because it was the major theoretical framework that most of the study participants used to guide their work. Findings suggest that academic librarians who teach CIL do not learn about it in their MLS programs. They tend to use three major critical teaching methods, including student-centered approaches, discussion and dialogue, and problem-posing methods. Participants tended to struggle more with using critical methods than with incorporating critical content. Slightly more than half regularly used critical methods in their teaching, but all participants incorporated critical content, including critical source evaluation and subject headings and language used in information production ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Downey, Annie L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Using Diffusion of Innovations to Explore Digital Gaming in Undergraduate Library Instruction

Description: Digital games and simulations are receiving considerable notice within the Library and Information Science (LIS) community. This study adds to the depth of knowledge in this area by providing research on the likelihood a hypothetical digital game delivery method for library instruction achieves sufficient adoption to justify its development. Furthermore, this knowledge will assist decision making processes for individuals debating the current or potential role of digital gaming at their institutions. In this mixed methods study, over 300 undergraduates were surveyed about their technology preferences, including digital gaming, for delivery of two forms of academic library instruction. The two forms of library instruction were (a) providing users with spatial information on physical library layout, and (b) educating users on information literacy topics and skills. Observational data was collected during the survey sessions, occurring at face-to-face library instruction sessions. Self-selected survey participants were also interviewed to further probe their survey responses. Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations was the theoretical foundation to this research. The primary innovation of study was the digital game delivery method. Detailed analysis of the survey-based data set included three nonparametric scaling methods: 1) rank-sum scaling; 2) circular triad analysis; and 3) multidimensional preference mapping. Content analysis of the observations and semi-structured interviews also occurred. Major outcomes were 1) the digital game delivery method achieved mediocre preference across both questions; 2) the audiovisual delivery method received the highest overall preference ranking; and 3) overall preference for the audio-only delivery method was remarkably low. The most important theme across the observational data was the participants' waning attention during the face-to-face library instruction sessions. The most important outcome from the semi-structured interviews was interviewees' stated appreciation for useful technologies. Over 95% of participants were so-called digital natives, that is, born post-1980. Rogers' assertion that age plays a minor role in predicting ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Robertson, Michael James
Partner: UNT Libraries