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Information seeking in a multimedia environment by primary school students

Authors
Journal
Library & Information Science Research
0740-8188
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
20
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0740-8188(98)90027-5
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

Abstract Three multimedia CD-ROMs were placed in two grade-six classrooms for the duration of a class project. The 53 students, working in small groups, were free to search them during designated class periods. Sample sessions at the workstations were captured along with a recording of the searchers' voices. The retrieved information was incorporated by each group into a written assignment, an oral class presentation, and a three-dimensional model. The search strategies were analyzed using a case study methodology. The content of the CD-ROMs and the students' work were analyzed to identify from which sources the students had drawn their information. The students were able to cope effectively with the physical manipulation of the three different CD-ROM interfaces, although they found certain features easier than others. Constructing effective search strategies was more difficult, and relatively little use was made of the searching in contrast to the browsing facilities. Students demonstrated an ability to extract selectively information and to evaluate sources in terms of usefulness as well as enjoyment and ease of use. Class assignments may have to be redesigned if the full capabilities offered by multimedia instructional products are to be fully exploited.

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