Uniform TitleScience and health web information utilization: an investigation into knowledge building by everyday life information seekers
NameBird, Nora J. (author), McInerney, Claire (chair), Todd, Ross (internal member), Radford, Marie (internal member), Heinstrom, Jannica (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectCommunication, Information and Library Studies,
Electronic information resource literacy
DescriptionTwo studies examined information utilization by adult everyday life information seekers in the context of science and health information. A coding scheme developed by Todd (2006) was applied to a one group pre-test post-test protocol where Web users served as their own controls in non-random groups and were asked to describe the knowledge that they have about one of two topics: genetically modified food in the first study and food safety concerns in the second study. After Web searching and choice of sites, they were asked to state what they knew about the topic again. The coding structure was used to compare the before and after statements as to structure, accuracy, and extent of knowledge. In addition, an instrument devised by McInerney (2000) and refined by further research (McInerney & Bird, 2005) was used by the participants to judge the quality of the Web resources that they encountered. Web quality factors included in the tool were investigated to see which, if any, helped the participants build knowledge structures.
In both studies, there was an increase in the total number of relational statements made by the participants at the post-test stage. The increases were in both Facts and Implications type statements. The detected knowledge structure changes mirrored an increase in the extent of topic knowledge, but accuracy actually decreased or stayed the same. In the first study, University affiliates produced significantly more total relational statements on the post-test. In the second study, participants who had more food preparation experience and were more educated produced more Implications statements than other groups. Only the graphics quality ratings were shown to have an effect on quantity of relational statement production in the first study. In the second study, utilization of low quality rated Websites was associated with production of Facts statements, while high quality Websites was associated with Implications statements. Credibility and overall quality were correlated with each other in the second study. Results suggest avenues for future research.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 181-190).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.