The use of the Web by students has increased more and more and it has become the most recurring way to find quick information for educational purposes. Given the lack, in Italy, of thorough programs for the integration of Information Literacy and Internet searches in schools and universities, the adults who are now using it are almost always self-taught.
Consequently, many different approaches to the medium have spread, and with them an objective difficulty in planning Internet-research courses, since everyone has his/her own way to search and a unique perception of his/her search skills. That’s why delivering a course where every participant is forced to follow the same learning path may originate feelings of frustration, unease, or boredom, thus reducing the learning potential offered by the course.
This research focuses on the Internet Search side of Information Literacy and analyzes the impact of short lessons on first and second year university students in Education at the University of Bolzano, Italy. The students are either native German-speakers or native Italian-speakers, and the research focuses, in an European perspective, on the differences in their Internet-research approaches as well. The first phase consists in interviews and test (the logs of the internet sessions are recorded by a software) to find out the perception of reliability of the Internet information and the way to find it by the students. The second phase is the course in itself, which focuses on Boolean operators, information retrieval theories and exercises, and evaluation of web pages. After the course the students are interviewed and tested again, to check if their approach to internet research has changed and in which way.
The results can be used to plan courses on Information Literacy and Internet Search with individualized programs, or to propose methods to assess the learning in this field.
Copyright (c) 2011 Chiara Ravagni
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