This article presents the third part of a research project that investigated the information‐seeking behavior and success of seventh‐grade science children in using the Yahooligans! Web search engine/directory. In parts 1 and 2, children performed fully assigned tasks to pursue in the engine. In the present study, children generated their tasks fully. Children's information seeking was captured from the cognitive, physical, and affective perspectives using both quantitative and qualitative inquiry methods. Their information‐seeking behavior and success on the fully self‐generated task was compared to the behavior and success they exhibited in the two fully assigned tasks. Children were more successful on the fully self‐generated task than the two fully assigned tasks. Children preferred the fully self‐generated task to the two fully assigned tasks due to their ability to find the information sought and satisfaction with search results rather than the nature of the task in itself (i.e., self‐generated aspect). Children were more successful when they browsed than when they searched by keyword on the three tasks. Yahooligans! design, especially its poor keyword searching, contributed to the breakdowns children experienced. Implications for system design improvement and Web training are discussed.
Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 2002
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