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INFORMATION-SEEKING STRATEGIES OF DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR DESIGN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL WEB SPACE

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Date Issued:
2009
Abstract/Description:
This dissertation looks at the information-seeking practices of doctoral students in the context of their search for a doctoral program and considers the implications for design of the graduate school Web space. Of particular interest is the description of patterns of Web use and the practices related to students' preparation for interactions with technology, the nature of the interactions, and the thinking that occurs. An exploratory study that brings together hypertext theory, contextual, holistic approaches, and information behavior, this research includes a focus group of current undergraduate and graduate students to gather fresh details about information-seeking for a graduate program as a preliminary investigation in this area, eight interviews with current doctoral students admitted in Fall 2007 to capture the specific details of students' information-seeking experiences for a doctoral program by mapping the journeys, and an online survey of current doctoral students admitted in Fall 2007 as further investigation of information-seeking for a doctoral program. Doctoral students who participated in this study rely on the Web as the primary source of prior knowledge of graduate education and graduate school, as well as the source most used to build that knowledge during the information-seeking journey for a graduate program and to prepare them for the start of their graduate study. The eight maps of students' information-seeking journeys for a graduate program show how complex and wide-ranging these journeys are. Based on bits collected through their many Web encounters over six months to two years, students develop a "feeling" for the people who make up the graduate program, social interactions within this group and research subgroups, and what it would be like to be a student in the program, all contributing to students' decision making. Academic Web sites play a key role as support structures for students and have to do more than make the information available and findable; they must design in order to encourage and sustain engagement, or deep involvement. This study proposes several suggestions for academic Web design.
Title: INFORMATION-SEEKING STRATEGIES OF DOCTORAL STUDENTS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR DESIGN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL WEB SPACE.
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Name(s): Winter, Debra, Author
Applen, J. D., Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2009
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation looks at the information-seeking practices of doctoral students in the context of their search for a doctoral program and considers the implications for design of the graduate school Web space. Of particular interest is the description of patterns of Web use and the practices related to students' preparation for interactions with technology, the nature of the interactions, and the thinking that occurs. An exploratory study that brings together hypertext theory, contextual, holistic approaches, and information behavior, this research includes a focus group of current undergraduate and graduate students to gather fresh details about information-seeking for a graduate program as a preliminary investigation in this area, eight interviews with current doctoral students admitted in Fall 2007 to capture the specific details of students' information-seeking experiences for a doctoral program by mapping the journeys, and an online survey of current doctoral students admitted in Fall 2007 as further investigation of information-seeking for a doctoral program. Doctoral students who participated in this study rely on the Web as the primary source of prior knowledge of graduate education and graduate school, as well as the source most used to build that knowledge during the information-seeking journey for a graduate program and to prepare them for the start of their graduate study. The eight maps of students' information-seeking journeys for a graduate program show how complex and wide-ranging these journeys are. Based on bits collected through their many Web encounters over six months to two years, students develop a "feeling" for the people who make up the graduate program, social interactions within this group and research subgroups, and what it would be like to be a student in the program, all contributing to students' decision making. Academic Web sites play a key role as support structures for students and have to do more than make the information available and findable; they must design in order to encourage and sustain engagement, or deep involvement. This study proposes several suggestions for academic Web design.
Identifier: CFE0002557 (IID), ucf:47634 (fedora)
Note(s): 2009-05-01
Ph.D.
Arts and Humanities, Department of English
Doctorate
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): academic Web design
information seeking
doctoral students
graduate students
Web seeking or searching patterns
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0002557
Restrictions on Access: campus 2012-04-01
Host Institution: UCF

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