Electronic Encyclopedias for Upper Elementary School Users


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Presentation based on research conducted on Electronic Encyclopedias used by Upper Elementary School Students

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  • This study will examine Electronic Encyclopedias thru the eyes of Upper Elementary Student users. Many schools and homes are turning to electronic versions of resource materials like dictionaries and encyclopedia for use by their entire population, however much of the software on the market may not take into consideration the needs and abilities of younger students. This study hopes to isolate reference software that is both appropriate for students in Grades 3 thru 5 AND maximizes their information retrieval potential.
  • Electronic Encyclopedias for Upper Elementary School Users

    1. 1. Framing Question What accommodations should electronic encyclopedias include in order to ensure the success of information retrieval for upper elementary school students?
    2. 2. Review of the Literature <ul><li>Demands for efficient and effective information retrieval skills </li></ul><ul><li>Computers are now more readily available in schools and in the homes </li></ul><ul><li>Children are utilizing technology tools in their learning process </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic encyclopedias are becoming more commonplace in school libraries </li></ul><ul><li>If software is difficult to use, students and teachers will avoid it. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Problem <ul><li>Identify </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs of upper elementary students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information retrieval </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interactions with hypermedia environments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Differences in electronic encyclopedias </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which electronic encyclopedias accommodate for upper elementary student needs </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Content Analysis Design <ul><li>Collected research regarding student needs </li></ul><ul><li>Created an evaluation tool based on 24 identified student needs </li></ul><ul><li>Tested five electronic encyclopedias for how best they considered each student need </li></ul><ul><li>Individual and comparative </li></ul><ul><li>analysis </li></ul>
    5. 5. Foundations: Cognitive, Mechanical and Affective Considerations <ul><li>Kulthau </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Search Process (ISP) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Piaget </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concrete Operational Stage of Development </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Children who are in this concrete-operational stage seek information that exactly matches their own search terms or the terminology used by the teacher or in the assignment. In other words, they are concrete thinkers and have trouble with anything that is not an exact fit with their understanding of the question” (Hirsh, 1999). </li></ul><ul><li>Influences Textual Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>and Topicality </li></ul>
    6. 6. Developmental Accommodations for Reading Comprehension <ul><li>Text to Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Appropriate readability and considerate text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease Formula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dale – Chall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spache </li></ul></ul>Affective Behavior Considerations <ul><li>Frustration, confusion </li></ul><ul><li>Disappointment </li></ul>
    7. 7. Information Retrieval by Keyword Searching <ul><li>Closed Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Open Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Domain Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Boolean queries not used by young users </li></ul><ul><li>Common Student </li></ul><ul><li>Errors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plural Words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spelling Mistakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name Order </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural Language </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Information Retrieval by Browsing <ul><li>“Known options” makes this the most popular method of information for young users </li></ul><ul><li>Developmentally appropriate vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Subject categories (Domain Knowledge) </li></ul>Relevance <ul><li>Link Display and Density </li></ul><ul><li>Considerate Text </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperlink Abstraction </li></ul>
    9. 9. Multimedia Considerations <ul><li>Sound Quality </li></ul><ul><li>Graphics </li></ul><ul><li>Access to graphics </li></ul><ul><li>“Backtracking” capability </li></ul>
    10. 10. Differences in Encyclopedias <ul><li>Format of delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Student Editions </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Menus </li></ul><ul><li>Organize, Store and Print Articles and Personal Notes </li></ul><ul><li>Depth of Coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Number of articles and multimedia files </li></ul><ul><li>Citations </li></ul><ul><li>Updates </li></ul><ul><li>Dead Internal Links </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of external links </li></ul>
    11. 11. Research Suggests… <ul><li>Factors which Influence Upper Elementary </li></ul><ul><li>Students Information Retrieval Success: </li></ul>Readability Reading ease Hyperlink abstraction Vocabulary requirements in keyword searching Vocabulary use in hyperlink relevance Text to speech capacity Link density Affective behavior considerations Appropriately titled browsing categories Hyperlink and web resource availability Suggested spelling features Textual relevance Ability to retrace steps and organize articles Graphical relevance and accessibility Natural language interface Accommodations for student errors in keywords searches such as: plural words misspellings name order errors
    12. 12. Encyclopedias Tested <ul><li>CD/DVD Versions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>World Book Encyclopedia CD (MAC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many more available </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online Versions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>World Book Encyclopedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft Encarta </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encyclopedia Britannica </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grolier Online </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Overall Results <ul><li>Factors considered by all encyclopedias: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>name order interesting graphics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>access to graphics retracing steps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of hyperlink abstraction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>None of the encyclopedias offered web links embedded in their articles </li></ul><ul><li>67.5% of the 24 student needs were found to be accounted for in some capacity by the five encyclopedias </li></ul><ul><li>World Book Online met student needs </li></ul>
    14. 14. Results – By User Need Summary of the Frequency of Five Encyclopedias’ Ability to Address Young Users’ Needs 5 0 0 Reading Ease - Word 5 0 0 Readability - Dale Chall 4 1 0 Spelling 2 3 0 Readability - Spache 0 4 1 Browsing Vocabulary Addresses Domain Knowledge Level 0 4 1 Article Outline Vocabulary 1 2 2 Keyword Vocabulary 1 1 3 Natural Language 0 2 3 Textual Relevance 0 2 3 Plural Words 0 0 5 Name Order Not Addressed Somewhat Addressed Successfully Addressed Factors
    15. 15. Results – By User Need Summary of the Frequency of Five Encyclopedias’ Ability to Address Young Users’ Needs 5 0 Web Links Embedded 3 2 Affective Behavior Considerations 3 2 Text to Speech 2 3 Organize articles 2 3 Interesting Graphics Embedded 2 3 Offers Suggested Spellings 2 3 Link Density 1 4 Web Links Available 1 4 Hyperlinks to other articles 0 5 Access to Graphics 0 5 Retrace Steps 0 5 Interesting Graphics Available 0 5 Hyperlink abstraction Not Addressed Addressed Factor
    16. 16. Electronic Encyclopedias for Upper Elementary Students Results – By Encyclopedia
    17. 17. Primary Young User Needs <ul><li>Readability (Spache test) </li></ul><ul><li>Misspelling Accommodations </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralization Accommodations </li></ul><ul><li>Name Order Accommodations </li></ul><ul><li>Suggested spelling corrections for keywords, </li></ul><ul><li>Developmentally appropriate vocabulary used for keyword searches </li></ul><ul><li>Article outline and browsing subject category links </li></ul><ul><li>Graphical relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Language Interface </li></ul>
    18. 18. Electronic Encyclopedias for Upper Elementary Students Results – By Encyclopedia
    19. 19. Encyclopedias – Interesting Notes <ul><li>World Book Encyclopedia CD </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offered extensive hyperlinks to other internal articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Article organization system that included highlighting and adding sticky notes to articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linked suggested spellings to its dictionary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>World Book Encyclopedia Online </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very supportive environment for failed searches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Microsoft Encarta </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Suggested spelling only through MSN Search, no support for failed keyword searching </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Encyclopedias – Interesting Notes <ul><li>Encyclopedia Britannica (Student Edition) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Article Title Index </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Edition cannot be searched </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The user enters a keyword and is presented selection from the adult encyclopedia then they must click the “Student Encyclopedia” link to access the selection from that database – very frustrating! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphics and web resources only available from adult edition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grolier Online (New Book of Knowledge) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong natural language interface </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Helpful alphabetical browse of subject categories </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links named appropriately ie. “More Art” </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Limitations <ul><li>Factors in the evaluation tool </li></ul><ul><li>Researcher bias </li></ul>
    22. 22. Impact, Direction, Advocacy <ul><li>Improve information retrieval for young users </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration for software design </li></ul><ul><li>Inform school and home purchasing of reference software </li></ul>
    23. 23. Best Practices for our Classrooms <ul><li>Preview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student errors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pluralization, name order, spelling, natural language </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Browsing Capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary and Domain Knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to Graphics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keyword Searches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary and Domain Knowledge </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Explain the accommodations and </li></ul><ul><li>limitations of the tool </li></ul>
    24. 24. Best Practices for our Classrooms <ul><li>Accommodate/Scaffold </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Domain Knowledge, Vocabulary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offer word banks or provide search terms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorm keywords for open and closed tasks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link Display and Density, Hyperlink Abstraction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Print and preview page with students to decrease initial disorientation (create a map) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Circle the important links they will want to use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Backtracking, Organizing, Storing, Printing Articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offer instruction </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review IE toolbar and bookmarking </li></ul></ul></ul>
    25. 25. Electronic Encyclopedias for Upper Elementary Students
    26. 26. Electronic Encyclopedias for Upper Elementary Students