Backgrounds and behaviors: Which students successfully identify online resources in the face of container collapse

Authors

  • Christopher Cyr OCLC Research
  • Tara Tobin Cataldo University of Florida
  • Brittany Brannon OCLC Research
  • Amy G. Buhler University of Florida
  • Ixchel M. Faniel OCLC Research
  • Lynn Silipigni Connaway OCLC Research
  • Joyce Kasman Valenza Rutgers University
  • Rachael Elrod University of Florida
  • Samuel R. Putnam University of Florida

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v26i3.10871

Keywords:

information literacy, container collapse, search behavior, online information

Abstract

In a digital environment, students have difficulty determining whether an information resource comes from a book, magazine, journal, blog, or other container, and lose the contextual information that these containers provide. This study of students from primary through graduate school looks at their ability to identify the containers of information resources, and how this ability is affected by their demographic traits, the resource features they attended to, and their behaviors during a task-based simulation. The results indicate that correct container identification requires deep engagement with a resource. Those who attended to cues such as genre and source were better able to identify container, while those who paid attention to heuristics such as its visual appearance and URL were not. Demographic characteristics, including educational cohort and first-generation student status, also had an effect.

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Published

2021-02-15

How to Cite

Cyr, C., Tobin Cataldo, T., Brannon, B., Buhler, A., Faniel, I., Silipigni Connaway, L., Kasman Valenza, J., Elrod, R., & Putnam, S. (2021). Backgrounds and behaviors: Which students successfully identify online resources in the face of container collapse. First Monday, 26(3). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v26i3.10871