Assuring integrity of information utility in cyber‐learning formats

James L. Morrison (Professor of Consumer Studies at the University of Delaware, USA, <>)
Linda L. Stein (Associate Librarian in the Reference Department at the University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware, USA, <jlm@strauss.udel.edy>)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Publication date: 1 December 1999


Electronic networks are changing business operations worldwide. Universities must prepare students to handle the rapidly expanding range of commercial information in cyber formats. Although students can teach themselves to use technology, critical thinking skills are best acquired in a learning environment that encourages discussion and collaborative work. Faculty and librarians at the University of Delaware designed a cyber‐learning project that combined discovery learning with problem‐based learning. Teams of undergraduate students were challenged to present the best proposal for an Internet marketing strategy in a competition judged by local business people. Although the students were enthusiastic and produced sophisticated presentations using library databases, the Internet and presentation software, they failed to apply quality measures to evaluate their data. The mixed results of this interdisciplinary instructional project indicate that faculty and librarians should collaborate to create a cyber‐learning environment that will both stimulate critical thinking and emphasize the use of quality measures for information.



Morrison, J. and Stein, L. (1999), "Assuring integrity of information utility in cyber‐learning formats", Reference Services Review, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 317-326.

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Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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