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Elementary schoolteachers' use of instructional materials on the web

Ming‐der Wu (Department of Library & Information Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Shih‐chuan Chen (Department of Library & Information Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 14 November 2008

Abstract

Purpose

Studies have shown that schoolteachers are familiar with instructional materials on the web and integrate them into classroom teaching. In Taiwan, there are a number of online instructional materials, with the Learning Fueling Station being a leading web site. Using this popular site as an example, this study seeks to investigate how schoolteachers navigate online instructional materials and for what types of instructional materials they are looking.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 30 elementary schoolteachers were interviewed in their offices using computers to connect to the Learning Fueling Station web site, and web pages were visited as needed during the interview. Participants were asked to search for any topic in which they were interested, and the interviewer observed and recorded their search behavior.

Findings

All schoolteachers reported that they use the internet prior to designing their instructional activities. The two main reasons they gave for using the internet were to refer to other teachers' materials and to obtain up‐to‐date information on their subjects, especially in areas related to science and technology and social studies. Source materials (e.g. photographs and video clips) and ready‐to‐use instructional packages were two popular items that the schoolteachers search for online. Participants appreciated Learning Fueling Station's commitment to quality but reported that the quantity of information available on the site was insufficient to meet their needs.

Originality/value

Relatively few studies have dealt with issues concerning teachers' use behavior. The findings of the study could be helpful for those who are responsible for organizing or maintaining instructional materials web sites on the internet. School librarians may have a better understanding of teachers' behavior and work out a more useful library instruction program.

Keywords

Citation

Wu, M. and Chen, S. (2008), "Elementary schoolteachers' use of instructional materials on the web", The Electronic Library, Vol. 26 No. 6, pp. 833-843. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640470810921619

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited