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Perspectives on children’s navigation of the World Wide Web: does the type of search task make a difference?

Dania Bilal (Dania Bilal is Assistant Professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee‐Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 1 April 2002



Reports the key findings of a three‐part research project that examined the information seeking behaviour and success of 22 seventh grade science students in using the Web. Children used the Yahooligans! search engine/directory to locate information for three different types of search tasks: one assigned fact‐finding task, one assigned research‐oriented task, and one fully self‐generated task. Children’s information‐seeking behaviour was studied from the cognitive, affective, and physical perspectives. Both quantitative and qualitative inquiry methods were employed to collect the data. Children’s behaviour and success were compared on the three tasks. Children were more successful on the fully self‐generated task than the fact‐based and the research‐oriented tasks. Children experienced difficulty in using Yahooligans! Their inadequate knowledge of how to use the engine, their poor level of research skills, as well as the poor structure of Yahooligans! keyword searching all surfaced as problems. Implications for Web training and system design improvements are provided.



Bilal, D. (2002), "Perspectives on children’s navigation of the World Wide Web: does the type of search task make a difference?", Online Information Review, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 108-117.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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