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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Schubert Foo, Shaheen Majid and Yun Ke Chang

The purpose of this paper is to assess knowledge of Singapore Grade 5 (11 years old) students’ understanding and proficiency in basic information literacy (IL) skills of defining…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess knowledge of Singapore Grade 5 (11 years old) students’ understanding and proficiency in basic information literacy (IL) skills of defining information tasks, selecting information sources, seeking information from sources and synthesising and using information.

Design/methodology/approach

A 38-item multiple-choice question assessment instrument was used to assess the students’ IL skills based on the i-Competent IL model. The instrument first developed in 2010 was refined and expanded to increase the robustness and accuracy of assessment for the study. It was administered to 17 primary schools in Singapore in November 2015. The maximum possible score of 54 was scaled up to 100 to report the overall mean score for ease of reference and comparison. A total of 2,399 returns were obtained and analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 22.0 to compute the mean scores, IL stage-level scores. The study also investigated for any significant differences in performance between male and female students, and students with or without access to the internet at home.

Findings

The students achieved an overall mean score of 53.39 which is below a recommended acceptable score of 60 or 70 advocated in a number of past studies. The two worst performing areas of IL skills were synthesising and using information and seeking information from sources with mean scores of 45.89 and 48.81, respectively. A review of the highest number of incorrect answers suggests that students had difficulty in identifying key information from an information task narrative, understanding the use of reference sources and role of librarians, distinguishing between a fact and opinion, and adopting the best strategy for searching. Girls outperformed boys with an overall mean score of 55.38 vs 51.50. Students with internet access at home fared better than those without access to it with a score of 53.67 vs 45.81. The overall poor results of the survey suggest an urgent need to review the IL education landscape in the Singapore school system, revisit polices, priorities and assess the relevance and effectiveness of the IL curriculum, practical hands-on classes, and interventions that are currently employed in schools.

Practical implications

The study helped identify areas of IL skills strengths and weakness among Grade 5 students in Singapore schools. It provides recommendations for follow up actions for education authority and schools to improve the situation.

Originality/value

This study was prompted to provide an assessment after a national IL initiative was launched in 2012 to inculcate IL skills among the school-going children as part of creating a value-driven education system. This is the first reported set of findings for a large-scale survey conducted to measure and ascertain the IL skills level among Grade 5 students.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 May 2018

Aravind Sesagiri Raamkumar, Schubert Foo and Natalie Pang

During the literature review phase, the task of finding similar research papers can be a difficult proposition for researchers due to the procedural complexity of the task…

Abstract

Purpose

During the literature review phase, the task of finding similar research papers can be a difficult proposition for researchers due to the procedural complexity of the task. Current systems and approaches help in finding similar papers for a given paper, even though researchers tend to additionally search using a set of papers. This paper aims to focus on conceptualizing and developing recommendation techniques for key literature review and manuscript preparatory tasks that are interconnected. In this paper, the user evaluation results of the task where seed basket-based discovery of papers is performed are presented.

Design/methodology/approach

A user evaluation study was conducted on a corpus of papers extracted from the ACM Digital Library. Participants in the study included 121 researchers who had experience in authoring research papers. Participants, split into students and staff groups, had to select one of the provided 43 topics and run the tasks offered by the developed assistive system. A questionnaire was provided at the end of each task for evaluating the task performance.

Findings

The results show that the student group evaluated the task more favourably than the staff group, even though the difference was statistically significant for only 5 of the 16 measures. The measures topical relevance, interdisciplinarity, familiarity and usefulness were found to be significant predictors for user satisfaction in this task. A majority of the participants, who explicitly stated the need for assistance in finding similar papers, were satisfied with the recommended papers in the study.

Originality/value

The current research helps in bridging the gap between novices and experts in terms of literature review skills. The hybrid recommendation technique evaluated in this study highlights the effectiveness of combining the results of different approaches in finding similar papers.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 May 2020

Shaheen Majid, Schubert Foo and Yun Ke Chang

To investigate information literacy (IL) skills of secondary students in Singapore after integration of these skills into school curriculum. The study also explored cyber wellness…

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate information literacy (IL) skills of secondary students in Singapore after integration of these skills into school curriculum. The study also explored cyber wellness skills of the students.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 14 secondary schools, located in different geographical zones of the country. A total of 3,306 secondary students participated in this survey. A scoring scheme was devised to assess IL skills of the students.

Findings

The students achieved an overall mean score of 52.6%, which is considered as a “middle” level of IL competency. The students obtained high mean scores for two IL skills: “defining information task and analysing information gaps” (60.5%) and cyber wellness (60.1%). Lowest scores were achieved for two IL skills: “selecting information sources” (47.4%) and “appraising the information process and product” (48.0%).

Research limitations/implications

This study has not investigated IL knowledge of teachers, responsible for teaching IL components. Similarly, content analysis of school textbooks, integrating IL skills, could be useful.

Practical implications

It appeared that integration of IL skills into school curriculum showed limited success in imparting these skills. This paper suggests measures for improving the integration of IL skills into school curriculum. Findings of this survey will be useful to curriculum planners, education administrators, instructors teaching IL skills and school librarians.

Originality/value

This study was unique as, in addition to standard IL skills, it also investigated cyber wellness skills. It was desirable as now social media have become a popular source for information seeking and sharing.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 72 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Kai Ling Ang and Schubert Foo

Presents a first attempt to investigate eating patterns in children in Singapore in terms of frequency, sources and types of food, with specific emphasis on eating outside the…

5296

Abstract

Presents a first attempt to investigate eating patterns in children in Singapore in terms of frequency, sources and types of food, with specific emphasis on eating outside the home. Two sets of data were collected. A guided questionnaire was administered to adults accompanying the pre‐school age children and young people at various eating outlets, hawker centres, food courts and fast food outlets. All 198 transcripts were usable. Overall, 19 per cent of those interviewed ate out five to seven times a week. The two most common reasons given for this were “convenience” (65, 33 per cent), and “nobody prepares home‐cooked meals” (62, 31 per cent). “Convenience” was most common among pre‐school (29, 48 per cent) and teenaged (27, 42 per cent) children, whereas “nobody cooks at home” (31, 43 per cent) was most common in school‐age children. Few boys said that they ate fruit or vegetables. This picture is in keeping with the pattern among Singaporean adults and may contribute to the high rate of obesity that increases risk of adult diseases. Research is needed to confirm these findings and to investigate the social influences on eating patterns with a view to designing effective nutrition/health education that can effect behavioural change.

Details

Health Education, vol. 102 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Chern Li Liew, Schubert Foo and K.R. Chennupati

The growth and diversity of electronic journals (e‐journals) in the past five years has led many to predict the extinction of print journals and that a new paradigm is sweeping…

1967

Abstract

The growth and diversity of electronic journals (e‐journals) in the past five years has led many to predict the extinction of print journals and that a new paradigm is sweeping scholarship. Some others, however, believe that future electronic scholarly journals will be different from their print antecedents and fill a different niche, and will be necessary for the growth of knowledge. This paper considers the future of e‐journals in the light of the use and perception of graduate student end‐users, and their expectations of future e‐journals. Some results from a recent user study presenting significant implications for the design of future e‐journals are reported. The results show a significantly high acceptance of e‐journals by this category of users. Generally, e‐journals are expected to be different from print journals, with novel forms of functionality not possible in their print counterparts.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Bing Tan, Schubert Foo and Siu Cheung Hui

The dynamic nature of information content on the Web has posed a serious problem to users who need constantly to keep track of the latest updates on specific information…

1210

Abstract

The dynamic nature of information content on the Web has posed a serious problem to users who need constantly to keep track of the latest updates on specific information. Traditional search engines enable users to retrieve potentially relevant Web information, but they do not track and monitor Web pages based on users’ interests. On the other hand, Web information monitoring systems are designed specifically to help users track and monitor Web information. However, to make Web monitoring effective, it is necessary to identify and understand typical Web page update characteristics so that useful monitoring features and functions can be designed and built into these systems. In this study, a total of 105 Web pages from the Internet were collected and monitored over a one‐month period. These pages are selected from seven domains under Yahoo!’s directories. The analysis results are presented according to Web site domains, Web page types, Web page attributes and change frequency. Based on this study, different functions and features for a Web monitoring system are identified. These features have been incorporated into a Web monitoring system, WebMon, that has been developed at the School of Computer Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Cliff Loke, Schubert Foo and Shaheen Majid

Keywords search is intuitive, simple to use and convenient. It is also the de facto input interface for textual and multimedia retrieval. However, individuals often perform poorly…

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Abstract

Purpose

Keywords search is intuitive, simple to use and convenient. It is also the de facto input interface for textual and multimedia retrieval. However, individuals often perform poorly when faced with exploratory search tasks that are common during learning, resulting in poor quality searches. The purpose of this paper is to examine how adolescent learners search and select videos to support self-learning. The findings allow for the identification of design concepts of video retrieval interface and features that can facilitate better exploratory searches.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were assigned two customized video search tasks. The think-aloud protocol is used to allow participants to verbalize their actions, thoughts and feeling. This approach offered rich insights to the participants’ cognitive processes and considerations when performing the search tasks.

Findings

This study identified five themes for exploratory video search behavior: selection of internet resources, query formulation/reformulation, selection of the video(s) for preview, getting acquainted with the video content, and making a decision for the search task. The analysis of these themes led to a number of design concepts, ranging from supporting exploration of topics to better interaction with metadata.

Practical implications

The findings can inform future development of dedicated video retrieval systems interfaces that seeks to facilitate effective exploratory searches by learners.

Originality/value

This study contributes by suggesting design concepts for video retrieval system developers to support exploratory video searches.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2000

Schubert Foo, Siu Cheung Hui, Hong Koon Lim and Li Hui

Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean and in particular Chinese, are beginning to gain popularity in the information retrieval (IR) domain. The quality of IR systems has…

Abstract

Asian languages such as Japanese, Korean and in particular Chinese, are beginning to gain popularity in the information retrieval (IR) domain. The quality of IR systems has traditionally been judged by the system’s retrieval effectiveness which, in turn, is commonly measured by data recall and data precision. This paper proposes and describes a process for generating an automatic Chinese thesaurus that can be used to provide related terms to a user’s queries to enhance retrieval effectiveness. In the absence of existing automatic Chinese thesauri, techniques used in English thesaurus generation have been evaluated and adapted to generate a Chinese equivalent. The automatic thesaurus is generated by computing the co‐occurrence values between domain‐specific terms found in a document collection. These co‐occurrence values are in turn derived from the term and document frequencies of the terms. A set of experiments was subsequently carried out on a document test set to evaluate the applicability of the thesaurus. Results obtained from these experiments confirmed that such an automatic generated thesaurus is able to improve the retrieval effectiveness of a Chinese IR system.

Details

Library Review, vol. 49 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Aravind Sesagiri Raamkumar, Schubert Foo and Natalie Pang

Systems to support literature review (LR) and manuscript preparation tend to focus on only one or two of the tasks involved. The purpose of this paper is to describe an…

1163

Abstract

Purpose

Systems to support literature review (LR) and manuscript preparation tend to focus on only one or two of the tasks involved. The purpose of this paper is to describe an intervention framework that redesigns a particular set of tasks, allowing for interconnectivity between the tasks and providing appropriate user interface display features for each task in a prototype system.

Design/methodology/approach

A user evaluation study was conducted on the prototype system. The system supports the three tasks: building a reading list (RL) of research papers, finding similar papers based on a set of papers and shortlisting papers from the final RL for inclusion in manuscript based on article type. A total of 119 researchers who had experience in authoring research papers, participated in the evaluation study. They had to select one of the provided 43 topics and execute the tasks offered by the system. Three questionnaires were provided for evaluating the tasks and system. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed on the collected evaluation data.

Findings

Task redesign aspects had a positive impact in user evaluation for the second task of finding similar papers while improvement was found to be required for the first and third tasks. The tasks interconnectivity features seed basket and RL were helpful for the participants in conveniently searching for papers within the system. Two of the four proposed informational display features, namely, information cue labels and shared co-relations were the most preferred features of the system. Student user group found the task recommendations and the overall system to be more useful and effective than the staff group.

Originality/value

This study validates the importance of interconnected task design and novel informational display features in accentuating task-based recommendations for LR and manuscript preparatory tasks. The potential for improvement in recommendations was shown through the task redesign exercise where new requirements for the tasks were identified. The resultant prototype system helps in bridging the gap between novices and experts in terms of LR skills.

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Aravind Sesagiri Raamkumar, Schubert Foo and Natalie Pang

Although many interventional approaches have been proposed to address the apparent gap between novices and experts for literature review (LR) search tasks, there have been very…

Abstract

Purpose

Although many interventional approaches have been proposed to address the apparent gap between novices and experts for literature review (LR) search tasks, there have been very few approaches proposed for manuscript preparation (MP) related tasks. The purpose of this paper is to describe a task and an incumbent technique for shortlisting important and unique papers from the reading list (RL) of researchers, meant for citation in a manuscript.

Design/methodology/approach

A user evaluation study was conducted on the prototype system which was built for supporting the shortlisting papers (SP) task along with two other LR search tasks. A total of 119 researchers who had experience in authoring research papers participated in this study. An online questionnaire was provided to the participants for evaluating the task. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed on the collected evaluation data.

Findings

Graduate research students prefer this task more than research and academic staff. The evaluation measures relevance, usefulness and certainty were identified as predictors for the output quality measure “good list”. The shortlisting feature and information cues were the preferred aspects while limited data set and rote steps in the study were ascertained as critical aspects from the qualitative feedback of the participants.

Originality/value

Findings point out that researchers are clearly interested in this novel task of SP from the final RL prepared during LR. This has implications for digital library, academic databases and reference management software where this task can be included to benefit researchers at the manuscript preparatory stage of the research lifecycle.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 69 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

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