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Information resources used by children at an English secondary school: Perceived and actual levels of usefulness

Madden, A.D., Ford, N. and Miller, D. (2007) Information resources used by children at an English secondary school: Perceived and actual levels of usefulness. Journal of Documentation, 63 (3). pp. 340-358. ISSN 0022-0418


Purpose – The purpose of this research is to study the information-seeking habits of children at an English secondary school. Data from two different research exercises were collated in order to provide an insight into how students perceived and used a range of information resources.

Design/methodology/approach – In the first research exercise, groups of children from each academic year were asked to discuss a set of information resources and to rank them according to perceived usefulness. In the second, students were asked to report, throughout the school year, on the resources they used to complete homework assignments.

Findings – The findings from these two exercises are best interpreted by using them to provide the answers to three questions: Which information resources did students consider to be the most useful? Which information resources did students use the most? When an information resource was referred to, how likely was it that students found it to be useful? The rankings differed considerably, depending on which question was being asked.

Originality/value – The results gave an insight into how different information resources were used for different subjects. They also provide evidence of the fact that students’ reliance on other people as an information source begins to decline as they get older, and there is a corresponding increase in their use of books and electronic information sources.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Children (age groups), Secondary schools, Information research, Information retrieval, Information literacy, England
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Andrew D. Madden
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2009 16:25
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2014 22:10
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00220410710743289
Status: Published
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1108/00220410710743289
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10000

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