CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

An Investigation of the Feasibility of Using Web-Centric Methods Versus Traditional Face-to-Face Methods in Delivering a Course in Bibliographic Instruction

Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Abstract

The problem investigated in this research was the difficulty of providing bibliographic instruction to all first year students who required such instruction, in a timely manner utilizing the traditional in class face-to-face instructional method. In recent years the College Of The Bahamas (COB) has been expanding its campus to other islands in the Bahamas. As all students are required to complete the Library Orientation (Libr 013) course as a general education requirement, it has proven difficult to provide all students with instruction utilizing the traditional method of instruction. This study focused on students at the main campus (COB) who were entering the College in the Fall semester of 2004. The study investigated the feasibility of offering an online bibliographic instructional tutorial, based on the Texas Information Literacy Tutorial (TILT) developed at the University of Texas. The tutorial was adapted to the College of The Bahamas' learning environment and course content was identical to the in-class, face-to-face instructional section.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups, one receiving instruction via the in class method and the other via the online method. Both groups were administered a pre-test and a post-test. Questions on the post-test were identical to those on the pre-test but differed in the order in which the questions appeared. Additionally, participants were asked to complete a demographic survey and an end-of-course evaluation form.

Participants were also allowed to make opened responses about any aspect of the instruction they received. Data gathered were assessed and analyzed utilizing the Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) to determine if there were any statistical differences between the two groups. Feasibility was determined accordingly. The results of the data analysis suggested no statistically significant differences in technical skill development, student's overall learning experience, students' involvement with the course content and experience with using the computer and the Internet based on method of instruction. Results further suggested statistically significant differences between the Web-based group and the traditional in-class group on post-test performances and level of satisfaction with the instructional method. Based on the margin of significance it was further determined that these results, though statistically significant, raised the question of practical significance between the groups.

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