An interactive role play simulating working as a member of a team to complete a research project. The objective is to make decisions regarding selection of appropriate research materials and strategies at different stages of the project. A final grade is given for each of five stages depending on your decisions. This simulation is most appropriate for college students and is best used on an individual basis or as an assignment.
Learner will explore common thoughts and feelings during the information seeking process. The learner will identify appropriate information sources and research strategies for each of five stages in a research project.
Target Student Population:
Could be used at the high school level but is more appropriate for college level.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer skills necessary. Some knowledge of library terminology helpful.
Type of Material:
Recommended as homework or other individual use.
browser, Flash player 8 or higher. Probably best with high speed download
Evaluation and Observation
This project is informed by the research of Carol Kuhlthau, a prominent researcher in the field of information seeking.The simulation accurately models typical thoughts and feelings which an individual might exhibit at different stages of the information seeking process as well as actions and strategies that might be employed during each stage. It summarizes each stage and provides a final grade achieved by the user based on their choices of actions and strategies during each stage.
The overall product is professionally produced.
The length of the simulation is quite long, particularly if the video downloads are slow.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The instructions at the beginning of the role play are clear. Learning objectives are identified and a review of the most appropriate actions and possible strategies concludes the role play.
A review of actions taken in comparison with the most appropriate actions might be more effective than the smiley face grade. Alternatively, a review or grading could follow immediately at the end of each section, allowing for more rapid learner feedback.
A method to replay the final overview and grading section could also enhance learning and retention for those who choose this option.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Instructions are clear. The product is visually engaging through the use of high quality videos. Scenarios and actors are realistic and should appeal to target audience. There are frequent opportunities for interaction as you progress through the simulation.
The product has some usability issues; there is no indication at the beginning of the approximate length of time one will need to complete the simulation. There is a lack of navigational controls to enable skipping ahead or reviewing any section. Controls on the individual videos are adequate but I experienced lag in the streaming download causing poor video and audio quality. A text or closed caption version of the videos would eliminate this problem and enhance usability.
Other Issues and Comments:
Instructors not familiar with Kuhlthau's work might appreciate an instructor's teaching aid with an overview of this research, and suggestions for implementation with a classroom