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An Analysis of Undergraduate Students' Search Behaviors in an Information Literacy Class


The purpose of this project was to investigate how students' search strategies changed over the course of a semester-long information literacy class. Data collection included four different paper questionnaires corresponding to course content in the spring 2008 semester. Seventy-seven participants completed the questionnaires and course work in the class. Results showed that participants' demographics did not have any impact on their selection of search keywords. While participants reported better search experiences with more search keywords, they were not able to develop more sophisticated search keywords after receiving more instruction and search experience. The participants who did develop more sophisticated search keywords had better search experiences and a higher rate of satisfaction with their research results. Future studies should examine what enabled these participants to develop more sophisticated search keywords.


Library and Learning Resources

Keywords and Phrases

Academic libraries; Educational standards; Higher education; Information and computer literacy; Information literacy; Search strategies; Undergraduate students

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1932-2909; 1932-2917

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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