Monday, October 26, 2009

Database competency 6 - Academic Search Complete

For this competency, I need to perform 4 out of 5 search strategies for this database. Below is a record of my explorations.

Research question: What is the correlation (if any) between technology rich library/media center and student achievement?

Search strategy - Building Block

1. I logged into the database Academic Search Complete
2. I entered the following search terms - (correlation or relationship) and (technology or computer*) and (student achievement or learning). From this search, I received 2025 records.
3. In reviewing some of the results, many do not pertain to my research question. I need to rethink my terms and try again.
4. I'll try these terms - (technology or computer*) and (library or media center) and (learning or achievement). This time I received 2236, but more of these are at least related to research question. The results include adult learners as well as children. I'm only interested in children, so I will refine my search terms.
5. This time I will search - (technology or computer*) and (library or media center) and (learning or achievement) and (child* or adolescent). This search resulted in 231 records. In these records were some on video games, so I once again revised my search - (technology or computer* not gam*) and (library or media center) and (learning or achievement). This search retrieved 218 records. I will now need to use additional strategies to continue.

Search Strategy - Successive Fractions

1. Using my 218 records from my building block strategy search, I will narrow by Scholarly (peer reviewed) journals since I need this information to support an academic paper. I now have 57 records - 6 of which are helpful.
2. I will now try using proximity searches which is also a type of successive fractions. To do this, I must start my search again - (technology or computer* not gam*) and (library or media center) and (child* N5 learning) or (child* N5 achievement). This search retrieved 6 records. Four of these are usable items. I'm sure there are more out there, so I will use citation pearl growing with these results. Note: I still have my limiter set to scholarly journals.

Search Strategy - Citation Pearl Growing

1. Looking at the citations, I found some other terms to search. I will try the following search - (library or media center) and educational technology and [(internet and children) or computer* and children) or computer-assisted instruction]. This search retrieved 76 records. Most of these do not include information specific to library/media center. Maybe I should simplify my search.
2. New search - (library or media center) and technology and learning and child*. This time I received 43 records (I'm still limiting to scholarly articles). Once again, I have items relating to video games which I do not want, so I will exclude those items. New search - (library or media center) and (technology not gam*) and learning and child*. Now I have 41 articles. I will look at the citations and see if new terms are found. After reviewing some of the citations for articles that are promising sources of information, I found some other terms that might help to make my search more precise.
3. New search - (school librar* or media center) and (technology not gam*) and educational evaluations and child*. Something is correct. I received no results.
4. New search - (school librar* or media center) and (technology not gam*) and learning. Now, I have 58 records. I will review citations of the ones that are more closely related to my research question. I have found several articles that are helpful and I noticed that they contain the term academic achievement.
5. New search - (school librar* or media center) and (technology not gam*) and academic achievement. This time I received 4 items. All of the items look helpful, and one is a review of two books. The books reviewed in the article look promising as well.

Search Strategy - Search Browsing

1. My previous searches yielded some possibilities, but very few of the items I found discussed the correlation aspect of my research question. I will try browsing to see if I can discover something.
2. I used the "smart search" feature and entered the text "correlation between technology rich media center or school library and student achievement" Wow, I received 3,390,495 items. I still limited my search to scholarly journals.
3. These include items I had already found in previous search strategies. I noticed that some of the items did not address specifically the area of technology. I will try a new browse.
4. New browse statement "correlation between computers or technology rich school library and student achievement" Results - 2,953,900. Too many to browse. I decided to look in "help"
5. Help suggests several browsing methods. One is by subject, so I will try it.
6. I browsed the subject index and chose "educational technology" and selected explode - it entered the search perameters - DE "EDUCATIONAL technology" OR DE "AUDIO-visual education" OR DE "COMPUTER-assisted instruction" OR DE "MEDIA programs (Education)" OR DE "PROGRAMMED instruction" OR DE "TEACHING machines" The results were 24,532. Still too many to browse.
7. I tried subject browse for "school libraries" and received 2793 records. I refined the search to only include scholarly journals and that narrowed it to 466. In browsing through these items, many were not helpful. Some were items already identified in previous searches.


In conducting the above describe searches, I made several discoveries. First of all, it is difficult to use purely one search type to find information. Sometimes, it is necessary to combine types to receive the best results. Also, browsing does not seem to be an effective search option in this database. The only options for browsing produce too many results to review. In this database, successive fractions and citation pearl growing seem to produce the best results.

No comments:

Post a Comment