Monday, November 2, 2009

DIALOG Competency

Search Question: How does technology affect student achievement?

Considering my search question, I believe that the database Library Literature and Information Science (438) would probably provide me with the best results; therefore, I decided to explore it first. Below is a chronicle of my explorations of the various databases including: search steps that I took, results from each step, and additional comments as appropriate. Searching these databases using DIALOG was the best time I have had searching. I enjoyed being able to customize my search in this way. Since this is a commercial service that charges, I found out that it is important to know before you begin which database will most likely retrieved beneficial results. Also, pre-planning strategies are also important.

Search Steps:

Log on to DIALOG, enter B438 for LibLit database, then I entered:

SS technology and computer?
S1 - technology - 9814
S2 - computer? - 15, 804
S3 - both S1&S2 - 1072
Comments: S2 will give me the broadest selection for the information that I need.

2. Enter: SS student achievement or learning
S4 - student achievement - 0
S5 - learning - 4051
S6 - combined - 4051
Comments: S5 will be most helpful here. I need to exclude adult learners.

3. Enter: SS children and S2 and S5
S7 - children - 20,333
S8 - S7&S2&S5 - 37
Comments: I will further explore the 37 records.

4. Enter: T 8/5/37
Results: This only gave me record 37.
Comments: I need to correct my command.

5. Enter: T 8/5/1-37
Results: 13 of the records looked promising with one showing that technology has not affected student achievement. Of the 13, four were on gaming which I'm not interested in, and 9 were actually helpful for my research.
As I browse through these results, I noticed some additional terms that may be helpful with other searches: microcomputers-Children's use; cognition; computer assisted instruction. Feeling comfortable with the results I found, I decided to see what ERIC may have.

6. Enter: B1 Then Enter: SS technology and computer?
S1 - technology - 82,847
S2 - computer? - 93,663
S3 - both 32,324
Comments: Now, I will add learning and cognition and student achievement.

7. Enter: SS cognition or learning or student achievement
S4 - cognition - 8783
S5 - learning - 283,473
S6 - student achievement - 0
S7 - all - 289,091
Comments: I think I need to drop the term student achievement. It has not been fruitful in either database. Next, I will combine S3 and S7 with children to eliminate adult learners.

8. Enter: SS children and S3 and S7
S8 - children - 199,350
S9 - combined - 1058
Comments: This is considerable more than in LibLit. My original hypothesis was wrong. I see now why that is the case. ERIC has a more inclusive educational focus. Now I have to find another way to narrow my search. I will try some of my terms from my previous search.

9. Enter: SS Microcomputer and S7
S10 - microcomputer - 10,548
S11 - both - 2743
Comments: These broaden my search. I need fewer results.

10. Enter: SS affect and S9
S12 - affect - 21,713
S13 - both - 22
Comments: Now, that's more manageable. I will review to see if these are helpful.

11. Enter: T 13/5/1-22
Results: 7 were useful.
Comments: I noticed items covering the psychology aspect. This type of article did not appear in my LibLit search. In fact, there were only 3 that I noticed that were in both databases. While this search yielded many more results in my first searches than LibLit, in the end, I found more beneficial articles in LibLit; therefore, maybe my hyposthesis was correct, but not by much. Now, I will try Gale Group Magazines (47).

12. Enter: B47, then enter: SS technology and computer?
S1 - technology - 287,622
S2 - computer? - 418,656
S3 - both - 136,164
Comments: Lots of results, I will drop student achievement this time since it has not been helpful in previous searches.

13. Enter: SS cognition or learning
S4 - cognition - 2868
S5 - learning - 98,167
S6 - both - 99,564
Comments: Now onto narrowing down to child learner.

14. Enter: SS children and S3 and S6
S7 - children - 282,323
S8 - all - 4363
Comments: I need to narrow my results.

15. Enter: SS affect and S8
S9 - affect - 62, 936
S10 - both -823
Comments: This is still more than I can sift through.

16. Enter: T 10/5/1-5
Comments: In viewing these first few, I see gaming which I do not want, so I need to weed these out.

17. Enter: SS S10 not gam?
S11 - gam? - 236,143
S12 - S10 not gam? - 450
Comments: That is fewer, but I still need to narrow the results. I will look gain at the first few results.

18. Enter: T 12/5/1-5
Comments: In reviewing the first 10, I'm not getting anything even close to what I'm looking for. My method must be flawed. It worked with the other databases, but it doesn't work with this one. I'll move on to the fourth database, Dissertation Abstracts Online (35).

19. Enter: B35, then enter: SS technology and computer?
S1 - technology - 84,862
S2 - computer? - 126,027
S3 - both - 19, 069
Comments: The usual large amount.

20. Enter: SS cognition or learning
S4 - cognition - 6807
S5 - learning - 94, 873
S6 - both - 100,454
Comments: Now to narrow to children only.

21. Enter: SS children and S3 and S6
S7 - children - 100,095
S8 - both - 318
Comments: Not to narrow just a bit more.

22. Enter: SS affect and S8
S9 - affect - 82,753
S10 - both - 15
Comments: I will review the 15 results.

23. Enter: T 10/5/1-15
13 were excellent - 3 not helpful.
Comments: The results from this search were the most helpful of all my searches.

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