Doctoral Posters #29-32
Users and Uses of Information Systems
Purpose/Objective of study: There is an underlying assumption in the exchange of scholarly information that knowledge will be transferred across country borders, cultures, and languages. It is this sharing of scholarly information that is considered an essential pre-requisite necessary for the advancement of knowledge. Nonetheless, in the current environment of information retrieval (IR) systems, there are numerous obstacles confronting users who seek access to and use of online databases. These problems are exacerbated when users seek information written in languages not known to them.
The purposes of this study are: 1) to explore non-English information seekers’ information needs and study their information seeking behavior to determine how consistent it is with other IR user models; 2) to identify what kinds of difficulties individuals experience when accessing and using non-English information from current information retrieval systems; and, 3) to determine if new features are needed to improve cross-language access to index language and document surrogates and records for non-English information seekers.
Sample and Setting: Two separate studies comprise this research: an experiment using observations and interviews, and a separate online questionnaire. Thirty-two subjects participated in an experiment requiring use of multilanguage information sources. The online questionnaire attracted 120 respondents from academic researchers, library personnel, and the general public who were solicited through a network of colleagues. Of special interest is access to and understanding of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean information in online catalogs, scholarly databases, and web portals.
Method (Qualitative, quantitative, historical, etc): Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyze the data. Experimental data were analyzed using case study scenarios with appropriate content analyses and these are augmented by analysis of variance models to assess differences across users and languages. Results from questionnaire data are tested against specific hypotheses using correlational and regression analyses to construct descriptive and inferential models.
Data collection technique(s) (Interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, etc): The experiment rotated tasks, queries, and three different databases: WorldCat, EBSCOhost, and Google Language Tools. Of particular concern were the user’s language choices and modifications of their retrieval queries. The questionnaire required interpretation of information languages known and not known by the respondent. Data about respondents’ background and experience were also collected.
Results: The experimental results uncover confusion about multilanguage formats and about Romanized, transliterated information. The experiment confirmed the need to use English as a Rosetta Stone to locate records and interpret bibliographic and summary data. This was reinforced in the survey where respondents reported that they could not understand Romanized, transliterated data, even from their own language. It was further confirmed that the widespread use of English in each country’s journal literature now makes it appropriate to translate, not transliterate, information to achieve wider and fuller access to and understanding of scholarly information. Importantly, non-English information seeking behaviors are specific, even unique, from findings reported in same-language user IR models.
This research supports the premise that the design of cross-language information retrieval systems need to consider the experiences of IR system users as they are observed seeking information and as they provide evidence on their experiences in gaining access to information in other languages, especially those from non-Roman alphabets.
Purpose/Objective of study: The purpose of this research is to identify the differences in eye movement on a Web page between members from two different cultures to provide insight and guidelines for implementation of global Web site development. This research will identify the extent of variation of eye movement between Americans and Koreans on a Web page. The overall research question for this study is to identify what, when, and where people attend to on a Web page and what visual elements attract a visitor’s attention. More specifically, this research is to examine whether differences in eye movement exist between the two cultures (American vs. Korean) when viewing a Web page, and if so, whether their eye movements are affected according to the types of activities and the level of complexity of Web page.
Sample and Setting: Convenience sampling methods employing snowball methods that rely on participant’s referrals or volunteers will be employed in this study. About thirty each of American undergraduate and graduate students at Florida State University will be recruited for this study. All of the subjects must have been born and raised in their native country until they earned their high school diploma. In this study, a usability test is used as a framework of experimental design to examine cultural variations in eye movement. The Web pages used for this study will not be evaluated by the usability test. The usability method will be adopted only to collect eye movement data during the procedure of the usability test.
Method: In this study the Tobii 1750 eye tracker collects the sample of the user’s eye positions. ClearView software provided with the eye tracker helps to handle the volume of data and analyze the data. Eye movement measures such as fixation count on each AOI (area of interest), gaze time, average gaze time, time to first fixation, fixation order, and fixation transition from two different groups will be statistically analyzed.
Data collection technique(s): In this exploratory study, combining eye tracking methods with pre- and post-session questionnaires will be used as data collection methods. Eye-tracking method will be used to explore the differences among eye movements on Web pages between members of two different cultures during a usability test. Six Web pages for each country will be modified based on existing global Web sites. Each pair of Web pages will be modified to have the same layout and content with different languages (English and Korean). Participants will be asked to perform either browsing or searching tasks on each of the six Web pages in their native language version. The order of Web pages and the tasks will be counterbalanced across participants. Participants will see the six different Web pages (2 simple Web pages, 2 moderately complex Web pages, and 2 complex Web pages) with different activities, according to the order of Web the page. After the experiment, questionnaires regarding their experience and educational background will be given to the participants.
Results: I am in the process of collecting data. The results and implication of this study will be discussed.
Sample and Setting: I conducted four interviews at each of five public, doctoral/research universities in the Northeastern United States.
Data collection techniques: I conducted on-site, semi-structured interviews. One interviewee on each campus was the University Librarian, another was from another support unit, a third was the dean of a teaching unit, and the forth was the budget director. All of the unit heads, including the university librarians, were at the dean level in their respective organizational hierarchies. These unit heads have to interact with their central administrations to receive resources and are the ones most likely to use various methods in an attempt to maximize their budgets.
Results: This study found that micropolitics, which can be defined as the use of formal and informal power by individuals and groups to achieve their goals, was a dynamic component of academic life and a determinant of its budgetary outcomes. One conclusion drawn from the research was that these unit heads used micropolitical strategies to maintain communication with central administrators about their units’ needs. For example, a Dean said that you can make your case “over coffee or at a reception. When they say ‘how are things going,’ you do not just give one-word answers. You take advantage. You just assume that they want to know or they would not have asked. You give, not a page long reply, but you give a paragraph so that they can understand at least one dimension and then another time it is another dimension.” The officials also used various methods to build coalitions with others who had influence. One University Librarian said, “I am pretty direct [in asking for support from] students and the faculty and say, ‘OK, now it is up to you because the Provost is only going to listen to me so much because I am the librarian. What else am I going to say?’” Another finding was the importance of presenting arguments in an explicit and analytical way. An Athletics Director stated, “I think it is important to have a good idea that is well thought through, that has a real solid rationale that you can demonstrate links to and supports the institutional mission, vision, etc., and that has concrete stuff about how we can make it work.”
Purpose/Objective of study: Within a work group, members perform information-processing activities such as problem solving, decision-making, or sense making. These activities require inputs from members that reflect their mental models or cognitive schemas about the task or problem. Through group communication, individual mental models are exposed and over time a group mental model forms which varies in the extent it is shared by group members. Research shows that groups with similar mental models tend to perform better than groups with less similar mental models. What is not fully understood is how groups develop similarity in mental models. This research explored elements of small group communication to understand how communication influences shared cognition. Sample and Setting: The participants are seven managers from different branches of a large, suburban, public library system. The managers held positions at different levels in the organizational structure. The group was tasked to explore how to improve accountability in the library system.
Method (Qualitative, quantitative, historical, etc): The research followed the qualitative, naturalistic paradigm.
Data collection technique(s) (Interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, etc): Data on group communication were collected from group meetings and e-mails. Each meeting was recorded and transcribed, and the e-mail messages exchanged were captured. These data were coded at the level of the utterance and the analysis looked particularly at: content themes, communication roles and norms, channel, and the function of the message (socioemotional or task-oriented) using Bales’ Interaction Process Analysis.
Data capturing the mental models of the participants were collected from interviews with each participant and coded using the constant comparative method. These two sets of analyses were then examined to identify how communication events may have shaped the group’s mental models.
Results: The lack of clarity in defining the problem the group needed to solve confounded the development of shared mental models. Without a solid understanding of the problem, individuals struggled with their own ideas of what tasks should be taken to address the problem, which inhibited convergence around a shared perception. This led to premature attention to process issues such as rolling out a work product, when no work product existed and the nature of the problem was still unknown.
Communication early in the project showed a struggle for determining how the issues would be framed for the rest of the project. During meetings, individuals returned to a position they felt strongly about in an effort to sway or shape the views the other members. However, some group member’s positions were not consistent over time. This fluctuation in thinking emphasizes how the collective representation – the outcome of social cognition – is constantly being constructed and re-constructed.
Finally, status in the organizational hierarchy was influential in determining the shape of the group’s mental models. Participants were reluctant to provide their personal definition of the problem or a solution and instead preferred to defer to the views of the senior manager. Even though the group was given latitude in establishing their problem definition, scope of work, and timetable for implementation, the six members lower in the hierarchy were reluctant to assert their own ideas.