Communications in Information Literacy (Jul 2014)

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Tools for Online Database Instruction

  • Yvonne Mery,
  • Erica DeFrain,
  • Elizabeth Kline,
  • Leslie Sult

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 8, no. 1
pp. 70 – 81


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The intent of this study was to evaluate the Guide on the Side (Gots), an online learning tool developed by the University of Arizona Libraries, and a screencast tutorial for teaching information literacy and database searching skills. Ninety undergraduate students were randomly assigned into three groups: group 1 completed a GotS tutorial; group 2 viewed a screencast presenting identical content; and a control group. Each group completed an identical 16-item post-test. An analysis of variance revealed statistically significant differences between the control group and both treatment groups, however there was no statistical difference between treatment groups. Limitations of the study and future research areas are also discussed.