AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Web ecology: Information needs of different user groups in the context of a community college website

Borchuluun Yadamsuren, Anindita Paul, Jiazhen Wang, Xin Wang and Sanda Erdelez

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


College websites play an increasingly important role in lives of students, faculty, and parents providing them with necessary information and communication opportunities. Since community college websites serve as a main information platform for diverse user groups and function with myriad of purposes, it is vital to understand information needs of other users, such as employees, parents, and non-traditional students. This poster presents the research design and preliminary results of the study on information needs of community college website users. The main goal of this study was to explore two major issues in the light of Savolainenís Everyday Life Information Seeking (ELIS): 1) What are the information needs of different user groups (employees, parents, traditional students, non-traditional students, and prospective students) on a community college Web site? 2) How do different user groups perceive the effectiveness and usability of a community college website? An important preliminary finding is that users do not differentiate between what is the actual content of the website and other applications running on the website, such as Moodle, Web CT etc. There was not much overlap between academic and everyday information needs of community college website users. Except looking for some hobby-related campus events, respondentsí use of the website was mostly in the work context and their information seeking behaviors appeared to be purpose-driven.

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