Predicting college students' online information searching strategies based on epistemological, motivational, decision-related, and demographic variables

Cevik Y.

COMPUTERS & EDUCATION, vol.90, pp.54-63, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 90
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.compedu.2015.09.002
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.54-63
  • Keywords: Distributed learning environments, Evaluation methodologies, Navigation, Pedagogical issues, Post-secondary education, GOAL ORIENTATION, EPISTEMIC BELIEFS, ACHIEVEMENT GOALS, MAKING STYLES, INTERNET, WEB, KNOWLEDGE, TOOL
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This study examines the extent to which epistemological, motivational, decision-related, and demographic variables predict college students' use of online information searching strategies (behavioural, procedural, and metacognitive strategies). The participants included preservice teachers (N = 538) from 13 universities in different parts of Turkey. Stepwise multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify the variables predicting each online information searching strategy. The results revealed that online information searching strategies were best predicted by epistemological beliefs and then decision-making styles, web search experience, and goal orientations. Students who had advanced epistemological beliefs in speed of learning tended to have better behavioural, procedural, and metacognitive strategies, while students having naive epistemological beliefs in ability to learn had lower level online searching strategies. Students having more web search experience had better online searching strategies. Additionally, as the level of students' mastery-approach goals increases, the use of procedural and metacognitive domain strategies increase as well, while the increase in the level of mastery-avoidance goals were related to the use of less behavioural domain strategies. Finally, students having rational decision styles were more likely to use higher levels of online information searching strategies, while students with avoidant styles tended to use less behavioural and procedural domain strategies. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.