VOL. 10, NO. 4; JULY
Table of Content

Articles

Scientific blogging as a genre: an analytical framework based on genre theory

Oscar Hedditch &  Phoebe Vasey


Abstract:

Introduction. Examines how an analytical framework of situated genre analysis can be used to study how research blogs are constructed and used as tools in scholarly communication. Method. A framework was extracted from genre research theories consisting of four concepts: aim, form, content and context. The term situated genre was used to focus on social practices. The context was further elaborated by combining discourse community with the concept of epistemic cultures. Analysis. The main purpose was to outline, discuss and test the framework. Three blogs from researchers in the field of physics were selected and used to test how the framework operated. Results. The preliminary results showed that scholarly blogs could be approached as a situated genre that is part of scholarly communication practice and that this framework can be used to analyse the social and technical features of the blogs. However, the framework has some constraints that have to be addressed. The four concepts are interlaced and can benefit from the application of a number of different methods. Conclusions. The proposed framework is useful as a tool for the analysis of research blogs and for making visible their socio-technical character. Existing genres in a particular epistemic culture, or differences between different epistemic cultures, are issues that could be studied further with this framework.

Modeling global students ‘ information-seeking behavior in using social media in Malaysia

Khuzaymah Taj Kalb & Mahmud Lut Morcos 


Abstract:

Introduction. The understanding of the information-seeking behaviour of international students using social media is limited. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to model the information-seeking behaviour of international students when they use social media to find information. Method. A mixed method approach was employed to collect data from the literature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty international students of different demographic backgrounds and with eleven staff members who work with international students. Questionnaires were distributed to 205 international students from four universities in Malaysia. Analysis. Using the literature review and empirical data, we propose a model of the information-seeking behaviour of international students who use social media, as validated and verified from the questionnaire. Results. The information-seeking activities were identified as informal searching, deciding, interacting, following, verifying and saving. The sources were search engines, social media and face-to-face settings. However, social media are more dominant than search engines and face-to-face communication. The questionnaire validated the proposed model and demonstrated that demographic variables exert a significant effect on the information-seeking behaviour of international students as they use social media. Conclusion. This research enhances the previous models of information-seeking behaviour by adding the role of social media and provides valuable insights for international students, universities and higher-education institutions.

Information horizons mapping refugee and immigrant women’s health literacy in the USA

Kerry F. Steverson & Stephen T. Crowe 


Abstract:

Introduction. Refugees and immigrants are at a heightened risk of many negative health outcomes. Whilst strong health literacy ability may be a determinant of favourable health outcomes, assessing the health literacy of refugee and immigrant women is a challenge. Owing to typically lower literacy and English ability, one possible method to measure the health literacy of this population is to ask them to graphically represent their health-related information horizons. Method. Seventy-four women were asked to take a survey and answer open-ended questions about their health information seeking behaviour and demographic information. They were then asked to create an information horizons map in the context of health information seeking. Analysis. Each map was compared to the survey questions and specific questions were asked to gauge the health literacy of the participants. Using Sonnenwald’s methodology, the network of information resources for immigrant and refugee women was graphically displayed. Results. Women who drew more complex maps had survey responses that correlated with higher health literacy and eHealth literacy. Refugee women were less aware of health information sources than other immigrant women. Conclusions. Whilst more research is needed, this research provides evidence that information horizons mapping within a health information seeking context may be predictive of health literacy.

Teacher trainees acquire data in lesson planning

Takiyah Taima’ Kouri & Patricia J. Reddin 


Abstract:

Introduction. Few studies have addressed teacher trainees’ information acquisition in the context of a task. The paper reports findings from an empirical study on teacher trainees’ use of information (seeking) channels and sources, and their modes of information acquisition in lesson planning. Method. Semi-structured (retrospectively held) individual interviews and supporting classroom observations were conducted. Analysis. Inductive thematic analysis was applied to the transcribed interviews. Findings. The trainees used various information channels for a single lesson plan, mainly their personal collections and the Web. The information sources acquired comprised documentary and interpersonal sources, various media and contents. Their information acquisition encompasses a continuum of modes beginning with purposeful and goal-orientated, and ending up with accidental and passive modes of information acquisition. Conclusions. Trainees’ information acquisition for lesson plans cannot be described only in terms of their present activities or goal-orientated information seeking behaviour. The use of personal collections of information sources, gathered in the past in anticipation of future lessons, constitutes an essential characteristic of their information acquisition. Trainees’ modes of information acquisition reflect continuity across work tasks, which calls for capturing across task perspectives in information seeking models.

Waxing and waning a field: reflections on educational information studies

Alhusayn Abdul-Muhsi Nahas & Nadiyah Juwairiyah Mansour 


Abstract:

Introduction. Few studies have addressed teacher trainees’ information acquisition in the context of a task. The paper reports findings from an empirical study on teacher trainees’ use of information (seeking) channels and sources, and their modes of information acquisition in lesson planning. Method. Semi-structured (retrospectively held) individual interviews and supporting classroom observations were conducted. Analysis. Inductive thematic analysis was applied to the transcribed interviews. Findings. The trainees used various information channels for a single lesson plan, mainly their personal collections and the Web. The information sources acquired comprised documentary and interpersonal sources, various media and contents. Their information acquisition encompasses a continuum of modes beginning with purposeful and goal-orientated, and ending up with accidental and passive modes of information acquisition. Conclusions. Trainees’ information acquisition for lesson plans cannot be described only in terms of their present activities or goal-orientated information seeking behaviour. The use of personal collections of information sources, gathered in the past in anticipation of future lessons, constitutes an essential characteristic of their information acquisition. Trainees’ modes of information acquisition reflect continuity across work tasks, which calls for capturing across task perspectives in information seeking models.