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Conference Proceeding

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This article offers a theoretical model of online, graduate student information seeking behavior. The qualitative methodology used to gather data for the development of the model included an electronic survey and semi-structured interviews conducted online using Adobe Connect Pro™. Participating in the study were 238 graduate students enrolled in at least one online course at a mid-western university. Data analysis included use of Zoomerang™ reports to interpret survey data, and content analysis of interview transcriptions. The resulting evolution of the Bates’ (2002) theoretical model includes new two modes of information seeking: scrutinizing (directed, dynamic), and being alert (undirected, dynamic). The researchers conclude that the essence of online, graduate student information seeking is the gathering and processing of information by humans using computer technologies and the resulting impact on the human brain. This study shows the necessity of linking online, graduate student information-seeking research to psychological theory to examine reasons why online graduate students engage in various information behaviors.


Published in the The Fifteenth Distance Library Services Conference Proceedings.