Web search literacy: Awareness, interface complexity and long-term effects (WebSAIL)

From 01. 4. 2016 until 01. 10. 2018
Contact Persons:
Sponsored by:
  • DFG
Reference number:
  • DFG: FU 205/28-1
Participating Institutions:

Search literacy is an essential component of information literacy, which plays a crucial role both in private and professional life. However, many users overestimate their own capabilities in this area. Asl researchers try to develop more effective search user interfaces with a richer, more complex functionality, user studies of these approaches often yield negative results, due to the lack of users motivation and learning effort. Even when short-term positive effects are observed, the long-term effects are hardly ever studied. In the proposed project, these issues are addressed for the case of Web search. We aim at enhancing Web search literacy by developing and evaluating computer-based methods such as online tutorials, gamification and scaffolding. For gamification, search is organized as a competitive game between participants, aiming at improving their capabilities during the game. In scaffolding, the system first analyzes the current search situation, for which also external knowledge bases may be exploited; then the system proposes promising actions for continuing or improving the search. For all three methods, user studies will be performed for evaluating their long-term effects on search literacy.