Millennial Students' Mental Models of Information Retrieval
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Type of Work157 leaves
DepartmentUniversity of Baltimore. School of Information Arts and Technologies.
ProgramUniversity of Baltimore. Doctor of Communications Design.
RightsThis item may be protected under Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. It is made available by the University of Baltimore for non-commercial research and educational purposes.
Information storage and retrieval systems
Computer network resources
Study and teaching (Higher)
Web search engines
This qualitative study examines first-year college students’ online search habits in order to identify patterns in millennials’ mental models of information retrieval. The study employed a combination of modified contextual inquiry and concept mapping methodologies to elicit students’ mental models. The researcher confirmed previously observed millennial behavior including preference for searching rather than browsing and hypertext reading. The study found three basic types of mental models; those with a network view conducted more searches overall and more complex (Boolean and topic + focus) searches. However, none of the participants demonstrated strong mental models that increased their effectiveness in searching.