Investigation of High School Students' Online Science Information Searching Performance: The Role of Implicit and Explicit Strategies

Tsai, M.-J., Hsu, C.-Y., & Tsai, C.-C.

The study examined the relationship between search strategies used to explore scientific knowledge on the Web and search outcomes. There were two general categories of Internet search strategies: explicit and implicit strategies. Explicit search strategies regard the number of keywords used, the quantity and depth of Web page exploration, and time spent.  Implicit strategies are concerned with the process of problem solving, purposeful thinking, trial and errors, and decision making and evaluation. The study applied survey and screen-capturing methods to collect data from a total 103 10th-grade students in Taiwan. The study identified aspects of explicit and implicit strategies that were associated with successful searches of science information. Time spent on the searches and detailed reading (explicit strategies) as well as better skills of evaluating Web information (implicit strategies) were linked to higher searching performance. 

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