FOIOTI: Successful Internet searching for the average user.

Weideman, M.

Proceedings of the Annual Conference of The South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT). Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 16-18 September.

Weideman, M. 2002. FOIOTI: Successful Internet searching for the average user. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of The South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists (SAICSIT). Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 16-18 September.

ABSTRACT
The sheer size of the Internet and lack of categorization of the information available makes finding relevant information a daunting task. A number of methods do exist to enable users to be successful in this venture. Most search engines offer phrases, Boolean, Inclusion, Exclusion and other operators. The average user seems to exhibit a measure of resistance in using most of these operators, however. Other problems noted include a lack of clear search specification formulation and low productivity due to serial use of search engines. A total of 1109 learners from three continents were involved in a series of empirical experiments to address this situation. Their failure/success, methodology and a number of other factors were measured, and an instrument was designed to overcome these problems. Use of this instrument (called FOIOTI: Finder Of Information On The Internet) increased the chances of success under controlled circumstances dramatically. This was achieved by hiding the operationalist detail from the user, allowing him/her to concentrate on the topic.
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