Understanding educator perceptions of "quality" in digital libraries

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

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The purpose of the study was to identify educators' expectations and requirements for the design of educational digital collections for classroom use. A series of five focus groups was conducted with practicing teachers, preservice teachers, and science librarians, drawn from different educational contexts (i.e., K-5, 6-12, college). Participants' expect that the added value of educational digital collections is the provision of: (1) 'high quality' teaching and learning resources, and (2) additional contextual information beyond that in the resource. Key factors that influence educators' perceptions of quality were identified: scientific accuracy, bias, advertising, design and usability, and the potential for student distraction. The data showed that participants judged these criteria along a continuum of tolerance, combining consideration of several factors in their final judgements. Implications for collections accessioning policies, peer review, and digital library service design are discussed.

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