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Researching Students' Information Choices: Information for Parents of Participants

Researching Students’ Information Choices: Determining Identity and Judging Credibility in Digital Spaces

What's the project about?



When assigned a science research project, where do today’s students usually turn for information?  The Internet, of course.  When presented with a mock project and a set of Google search results, how do students select the items they are going to use?  What components of each resource (title, URL, author, date, brand, etc.) play a role in that resources’ selection?  Our study observes students from grades 4 through graduate school as they choose resources when searching the web.  Building an understanding of this process will help teachers and librarians provide better instruction on these vital stages in the research process. Those selected will receive a gift card for their participation. 

How can I help?

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Hello! We are looking for students in 4th grade or higher to participate in a 10-minute online survey and a potential voluntary follow up in-person research session. Here's some information about what your child will be asked to do:

  1. Take a 10-minute survey that contains questions about their level of Internet experience and research practices as well as basic demographic information.
    • A $25 Amazon gift card “thank you” award will be provided to every 40th student who completes the survey and chooses to provide parent/guardian contact information.
  2. Your child may be invited to participate in a one-on-one session to be conducted by a trained research staff member. The session will take place at the school campus or library and take about 1-2 hours to complete. Students will work on a laptop computer to complete the research task. The staff member will ask students to talk about their thought process, which will be audio recorded.  Their activity on the computer screen will also be recorded. 

Some important things to know:
Recordings will be accessible only to the research team. Students’ identity will be kept confidential to the extent required by law. We will replace their names with code numbers at the conclusion of the session. Participation or non-participation in this study will not affect your child’s grades or placement in any programs.

To have your child participate, please have her/him take our survey:

click here: Researching Students' Information Choices

Questions? Give us a call:

352-273-2888 or 352-273-2908


email us at: 

Parking restrictions on the UF campus are in effect Monday - Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Weekend parking is available in the McCarty parking lot just south of Marston Science Library and in the parking garage on the corner of Newell Drive and Museum Road. Participants can either by dropped off and picked up by a parent at the curbside drop off noted on the map or be accompanied by a parent in to Marston Science Library at the appointed session time. For participants under 18 years of age, there will be two adult researchers in the room at all times.

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