People search the WWW every second for information. In academia, students frustrate professors by using the WWW to answer homework questions and take home exams instead of textbooks. Anecdotally, colleagues report that students provide inaccurate and superficial information when they confine their answers to information found on the WWW. Students however, find the ease of a Google search more expedient than reading the text or searching peer reviewed literature. In this study, students were asked to answer five questions from a typical college text in Criminal Justice by locating a document that looked like it would contain the answers to those questions. How well did the students do in this exercise in locating the right information and how well did the faculty succeed when using the same web sites is the basis for this study. The accuracy of the answers found by the students is compared to five measures of the student’s perception of the quality of the information found. This paper is part of a larger research project to study the success measures related to information use of the WWW. It is a first step in determining the value of information found on the WWW and how well it compares to the information that is available in a college text book.
Matheus, Matheus, "Can the WWW provide better answers than the textbook?" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 577.