The Impact of Online Searching Training on Information Behavior
Keywords:Information seeking behavior, Training impact, Research skills, Databases, Kirkpatrick model of evaluation
The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of training sessions on bibliographic searching of the Medline database and of the Virtual Health Library Portal on the information seeking behavior of graduate students and residents of the Health Sciences Campus at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. This was a descriptive research with a case study approach using both quantitative and qualitative data collection. The research used a non-random sample consisting of the masters students and residents who agreed to participate in the training. The study collected data in order to verify the changes in the first three levels of the Kirkpatrick's model for evaluation of training. To assess changes in levels one and two of the model, one questionnaire was administered at the beginning of the training and another applied at the end, using the same questions about the information seeking behavior of students. The research also employed two tests, applied at the beginning and at the end of the training, that evaluated student performance in conducting a search. A third questionnaire, which is the focus of the present article, based on the critical incident technique, was answered by students between four and five months after the end of the training to assess if students were using the knowledge and skills acquired during training in their professional and educational activities. This questionnaire assessed the impact of training in the professional and educational activities of students and residents, level three of the model. The research results indicate a significant positive impact, verified by the reaction of the participants of the training sessions and the demonstration of new knowledge and research skills. The knowledge and skills demonstrated by students at the end of training were being used in their professional and educational activities. Contributions of the research include the use of the Kirkpatrick model for evaluation of bibliographic training sessions and the questionnaire developed.