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Evaluating the Joint Information Systems Committee's Information Environment: the EDNER and EDNER+ projects

Brophy, Peter (2004) Evaluating the Joint Information Systems Committee's Information Environment: the EDNER and EDNER+ projects. VINE: The Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, 34 (4). pp. 143-147. ISSN 0305-5728

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Abstract

Purpose: Reports on findings of work concerning the use of the JISC information environment by students, considering how information environments are related to the working environments of their users. Design/methodology/approach: CERLIM at Manchester Metropolitan University, partnered by CSALT (the Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technologies) at Lancaster University, has brought to bear perspectives from both information management and educational research. During 2003 to 2004 the scope of the evaluation was broadened to include all of the JISC development activity in the information environment area and has been extended to the further education sector: this is known as EDNER+. Findings: The use of quality attributes approaches can provide clues as to what it is about a service which is creating dissatisfaction among the users. Research limitations/implications. Coupled with other findings about "satisficing" behaviours, the findings are suggestive of some of the key areas which need to be given attention. They also support a finding from this and other work in EDNER/EDNER+, namely that to students internet search engines in general and Google in particular represent a benchmark of "good". Practical implications. Given that use of bibliographic services is uniformly low among undergraduate students, and that the use of OPACs is variable, IE service developers will have to work very hard to produce services which gain acceptance among this group of users. Since IE includes further education students among its target user groups, it will be critical to address the full range of attributes against the needs of this group, as well as the higher education group, in future service design. Originality/value: Using a wide range of methodologies the team has explored the outcomes of a large number of projects funded by the JISC, as well as examining the architecture and rollout of the information environment itself.

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