The The Value of Verbal Protocols: An Investigation of EFL Students Researching the Web

By Sirinut Sawatdeenarunat.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 04, 2014 $US5.00

Researching for information on the WWW has become a common feature of teaching and learning practice in the 21st Century. Nonetheless, there is still a wide assumption that conducting a research on the Web is isomorphic with conducting research on paper. This false assumption has left students without the support they need to develop a repertoire of skills and knowledge essential to Web research. This paper reports on the search for the data collection tools that enable the gathering of rich data needed to develop an understanding of the particular issues around online literacy. Insights into the procedures of selecting and employing two types of verbal protocols- think-aloud protocols and stimulated recalls are reported as a means of making students’ practices explicit as they perform Web-based research. The findings indicate that the use of the verbal protocol method is essential to revealing the implicit challenges faced by participants during their online research. The challenges uncovered using verbal protocols enhance the data that is needed for teachers to provide targeted support of the development of necessary skills to perform Web research. This paper provides both methodological implications for future research on the WWW as well as the pedagogical implication for classroom teaching.

Keywords: Verbal Protocols, Online Literacy, Internet, Second Language Education, English as a Foreign Language

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 20, Issue 2, April 2014, pp.51-61. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 04, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 543.118KB)).

Ms Sirinut Sawatdeenarunat

PhD Candidate, Language Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Sawatdeenarunat’s interest in language education stems from her experience as an EFL student in Thailand, a Rotary Exchange Student in the United States and her academic education. She received her Bachelor of Education from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and her Master of Philosophy in Education from University of Cambridge, UK. Before commencing her PhD at University of Technology, Sydney, she has taught English at Chulalongkorn University Language Institute to students across disciplines. Through her professional work with the Net Gen students and her own experience as a Web surfer, Sawatdeenarunat has developed a keen interest in the way people engage in online search using their second and foreign language.