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Exploring the Effects of Task Language and Complexity in College Students' Web Searching

SHIM, WONSIK 1 Hyeyeon An 1 Jeayeon Byun 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Web now provides instant access to an unprecedented amount of information that was unthinkable even 20-30 years ago. However, the full potential of the contents available through the Internet can only be realized when one can speak and understand foreign languages, especially English which accounts for more than half of web contents. In this study, we try to investigate the effect of search task languages and task complexity on searching performance. A total of thirty students enrolled at a top private university in Korea were recruited as study subjects. We set up a quasi-experimental design in which thirty subjects are randomly assigned to a set of eight different search tasks containing an equal number of simple and complex tasks and an equal number of tasks in Korean and in English. The results show that there is a significant difference between simple and complex tasks in terms of SERP time, number of queries used, correctness of results and total search time. However, task language does not seem to have affected search performance for this study group. In addition, students with high English proficiency test scores show comparable search performance in English tasks compared with lower test scores. But we note differences in behavioral patterns (different search engines used and search tactics) among the study participants.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.