Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 471–480 | Cite as

Epistemic Beliefs, Online Search Strategies, and Behavioral Patterns While Exploring Socioscientific Issues

  • Chung-Yuan Hsu
  • Meng-Jung Tsai
  • Huei-Tse Hou
  • Chin-Chung Tsai


Online information searching tasks are usually implemented in a technology-enhanced science curriculum or merged in an inquiry-based science curriculum. The purpose of this study was to examine the role students’ different levels of scientific epistemic beliefs (SEBs) play in their online information searching strategies and behaviors. Based on the measurement of an SEB survey, 42 undergraduate and graduate students in Taiwan were recruited from a pool of 240 students and were divided into sophisticated and naïve SEB groups. The students’ self-perceived online searching strategies were evaluated by the Online Information Searching Strategies Inventory, and their search behaviors were recorded by screen-capture videos. A sequential analysis was further used to analyze the students’ searching behavioral patterns. The results showed that those students with more sophisticated SEBs tended to employ more advanced online searching strategies and to demonstrate a more metacognitive searching pattern.


Epistemic belief Online search Searching strategy Searching behaviors Socioscientific issues Sequential analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chung-Yuan Hsu
    • 1
  • Meng-Jung Tsai
    • 2
  • Huei-Tse Hou
    • 3
  • Chin-Chung Tsai
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child CareNational Pingtung University of Science and TechnologyNeipu, PingtungTaiwan
  2. 2.Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and EducationNational Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Applied Science and TechnologyNational Taiwan University of Science and TechnologyTaipeiTaiwan

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