Using Student-Generated Notes as an Interface to a Digital Repository

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Harvel, Lonnie David
Abowd, Gregory D.
Liu, Ling
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A recent survey of studies related to digital libraries concluded that students use and like electronic resources. However, the results of access studies show that actual use of online content is relatively low, with only 10-20% of students making regular use of the content. This is because navigation to the online content in these collections is not convenient, requires multiple steps in order to reach relevant content, and is not integrated into a students natural workflow. In our research, we have designed, deployed, and evaluated a method for making content available to students that targets the content to their current need and is designed as an alternative yet cooperative method of access to a well-structured set of course content. Since notes are both integral to lecture classes and generally ubiquitous, it is a natural target for connecting the student with available content. Pen technologies and mobile devices make it possible for us to capture student notes and enhance them with embedded access links to relevant content. In our initial interface, NoteNexus, instead of delivering content as the result of a student search query or browsing activity, we embedded links to the content into the students notes. NoteNexus did not produce a change in the student use of online content. C-Nexus was designed and developed from the results of the NoteNexus study. C-Nexus was successful in increasing the student use of online content.
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