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Learning with new technologies: Help seeking and information searching revisited


Computers & Education Volume 53, Number 4, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Education researchers have amply documented the beneficial effects of help seeking on learning and understanding. Requesting help from teachers (or other human sources) when faced with a difficult task is now considered a self-regulated learning strategy. In a related domain, information search refers to learner-initiated efforts to obtain further task-related information from books or other non-human sources when undertaking an assignment. The integration of human and information-based resources in information and communication technology (ICT) tends to blur the distinction between help seeking and information searching, thus offering new perspectives on the study of the processes and skills involved in these activities. The aim of this paper is to redefine the boundaries between help seeking and information searching, by replacing the dichotomous definition (i.e., human versus non-human sources) by a more integrative theoretical framework. Beyond the obvious theoretical importance of the issue, clarifying the boundaries between seeking help and searching for information may contribute to the development of more effective forms of human and non-human support for technology-enhanced learning environments.


Puustinen, M. & Rouet, J.F. (2009). Learning with new technologies: Help seeking and information searching revisited. Computers & Education, 53(4), 1014-1019. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 1, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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