Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Mery, Y., DeFrain, E., Kline, E., & Sult, L. (2014). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Tools for Online Database Instruction. Communications in Information Literacy, 8(1), 70-81.



Copyright (c) 2014 by the authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.


The intent of this study was to evaluate the Guide on the Side (GotS), an online learning tool developed by the University of Arizona Libraries, and a screencast tutorial for teaching information literacy and database searching skills. Ninety undergraduate students were randomly assigned into three groups: group 1 completed a GotS tutorial; group 2 viewed a screencast presenting identical content; and a control group. Each group completed an identical 16-item post-test. An analysis of variance revealed statistically significant differences between the control group and both treatment groups; however, there was no statistical difference between treatment groups. Limitations of the study and future research areas are also discussed.