Exploring the structural relationships between high school students' Internet-specific epistemic beliefs and their utilization of online academic help seeking

Wen Ching Lee, Yen Lin Chiu, Jyh Chong Liang, Chin Chung Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine the structural relationships between the Internet-specific epistemic beliefs (ISEB) and the online academic help seeking (OAHS) of high school students in Taiwan. Data were collected from 342 Taiwanese high school students by utilizing two self-report instruments: the ISEB survey (including Uncertainty, Complexity and Self-Source of Internet-based knowledge as well as Justification for Internet-based knowing) and the OAHS questionnaire (containing Information Search, Formal Query and Informal Query in online information searching contexts). The results of the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) as well as the alpha values indicated that both the ISEB and OAHS instruments possessed adequate validity and reliability. The path analyses with structural equation modeling (SEM) further verified that students' ISEB were related to their behaviors of online help seeking while undertaking academic tasks on the Internet. It is reported that students with naïve beliefs regarding Uncertainty, Complexity and Self-Source of Internet-based knowledge intended to conduct online information help seeking strategies (Uncertainty: Formal Query, Informal Query; Complexity: Information Search, Formal Query, Informal Query; Self-Source: Informal Query). For example, students with naïve beliefs in Uncertainty of Internet-based knowledge had a higher tendency to use help seeking relating to Formal Query and Informal Query. However, students who believed that course-related content on the Internet should be evaluated through different aspects of other sources (i.e., sophisticated beliefs regarding Justification for Internet-based knowing) were more likely to use Information Search and Informal Query online help seeking strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul
Externally publishedYes



  • Internet-specific epistemic beliefs
  • Online academic help seeking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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