The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between Chinese higher education students' epistemic beliefs and their judgmental standards of searching for literature online. Data were collected from 449 higher education students (152 college students and 297 graduate students) in Beijing via two self-reported questionnaires: one was the Epistemic Beliefs Questionnaire (EBQ), including four scales (Innate/Fixed Ability, Learning Effort/Process, Authority/Expert Knowledge, and Certainty of Knowledge); the other was the Online Judgmental Standards of Searching for Literature Questionnaire (OJSSLQ), consisting of six scales (Multiple sources, Authority, Content, Quantitative Indicators, Clarity, and Ease of Access). Through exploratory factor analyses, this study confirmed the reliability and validity of the EBQ and OJSSLQ. Further analyses indicated that there were significant differences between college and graduate students for the Content and Ease of Access judgmental standards of searching for literature online whereby graduate students had higher standards for these two factors, but there were no differences for the other factors. Correlation analysis between the EBQ and OJSSLQ was conducted for the college and graduate students. An interplay between the students' epistemic beliefs and their evaluative standards of searching for literature online was found. For example, the results indicated that both college and graduate students with the epistemic belief that learning requires great efforts and processes (Learning Effort/Process) had the tendency to judge the academic information by the standards of Authority and Content (i.e. checking the authority of literature or carefully reading the content). This study also found that epistemic beliefs might increasingly play a role in the students' judgmental standards of searching for literature online as they progressed into advanced study.
- epistemic beliefs
- online judgmental standards of searching for literature
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications