Tartu Ülikooli avatud ülikooli üliõpilaste infovajadused ja nende rahuldamine
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To obtain and use information is very important for all people in all areas of life. To recieve the best possible information in the easiest possible way, many studies about cathering and searching information have been carried out. The history of those studies goes back in the end of last century. During this time researchers have developed the theoretical approach to information behavior. Common definition to information, need for information and information behaviour is still not found. At first the aim of researches were information channels and systems. Later studies focus more on people, as the creators, obtainers and users of information. The aim of this study is to give an over view of the need for information, information channels and the pattern of using information among students in Open University of Tartu. To carry out the study, a questionnaire was prepared with the help of Pille Pruulmann- Vengerfeldt from the Institute of Journalism and Communication, who was also the supervisor of my research paper, Mehis Tuisk, from the department of info technology and the questionnaire was coordinated with the Tartu University’s Department of Communication and Study. In parallel to this study a second study was completed. That study was completed by Elen-Greete Jaadla and it focused on the need for information and the patterns of using information channels and sources among full time students in University of Tartu. From the survey, I got an overview of the topics that students think are the most important and informative for them. The largest volume of information included the topics related to teaching, learning and information about regulations of the learning process. Also was important the access of further studies, getting general information about University of Tartu and news. Research results improved that the most informative and effective ways to share and get information is intranet, webpage of Tartu University and lists of information of the subunits. Most students use intranet for getting useful information, they also use different search engines like Google, Neti etc. Media is being used as well - different radio stations, newspapers, journals and TV. Like students all over the world, the students of Tartu University also get and share information in social media like Facebook, Orkut, Twitter etc. The most informative people from the students point of view are the learning management specialists, lectors and other students. These sources are consistent with using frequency. For a large number of students the most effective ones from these sources were the lectors and learning management specialists. Students evaluated the availability of information to be very good, as many as 94% of respondents claimed that they find all needed information. Most of the students want their information electronically. Based on the survey, a conclusion can be made that students use both University Tartu informational sources and channels as well as sources mediating University Tartu’s information for example social media communications. The questionnaire survey results showed that selected methodology used was suitable for the attaining the objective – as a result I got the overview of Open University students requirements for information and use of informational channels and sources. The questionnaire survey can not however be used for thorough questioning because of the pre set answers that the answerer has to choose between. One has to answer exactly what the questionnaire asks for and there is no possibility to divagating the topic as would be possible with the interview. This itself can be the cause of subjects being cursory while filling the questionnaire except for questions that had optional fill-in field but where the students showed low filling activity. The author in general receives the exact required answers through questionnaire form.
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