The “I’m Feeling Lucky Syndrome”: Teacher-Candidates’ Knowledge of Web Searching Strategies

  • Corinne Laverty
  • Brenda Reed
  • Elizabeth Lee


The need for web literacy has become increasingly important with the exponential growth of learning materials on the web that are freely accessible to educators. Teachers need the skills to locate these tools and also the ability to teach their students web search strategies and evaluation of websites so they can effectively explore the web by themselves. This study examined the web searching strategies of 253 teachers-in-training using both a survey (247 participants) and live screen capture with think aloud audio recording (6 participants). The results present a picture of the strategic, syntactic, and evaluative search abilities of these students that librarians and faculty can use to plan how instruction can target information skill deficits in university student populations.

Author Biographies

Corinne Laverty
Cory Laverty PhD, is Head of the Education Library at Queen’s University. She teaches workshops for faculty and students on information literacy, innovative learning resources, and resource-based learning. Her research interests focus on student development of information literacy in online courses and best practices for the integration of educational technologies in higher education.
Brenda Reed
Brenda Reed is Instruction and Research Services Librarian at the Education Library, Queen’s University. Her interests focus on the integration of children’s literature across the primary / elementary curriculum and on exploring ways to enhance online professional development of teacher librarians.
Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee PhD, is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. Her research interests include instruction for struggling readers, adolescent literacy, information literacy, and theory of mind. A current research project examines the use of graphic novels in schools.
Theory and Research