Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in First Year Studies


First-Year and Transition Studies

Committee Chair

Stephanie Foote

Additional Committee Member

Jorge Perez

Additional Committee Member

Rolando Marquez


First-year students often lack the information literacy skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century academic environment. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the impact of a Google literacy intervention on the research skills and attitudes of first-year students enrolled in a first-year seminar course. A secondary purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Google literacy intervention (“Exploring the Googlesphere”) materials, activities, and assessments. This study used the action research model which provided the researcher with a systematic way to test her assumptions and experiences and to improve the quality of teaching and learning in her own classroom (Kember, 2000; Klipfel & Carroll; 2015). Study participants completed a Google Search pre- and post-test survey, an adapted Critical Incident Questionnaire, and pre- and post-class drawings. These instruments were analyzed using qualitative data analysis. The findings indicated that the intervention was a moderate success, particularly in helping students to develop concrete search skills, conceptual understandings of how Google search operates, and confidence in themselves as researchers and Google as a tool for research. Recommendations for future research and implications for practice are discussed.