Organizing and Describing Information for Children
- Organizing and Describing Information for Children
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- Developmental psychology tells us that children have different cognitive capacities than adults (Bilal, 2007; Druin, 2005; Kuhlthau, 1988). Information retrieval research findings illustrate how this plays out in children’s information behaviors and provide a starting point for designing information organization systems that meet children’s unique needs. Controlled vocabularies and hierarchies can be designed to match children’s vocabulary and cognitive structures, providing a higher information seeking success rate. Metadata schemas designed for children should include classes and attributes of resources that adults might not consider, such as physical appearance, age of main character, and text complexity. Vocabularies, hierarchies, and schemas can be designed not just with children’s needs in mind, but with children as partners in the design process. While there is some research describing the design process and its products, little research addresses the effectiveness of child-driven information organization schemes. Future research might address this gap. This literature review provides an overview of the extant research surrounding organizing and describing information for children's use.