Evaluation of student web-based service: AnyQuestions


The Ministry of Education commissioned CORE to evaluate AnyQuestions, a collaborative pilot project between libraries, the government and those in the information and education sectors. The aim is to develop an online reference service for all New Zealand school students. 

The students are effectively only one click away from a librarian, who can then help them to find the information they need from relevant and quality sources. The service is intended to act as an additional resource, to work alongside and complement existing school and public library services. AnyQuestions provides users with direct online support from a library staff member trained in appropriate resources and focuses on supporting the New Zealand curriculum. The key perceived benefit of this service is that it is safe and helps students to find quality assured information at the right level for their needs, however, AnyQuestions.co.nz is not designed to just hand the answers to the students, the service helps them to find the relevant information themselves, enabling them to develop their research skills.

Key findings: 

The key findings from the evaluation are as follows:

  • The site appears to be mainly reaching those students who feel confident about their school results.
  • Students from within the site’s core target are using the site, as well as older students.
  • Boys seem to be happier overall with Anyquestions.co.nz as well as with the individual sections, whereas girls show higher levels of ambivalence.
  • Overall students have a positive impression of the helpfulness of the librarians and the ease of use of the service.
  • Students predominantly use the site to source answers to homework questions or projects.
  • Students are turning to the site for support across a wide range of subject areas, but predominantly in Social Studies and Science.
  • Finding a resolution to queries was the most common learning outcome, from the students’ perspective.