Using Google Analytics to evaluate an email information literacy program for medical and dental students
Publisher(s)Medical Library Association
Objectives: An email information literacy program has been effective for over a decade at Université de Montréal’s Health Library. Students periodically receive messages highlighting the content of guides on the library’s website. We wish to evaluate, using Google Analytics, the effects of the program on specific webpage statistics. Using the data collected, we may pinpoint popular guides as well as others that need improvement. Methods: In the program, first and second-year medical (MD) or dental (DMD) students receive eight bi-monthly email messages. The DMD mailing list also includes graduate students and professors. Enrollment to the program is optional for MDs, but mandatory for DMDs. Google Analytics (GA) profiles have been configured for the libraries websites to collect visitor statistics since June 2009. The GA Links Builder was used to design unique links specifically associated with the originating emails. This approach allowed us to gather information on guide usage, such as the visitor’s program of study, duration of page viewing, number of pages viewed per visit, as well as browsing data. We also followed the evolution of clicks on GA unique links over time, as we believed that users may keep the library's emails and refer to them to access specific information. Results: The proportion of students who actually clicked the email links was, on average, less than 5%. MD and DMD students behaved differently regarding guide views, number of pages visited and length of time on the site. The CINAHL guide was the most visited for DMD students whereas MD students consulted the Pharmaceutical information guide most often. We noted that some students visited referred guides several weeks after receiving messages, thus keeping them for future reference; browsing to additional pages on the library website was also frequent. Conclusion: The mitigated success of the program prompted us to directly survey students on the format, frequency and usefulness of messages. The information gathered from GA links as well as from the survey will allow us to redesign our web content and modify our email information literacy program so that messages are more attractive, timely and useful for students.
Clairoux, N, Rémillard C. Using Google Analytics to evaluate an email information literacy program for medical and dental students. Dans: Proceedings, 112th Annual Meeting Medical Library Association, Inc., Seattle, WA May 18-23, 2012. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 2013, 101:(1) E1-E19, DOI : 10.3163/1536-5050.101.1.E1.