Many research studies on collaborative problem solving have shown a positive effect on students' cognitive improvement (e.g., Arts, Gijselaers, & Segers, 2002). Recently, computer networks and simulations have been used and proven effective as an assessment tool to measure collaboration skills and problem-solving skills (e.g., Hsieh & O'Neil, 2002). Another influence brought about by advances in computer technology is the new emphasis on the skills needed for electronic information seeking and processing (Covington, 1998). However, many students and teachers alike still lack basic information technology knowledge and skills (Smith & Broom, 2003). Current curriculum, instruction, and assessment do not adequately make use of the capabilities of today's networked information systems. Research has shown that expert searchers locate information faster and use more search logic, such as Boolean operators, in their queries than do novice searchers (Lazonder, 2000). Thus, research has pointed to a need for training on Boolean search strategies, and a few studies have also demonstrated its effectiveness. However, in Hsieh and O'Neil's 2002 study,
searching was unexpectedly negatively related to performance on a team knowledge mapping task.