Friday, September 8, 2006

Research on Information Literacy

Information Literacy Research/Projects

Assumption College’s ILIAC

In the SY of 2002-2003, the IL skills of freshmen college students were assessed. Out of 206 identified respondents for the survey, only 140 were able to take part. Using the descriptive method, two sets of questionnaires and an activity were employed to gather date. Set A questionnaire was an adaptation of instruments used by researchers, while Set B was developed by the researcher who conducted the assessment.

Below are the results of the study.

Information Literacy Skills Indicators Percent
Identifying a need for additional information 11%
Use of information
• knowing differences between references and non-fiction books
• differentiating between journals and magazines
• use of indexes and abstracts
• knowledge of inter-library loan
• attendance to library orientation classes


45.8% (not used)
Access to information
• use of OPAC
• locate materials by call number
• library first method vs. Internet first method
• Internet first method vs. library first method

Ethical and legal use of information
• know the importance of bibliographies and citations
• knows what plagiarism is
• against copy-paste habit


As a result of the study, the researcher developed an information literacy program called Information Literacy Initiative of Assumption College (ILIAC), a web based interactive tutorial developed using Microsoft Frontpage (Limpin, 2003)

US HS Study on IL

Grimble & Williams (2004) conducted a study to assess high school freshmen students’ perception of their IL skills. Five main areas of assessment were identified:

1. Point access – familiarity with electronic catalog and finding materials in the media center;
2. Information skills when researching for a topic – developing questions and keywords, using works cited and knowledge of copyright and plagiarism;
3. Database – performing searches on four different online database and conducting advanced searches;
4. The Internet – using search engines, evaluating websites, choosing internet sites as first choice of information;
5. Technology – Creating presentations and Web pages; using digicams and videocams.

In a pre-test survey, students were given a list of abilities based on these five main areas. They rated themselves in terms of confidence and competence on doing the skills. It was found out that, majority of the freshmen involved in the pre-survey test perceive themselves as competent users of the media center and its resources. However, only half claimed that they could fully use the card catalog and develop research questions to meet their needs. Less than half feel confident on doing advanced searches using the books in the general collection. Most of the freshmen expressed little knowledge of the library’s electronic database (Grimble & Williams, 2004).

After getting the results, a program for the freshmen students was drawn focusing on strengthening of the five areas assessed during the pre-test survey. This became the library’s Information Literacy Skills Program. In the second semester, a post test survey was conducted and the results dramatically changed. Not only were the freshmen students confident users of information and technology, they were also aware that they are developing skills on Information Literacy.

IL through SL in SEA

The project, Development of Information Literacy through School Libraries in Southeast Asian Countries was an IFAP – UNESCO funded project that aimed to provide a better understanding of IL and to assess the current state of IL education in the region.

There were varied interpretations and applications of IL because it is a term that is difficult to translate. Nevertheless, the project showed significant findings that each Southeast Asian country could consider when planning for an IL policy, guideline or project.

1. Awareness & Training of IL – Primary grades teachers and school librarians are more aware of IL. It is an important set of skills, but, it is accorded varying degrees of importance.
2. School’s Vision of IL – 16% - 58% of the respondents say that their school has a policy statement but written copies were not provided to the community.
3. Education & Training of Teachers and Librarians for IL – Exposure and training on IL is very low regardless of school’s location (urban or rural). Thos who have an awareness of IL acquired it from in-service training, seminars and user education programs.
4. Implementation of IL – There is disparity in its implementation. In some schools, IL is integrated in the curriculum, in others it is a separate program of the library as user education. Librarians play a small role in teaching IL. Lack of qualified teachers and librarians, a few library collections are limiting factors to the teaching of IL.
5. Assessment of IL – Evaluation of IL skills is not given to students.
6. School Libraries – The rarity of functional school library systems and structures affect the awareness of IL, more so its implementation. ( IFAP Project, 2005)

The implementation of IL requires a strong support system that begins with a national policy. Malaysia recently had an IL Workshop to address IL issues and establish linkages for support to develop IL programs in their country and neighboring ones. IFLA is on the look out for proposals coming from the SEA Region that will promote IL at the school level, moving on to higher education.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...