Business information literacy teaching at different academic levels: An exploration of skills and implications for instructional design

Mariela Gunn, Cynthia E. Miree
2012, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 18-34

Abstract


This study investigates the difference among students' discipline-specific information literacy (IL) skills by studying first-year and final-year undergraduate business students. An online IL tutorial was designed and delivered to both student groups with a two-fold goal.

First, the researchers wanted to compare students' IL skills to test the faculty's assumptions that business students who are about to graduate have already acquired the requisite IL despite the lack of mandatory business-specific IL sessions. The findings suggest that first-year and final-year business students are not significantly different in their performance and that both groups received a significant positive impact as a result of taking the same IL tutorial online.

Second, the study analyses how well the online IL tutorial, with its focus on combining instructional videos with active learning exercises, performs in delivering content related to different elements of IL, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL 2010). The findings indicate that the online IL tutorial is more effective for some skills than for others, suggesting that it will be beneficial to explore different instructional designs in collaboration with the departmental faculty to improve the current IL tutorial in these areas.

This study adds to research on the effectiveness of online tutorials and raises questions related to their design. The findings can inform librarians' decisions on how to design online learning targeting students from different academic levels.


Keywords


information literacy; higher education; business; online learning; instructional design; United States

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