Faculty and student perceptions and behaviours related to information literacy: a pilot study using triangulation

Barbara Jean Ganley, Amy Gilbert, Dianne Rosario
2013, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 80-96

Abstract


This pilot study was developed to determine if the University’s students were proficient in information literacy (IL) based on the requisite skills defined by ALA (2000), to define faculty and student perceptions and behaviours related to IL and to test an evaluation rubric using empirical inquiry and triangulated methods. Findings suggested that not all students (n=164) had satisfactory IL skills even at the senior student level. While 4th year college students (seniors n=91) fared better on an IL survey when compared to 1st year college students (freshmen n=53), analysis of the senior students’ theses led researchers to believe that students were most likely not skilled in this area, and had an inflated opinion of their own IL abilities. Overall, students felt they were less IL challenged compared to the faculty’s (n=55) observation of the IL challenges experienced by the students. Students’ self-assessment of their literacy skills may have been coloured by the propensity of the faculty to over-edit students’ papers rather than simply providing constructive feedback, thus altering the natural end result. These authors used a triangulated approach including thesis review, comparisons between student and faculty survey responses and comparison of findings from the theses and the student and faculty surveys. Findings and discussion of methodology will hopefully provide valuable lessons for those interested in assessing students’ IL.


Keywords


information literacy assessment; information literacy rubric; library research; self-assessment tools; USA

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