An evaluation of an information literacy training initiative at the University of Dar es Salaam

Evans Wema, Mark Hepworth
2007, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. pp. 1 - 12

Abstract


Purpose
This paper reviews the implementation and impact of an Information Literacy Training course at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. The purpose of the research which is described was to determine the effectiveness of different methods of assessment for teaching information literacy.

Methodology
The focus of the paper is an analysis of student learning through quizzes, exercises, reflective discussion and student presentations. The training lasted seven days and involved Masters Students from the Faculty of Education. Data was collected via quizzes, exercises and group reflection and presentations that related to each stage in the course. The data were used to see whether the overall method of training was effective and also to see whether these assessment tools were useful in themselves. The approach was primarily qualitative.

Findings
The course, judging from the various forms of feedback, was effective. Student feedback enabled us to learn about the ways in which each of our teaching methods contributed to the student learning experience. The integration of knowledge from information behaviour research, educational theory and current Library Science perspectives on information literacy also proved valuable in developing the curriculum.

Practical implications
The students themselves appear, from the data collected, to have learnt from the course. The librarians who taught the course were able to use the feedback and experience to run subsequent courses. Hence it proved successful in terms of knowledge transfer and enabling the development of information literacy trainers.


Keywords


Information Literacy; Information Behaviour; Tanzania; Higher Education; Taught postgraduate students; Teachers: librarians; Education faculty; Qualitative research; Teaching methods; Course evaluation

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