Instructor perceptions of student information literacy: comparing international IL models to reality

Patricia Sandercock
2016, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 3-29

Abstract


This study assesses the information literacy (IL) perceptions of instructors at a technical college in the Middle East, the College of the North Atlantic - Qatar. Students at this college are instructed in four areas of study – engineering technology, information technology, business studies and health sciences – which takes place exclusively in English and uses a Canadian curriculum. A web-based survey sent to instructors asked questions in two general areas on their perceptions of student information literacy based on the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) definition. Initially, over half of the respondents believed that their students were information literate. However when asked a series of questions about each of the seven IL skills identified by SCONUL, there was a large discrepancy between what skills instructors wished their students achieved, versus what was actually achieved by the end of their programme. Students’ inability to critically evaluate sources of information was seen as the weakest skill by instructors and was considerably lower than the skill level reported by university professors in similar studies. Instructors also conveyed their belief that students lacked strategies when searching for information. When compared to faculty perceptions of students in universities, overall perceptions of IL competency of college students in this study are lower. The study reinforced the need to provide students with tools/strategies to cope with large volumes of information and, when searching, to select appropriate and credible sources of information for both academic and personal uses.


Keywords


information literacy; information literacy assessment; information literacy models; faculty perceptions; English as a foreign language; technical education; vocational education; Qatar

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11645/10.1.2065

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