A Baseline Information Literacy Assessment of Biology Students

Jessame E. Ferguson, Teresa Y. Neely, Kathryn Sullivan

Abstract


The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Information Literacy Task Force developed a survey primarily based on the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Standards to gather baseline data about the skills of incoming students. Although multiple departments were involved, the biological sciences provided the highest number (151) of initial participants for the 51–item online survey. Findings indicate that the majority of students have some understanding of information literacy skills; however, a significant number were not familiar with important concepts such as search techniques, identifying print citations, how to determine bias or quality of sources, and correct citation behaviors when using research or copyrighted works. These data are being used to further develop an information literacy program that focuses on faculty development and targets areas where students lack the necessary skills for academic success and lifelong learning


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/rusq.46n2.61

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