Poor Information Literacy Skills and Practices as Barriers to Academic Performance: A Mixed Methods Study of the University of Dar es Salaam

Tina Klomsri, Matti Tedre

Abstract


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly used in Tanzanian education. Knowing how to operate ICT alone is incomplete without knowing how to use it as a tool for organization, communication, research, and problem-solving. In recognition of this challenge, information literacy (IL) has been identified as a key attribute to students as they progress through their learning paths. Based on a mixed methods strategy, using questionnaires and focus group discussions, this study measured the level of IL skills among University of Dar es Salaam’s (UDSM) postgraduate students, to gain insights into the students’ perceptions and experiences with information problems. A total of 102 students from four institutions answered the online questionnaire and 22 students participated in six focus group discussions. The questionnaire scores of the students were poor in the majority of IL categories, suggesting ineffectiveness of the current IL training in imparting IL knowledge and skills. The study ends by discussing recommendations to improve current IL practices at the university.


Full Text:

HTML PDF

References


Tim Unwin, ICT4D—Information and Communication Technology for Development (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Patti Swarts and Esther Wachira, “Tanzania: ICT in education situational analysis,” A report to the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative.

Mark Hepworth and Evans Wema, “The Design and Implementation of an Information Literacy Training Course that Integrated Information and Library Science Conceptions of Information Literacy, Educational Theory and Information Behaviour Research: A Tanzanian Pilot Study,” Innovations in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 5, no. 1 (2006): 1–23.

University of Dar es Salaam homepage, 2014, https://www.udsm.ac.tz/.

Mugyabuso Lwehabura, “Information Literacy Delivery in Tanzanian Universities: An Examination of Its Effectiveness,” African Journal of Library, Archives and Information Science 18, no. 2 (2008): 157–68.

Hepworth and Wema, “The Design and Implementation of an Information Literacy Training Course.”

Schubert Foo et al., “Information Literacy Skills of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science Tertiary Students in Singapore,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 53, no. 1 (2013), 40–50.

Christy Donaldson, “Information Literacy and the McKinsey Model: The McKinsey Strategic Problem-Solving Model Adapted to Teach Information Literacy to Graduate Business Students,” Library Philossophy and Practice 6, no. 2 (2004): 1–9.

SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy, The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Core model for higher education (SCONUL, April, 2011).

Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, “Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies and Practices,” in Digital Literacies (New York: Peter Lang, 2008), 1–16.

Intan Azura Mokhtar et al., “Proposing a 6+3 Model for Developing Information Literacy Standards for Schools: A Case for Singapore,” Education for Information 27, no. 2–3 (2010): 505–21.

Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy and Council of Australian University Librarians (ANZIIL), “Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework,” 2004, www.caul.edu.au/content/upload/files/info-literacy/InfoLiteracyFramework.pdf.

SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy, The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy.

Joseph Muema Kavulya, “Challenges Facing Information Literacy Efforts in Kenya: A Case Study of Selected University Libraries in Kenya,” Library Management 24, no. 4/5 (2003), 216–22.

Emmanuel Baro, “A Survey of Information Literacy Education in Library Schools in Africa,” Library Review 60, no. 3 (2011), 202–17.

Hannelore Rader, “The Global Significance of Information Literacy in Workforce Development An International Perspective,” UNESCO Thematic Debate on Information Literacy, 2005, http://portal.unesco.org/ci/en/ev.php-URL_ID=20492&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html.

Michael Eisenberg, “A Big6 skills overview,” 2014, http://big6.com/pages/about/big6-skills-overview.php.

Viswanath Venkatesh, Susan Brown, and Hillol Bala, “Bridging The Qualitative–Quantitative Divide: Guidelines For Conducting Mixed Methods Research In Information Systems,” MIS Quarterly 37, no. 1 (2013): 21–54.

Martyn Denscombe, The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects, 4th ed. (New York: Open University Press, 2010).

M. Eisenberg, J. Murray, and C. Bartow, “Big6 By The Month: A Common Sense Approach to Effective Use of Common Standards for Information Literacy Learning,” Library Media Connection 32, no. 6 (2014) 38–41.

The Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education,” 2000, www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/standards/standards.pdf.

Justus Randolph, Multidisciplinary Methods in Educational Technology Research and Development (Hämeenlinna: HAMK, 2008).

Michael Eisenberg, “Information Literacy: Essential Skills for the Information Age,” Journal of Library Information Technology 28, no. 2 (2008), 39–47.

Mark Mason, “Sample Size and Saturation in PhD Studies Using Qualitative Interviews,” Forum: Qualitative Social Research 11, no. 3 (2010).

John Creswell, Qualitative Inquiry & Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches, 2nd ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2007).

Eisenberg, Murray, and Bartow, “Big6 By The Month”; Mokhtar et al., “Proposing a 6+3 Model for Developing Information Literacy Standards for Schools.”

Michael Eisenberg, Doug Johnson, and Bob Berkowitz, “Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) Skills Curriculum Based on the Big6 Skills Approach to Information Problem-Solving,” Library Media Connection 28, no. 6 (2010): 24.

Mugyabuso Lwehabura and Christine Stilwell, “Information literacy in Tanzanian universities: Challenges and potential opportunities,” Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 40, no. 3 (2008): 179–91.

Foo et al., “Information Literacy Skills of Humanities, Arts, and Social Science Tertiary Students in Singapore.”

Roberto González-Ibáñez, Muge Haseki, and Chirag Shah, “Let’s Search Together, but Not Too Close! An Analysis of Communication and Performance in Collaborative Information Seeking,” Information Processing and Management 49, no. 5 (2013), 1165–79.

Edda Tandi Lwoga, “Mapping Information Literacy Outcomes and Learning Experiences of Health Sciences Undergraduate Students,” The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 9, no. 1, (2014): 1–17.

Diana Rosenberg, “Towards the Digital Library: Findings of an Investigation to Establish the Current Status of University Libraries in Africa,” International Network for the Availability of Science Publications (2005): 1–29.

Eszter Hargittai, “Differences in People’s Online Skills,” First Monday: Peer Reviewed Journal on the Internet 7, no. 4 (2002).

Mark Hepworth, “Developing Academic Information Literacy for Undergraduates through Inquiry Based Learning,” Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences 8, no. 2 (2009): 2–13.

Neil Selwyn and Keri Facer, Beyond the Digital Divide: Rethinking Digital Inclusion for the 21st Century (FutureLab Report, 2007).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/rusq.55n4.293

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


© 2017 RUSA