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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


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.

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