Thursday, September 27, 2018

Information Literacy of university freshmen and differences in ICT use, internet confidence and motivation #ECIL2018

The second talk in the session I chaired this afternoon was Information Literacy of university freshmen and differences in ICT use, internet confidence and motivation presented by Danica Dolnicar. Dolnicar started by identifying that young students are not necessarily information literate. In Solvenia there is some provision for information/ICT literacy: there are curricula in primary and secondary schools which may consist of informatics or of library and information knowledge. However these curricula are not uniformly applied in schools, and also there are personal factors such motivation which can affect how students engage with ICT and IL.
The researchers were aiming to measure the overall IL level of a group of students and then compare the weaker and stronger students in various ways. They used the Information Literacy Test, the ICT Software Use Survey, the Internet Confidence Survey and the Self-concept/Self-efficacy/Motivation/Use of Learning strategies (i.e. 4 different existing survey instruments).
The sample was 126 freshmen students in the Faculty of Education. This data was gathered between 2014-2017. The questionnaire was administered under supervision.
Those with higher scores were assigned to the higher group, and the other half of the sample to the lower group. For information literacy, the highest difference between the 2 groups was in search, and legal and ethical issues were the weakest areas for both groups. There was a staitistically significant difference between the higher and lower group.
In terms of differences in ICT software use, the differences between the two groups was not significantly different statistically. As regards the differences in confidence on the internet, the biggest differences were in learning new software, presenting opinions and using discussion groups (where the lower group was weaker) and the last 2 were statistically significant. Finally, with the "Differences in self-concept" etc., students with lower IL scores relied more on external motivation: this was the element with statistically significant difference.
Some conclusions are summed up in the slides I show in the photos. Dolnicar concluded that differences might be attributed to inconsistent IL education at school, and also to personal factors e.g. motivation. They are following up by planning an appropriate educational intervention at freshman level.

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