Learning Information Literacy : Qualitatively Different Ways Education Students Learn to Find and Use Information
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Learning information literacy reports on an empirical study that explores the qualitatively different ways students in an Australian university experience learning how to find and use information. Recognised as a generic skill and graduate attribute that enables independent and lifelong learning, information literacy is increasingly accepted as a broad and complex educational and social concept. The study uses phenomenography as its methodological and theoretical basis. Phenomenography is a qualitative research approach that originated in educational research, where it was developed to gain a greater insight into student learning in educational settings. It has received considerable recent support in information literacy research. This study is based on interviews with 15 education students. Seven of the participants were drawn from an undergraduate Technology Education program, while the remaining eight were a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate students undertaking more traditional text-based courses. The study reveals that these students experienced learning information literacy in a range of inclusive ways. In order of increasing complexity, these were: 1. Learning to find information; 2. Learning a process to use information; 3. Learning to use information to create a product; 4. Learning to use information to build a personal knowledge base in a subject area; 5. Learning to use information to advance disciplinary knowledge; 6. Learning to use information to grow as a person and to contribute to others. 2 While there are no other studies that explore students’ ways of experiencing learning information literacy, this study discusses the experiences of information literacy that are represented in key empirical studies that use the phenomenographic research approach and three information literacy curriculum models. Through juxtaposing the results with these studies and models, ways of experiencing information literacy and learning information literacy are illuminated. Implications for information literacy education are also discussed. Understanding the different ways that students experience learning information literacy will assist librarians, academics and other educators to design and deliver information literacy education across this range of experiences and facilitate more expansive experiences for students.
Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
Griffith Institute for Higher Education
Item Access Status
Libraries and students