Striving for success in library instruction: an analysis of acquiring information literacy skills in higher education as part of the first-year experience.
Information Literacy (IL) is important for today's learners and is a vital skill in the pursuit of knowledge. It promotes problem solving, thinking skills, evaluating sources and learning strategies. The consequence of new technologies and an explosion of readily accessible information sources means IL has become more and more important in Higher Education (HE). Learners need to be able to identify what is real and relevant not just for learning but for work and life. IL skills are key to academic development in addition to lifelong and independent learning. This research investigates if first-year students (novice learners) in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) who participate in library instruction as part of the First-Year Experience (FYE) acquire IL skills. Using the triangulated, mixed methods approach to the research pre/post-test assessments, an online survey and an attitude scale survey were conducted. The findings suggest that novice learners acquire IL skills from Information Literacy Instruction (ILI) as 92% of students improved their score from pre-test to post-test assessment. This research verifies the positive effects of ILI and the significant role ILI plays as part of the FYE in GMIT with high satisfaction rates reported from student’s participating in ILI. A proposed IL framework is presented to offer direction for GMIT library and academic staff to develop IL skills and learning opportunities for GMIT students with recommendations for redesigning future ILI as part of the FYE.
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