Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Assessment of Information Literacy Skills among Science Students of Andhra University

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Assessment of Information Literacy Skills among Science Students of Andhra University

Article excerpt

Introduction

Information literacy is a necessary skill that is utilitarian in every aspect of a person's life. For students, information literacy skills would lead to independent and student-centric learning, rather than dependence on the teacher to provide answers to questions or problems that they encounter. This in turn creates a greater responsibility towards their own learning, which would help him become dynamic learners and thinkers who are creative, analytical and efficient instead of mere regurgitators of facts.

But information literacy goes beyond coursework in its meaning and application. In a world where an infinite amount of information is available, individuals need to develop a greater understanding of information sources and need abilities to acquire, evaluate, use and communicate information. Become information literate will provide essential skills, needed to become a more proficient learner in the college, and subsequently, benefit students in both professional and personal endeavors. Information Literacy skills enable students to choose the best information for important decisions.

Further, the contemporary information world offers abundant information choices-print, electronic, image, spatial, sound, visual and numeric. The challenges posed to the users of information include too much of information in various format and all not of equal value. Explosion of information on Internet with billions of websites and pages and millions of print items both are complicating access and retrieval of information by the end users.

Information literate Individuals who are knowledgeable about finding, evaluating, analyzing, integrating, managing and conveying information to others efficiently and affectively are respected more. These are students, workers, and citizens who are most successful at solving problems, providing solutions and producing new ideas and direction for the future.

The critical responsibility of education system in facilitating the empowering role of information has also been recognized by experts in the field (Boyer.1994). With in the college or University environment it is also important for students to be able to build up on the foundation of information literacy knowledge by successfully transferring this learning from course to course., understandings the critical and empowering role of information in a free and democratic society, and demonstrating ethical behavior and academic integrity as consumers, as well as producers, of information. Specially designed and implemented information literacy programmes by the academic libraries are instrumental in meeting the above said objectives of educational institutions. The present study focuses on this aspect of academic environment.

Review of Literature

Numbers of research papers have been published so far covering the basic concept of IL (Breivik, 1999; Owusu-Ansah, 2005; Lloyd 2005; Matoush 2006; Harris and Millet, 2006; Ramesha, 2008; Lloyd, 2008; O'Connor 2009), the range of IL standards and models (Donaldson 2004; Mackey and Ho 2005; Loo and Chung,2006; Keene and others, 2010), designing of IL programmes for different types of users (Fjallbrant 2000; Harley, 2001; Hartmann, 2001; Satish and Vishakha 2006; Stephenson and Schifter Caravello 2007; Sales 2008; Pinto 2010; Zuccala (2010), IL education, (Ercegovac, 1998; Elmborg, 2003; Krooden, 2004; Andretta, 2007; Limberg and others, 2008; Andretta 2008; Secker 2010), IL skills learning and instruction and technology (Ramalho, 2003; Berk and others, 2007; Godwin, 2009; Walsh, 2010) with in IL programmes.

The literature published on IL skills reveal some useful and interesting findings that assist in planning, designing and implementing programmes to develop as well as measure IL skills of specific user communities. A digital information literacy programmes at university of Texas at Austin serve as a case study for implementing information literacy skills into traditional library services and collaborative activities (Dupuis, 1997). …

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