Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Measuring Dhaka University Students' Internet Use Behavior of the Department of Information Science and Library Management

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Measuring Dhaka University Students' Internet Use Behavior of the Department of Information Science and Library Management

Article excerpt

Introduction

The Internet is an inseparable part of today's educational system. The academic increasingly depends on the Internet for educational purposes. A majority of academic and research institutions provide Internet service to students, teachers and researchers (Kaur, 2008). Students, especially, take advantage of the Internet in a multi-functional way and are using the information they access via the Internet in their homework ever more frequently. It is important to explore the information behaviors of the students who are being educated in the field of Information Science and Library Management since the role they are going to play in establishing connections between information sources and users is crucial. For this reason, this study explores the characteristics of Information Science and Library Management students' use of the Internet, including the purposes for which students use the Internet, which search engines they prefer and their Internet skills.

Literature Review

There have been many studies undertaken in recent years concerning how and for what purpose individuals use the Internet. In a very recent study in Bangladesh by Mostafa (2011) showed that a high percentage of Internet use among students. More than 56 percent of the respondents use the Internet for educational purposes. Safdar et al. (2010) revealed that the students were new Internet users but used it regularly. Most had access to the Internet at home. They used this technology mostly for communication and educational purposes. In another study Nazim and Saraf (2006) showed that all respondents are using Internet because of quality information they got through the Internet. Majority of respondents use Internet for research work because the university library has provided access to a large number of databases and online journals. Hong et al. (2003) indicated that students had positive attitudes toward using the Internet as a learning tool, adequate basic knowledge of the Internet. Fidzani (1998) and Clougherty (1998) said that when we look at the studies on the information-seeking behaviors of undergraduate students, we see that these studies are generally related to their information-seeking behavior in conjunction with the use of the university library. Some other studies examine the effect of different disciplines on students' information-seeking behavior. Kerins, Madden and Fulton (2004) tested the information-seeking behaviors of law and engineering students in Ireland with an experimental study and compared the results with the information-seeking behavior characteristics defined by Leckie, Pettigrew and Sylvain (1996).

While these studies discuss broad areas of students' information-seeking behaviors, it can be observed that other studies focused on the Internet and World Wide Web. Van Scoyoc and Cason (2006), who studied students' library use habits, showed that undergraduate students use the Internet and online education modules but do not use university libraries' Web pages and sources. Armstrong et al. (2001) indicated that students' information-seeking processes centered around locating electronic resources, that the Internet is used more than other information channels and that very few differences can be seen among student groups in the use of electronic sources of information. In a study conducted with undergraduate and graduate students, Aiken et al. (2003) tried to identify students' purposes in using the Internet. Davis and Cohen (2001); Davis (2002) and Robinson (2003) investigated the effect of the Internet and Web on students' term projects, it has been understood that students are referring to electronic sources more but that they need training on documentation processes and format. Oppenheim and Smith (2001), of Loughborough University, conducted a similar study on information science students. They analyzed the types and years of materials these students used in the bibliographical references in their assignments and dissertations. …

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