A credit based information literacy course module for science undergraduates:an assessment

Somaratna, Sajeewanie D.

Abstract

The Library of the University of Colombo offers an Information Literacy (IL) course module for the first year science undergraduates as a credit based optional course. This study was done among the seventy five students who followed the IL course module in 2011. Actual IL skills acquired by students from the course, students’ perceptions towards IL awareness levels and their readiness to apply IL skills during the next academic period were assessed. Actual IL skills acquired by the students were measured by their assignment marks and a user survey was conducted to assess the students’ perceptions towards IL awareness levels. All the students completed the course successfully and earned one credit by exceeding the pass mark level while 23 students passed with honours and 46 passed with satisfactory grades. Students’ perceptions towards the IL awareness show a significant improvement for the majority of the IL attributes at the end of the course. The highest awareness level shown for the attribute “library skills” followed by “mind mapping technique” and “internet searching techniques”. Students identified this IL course module as the best place to acquire IL skills and they ensured that they apply IL skills during their next academic period. The faculty identified this as a very useful and important module for science undergraduates and suggestions were made to make this compulsory for all undergraduates of the faculty of science. An advanced IL module for the third and fourth year students was also recommended.

Keyword(s)

Information literacy (IL); credit based; science undergraduates; first years; Sri Lanka

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