18th LIASA Annual Conference: Abstracts: Enhancing teaching and learning through interactive Information Literacy tools

Enhancing teaching and learning through interactive Information Literacy tools

Matsie Theresa Mofana

Students arrive at higher education institutions unprepared and easily overwhelmed by the demands posed and the skills required to succeed in tertiary studies. Essential skills required are critical thinking and academic writing skills (Jones, Coetzee, Bailey & Wickham, 2008). Recent research confirms the tendency of students to indiscriminately trust and rely on inferior information sources to compile their assignments (Jones, Coetzee, Bailey & Wickham, 2008; Jantii & Cox, 2012; Head, 2007; Jackson, Sung, Grays & Thornton, 2005). This, despite the fact that appropriate information sources and online scholarly databases are readily available via academic online sources, library collections and support services. The paucity of effective training and teaching strategies and programmes to optimise the selection and use of information sources is at the core of this problem (Somi & De Jager, 2005). Studies have shown that passive lecture style library literacy programmes are not effective in equipping students with the necessary library literacy skills, and practical and interactive approaches should be explored (Lorenzen, 2012).

The objective of the research was to determine the value and effectiveness of an existing and purposefully designed information literacy programme offered by the Library and Information Services of The IIE’s Vega School of Brand Leadership. Questionnaire results indicated that the current training tool, used within the target group, re-enforces learning with the help of visual tools, peer interaction and the use of technology, combined with hands-on practical sessions. This approach promotes active learning. Information obtained from the research questionnaire was used to further improve and develop the library literacy programme. The study followed a post-positivistic view, being an intermediate between positivism and constructivism theoretical frameworks in teaching in learning. The study recommends that active participation, based on cooperative learning, be included in all future library training.