The Impact of ICT on the Development of Information Literacy by Students in Further Education

Jackson, M. (2005) The Impact of ICT on the Development of Information Literacy by Students in Further Education. Journal of eLiteracy 2(1).

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Abstract

Information now plays a vital part in the lives of individuals, organizations and institutions and information literacy is the key to the optimum use of information. At a recent JISC Conference, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills emphasized the importance of ICT and information literacy as vital components in the development of life skills, workplace skills and citizenship.

Little research, as yet, has been carried out in further education (F.E.) as to the development of information literacy by students.

The purpose of the current PhD research is to study the value of ICT provision and use in the development of information literacy by students in further education. A case study approach has been adopted with the focus on “A” level students. Fieldwork has been completed in Colleges of F.E. and sixth forms in schools. Interviews with staff, focus groups with students and observations of individual students have been supplemented by completion of a questionnaire by teaching staff.

The research findings suggest that there is little coherent strategy within F.E. regarding the development of information literacy by students. Many students experience difficulties in accessing, evaluating and using information effectively. Initial analysis of the data to date suggests that a variety of factors are involved.
However, fieldwork is not yet complete and much further analysis of the data will be required.