Assessing the Information Literacy Skills of Students in an Online Graduate Program

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education


Room 212


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Presentation Description

The popularity of online education means programs continue to grow and more degrees are developed. Graduate degrees, in particular, are popular with working adults who wish to change careers or focus on content unrelated to their undergraduate major. While information literacy studies have been done with onsite graduate students (George et al., 2006; Jamaili & Nicholas, 2007), little is known about the skills of students in the online cohort. This paper examines the information literacy of newly admitted students to a fully-online graduate program. The paper will discuss the challenges associated with information literacy when the cohort varies greatly in age, time away from post-secondary education, diversity of current interests, and previous degree focus. The paper will present the results of research assessing the skills of this online cohort. Finally, this paper will make recommendations that may assist in meeting the information seeking needs of any fully online graduate cohort. Data on information literacy skills of new graduate students was gathered though written self-assessments and comments posted in the learning management system. An assignment, the development of a collaborative research resource guide was given mid-semester. At the end of the semester, two measures were used to determine if there had been an increase in information literacy skills. A bibliometric analysis of their cited sources in the final paper was conducted; in addition, student comments regarding their own increase in information literacy were also analyzed. Recommendations from this study that can inform libraries and administrators will be presented.


Online graduate students, Information literacy, Library instruction

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)


Sep 25th, 3:00 PM Sep 25th, 4:00 PM

Assessing the Information Literacy Skills of Students in an Online Graduate Program

Room 212

See presentation description.