Presentation Title

Composition and information literacy: How colleges in developing countries can enhance information literacy education

Location

Room 1002

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

That information literacy skills can have positive impact on student writing can hardly be doubted. It is therefore highly laudable that, like their counterpart students in developed countries such as the US, college students in developing countries have information literacy skills inculcated in them immediately they commence their college education. Nonetheless, many instructors of college writing programs which require information literacy as a skillset bemoan students’ inability to obtain and utilize information from reliable sources to carry out class assignments successfully. This negatively impacts the composition class. In this presentation, the information literacy pedagogy of a West African university is closely examined, issues impacting students’ composition classes are illuminated and solutions to the problems are discussed. This study employs a mixed-method approach in which students and teachers of first-year composition are surveyed and interviewed to ascertain the extent to which students are able to transfer their information literacy knowledge and skills to the first-year writing course. Preliminary findings of this investigation indicate that on-campus internet connectivity is unreliable, library facilities can hardly cater to the needs of students since books, journal articles and other information resources are outdated, and current publications seldom meet the needs of the growing student body. This study recommends how information literacy education can be adapted to the technological affordances of students. One way to accomplish this is to focus information literacy programs on databases that are friendly to mobile devices. Additionally, to enhance student information literacy in such a technologically-challenged context, this presentation outlines how a proposed a cell phone app can link students to credible popular and academic sources to make information search, evaluation, storage and retrieval less burdensome to students.

Presentation Description

This presentation has two main aims. The first one is to bring to the attention of its audience the inadequacies characterizing information literacy education in the college of a developing country and how they impact on first-year composition. Secondly, this presentation is intended to outline how the challenges that have befallen the teaching and learning of information literacy can be overcome.

Keywords

Information literacy education, developing countries, first-year composition, West Africa

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 28th, 4:40 PM Sep 28th, 5:00 PM

Composition and information literacy: How colleges in developing countries can enhance information literacy education

Room 1002

That information literacy skills can have positive impact on student writing can hardly be doubted. It is therefore highly laudable that, like their counterpart students in developed countries such as the US, college students in developing countries have information literacy skills inculcated in them immediately they commence their college education. Nonetheless, many instructors of college writing programs which require information literacy as a skillset bemoan students’ inability to obtain and utilize information from reliable sources to carry out class assignments successfully. This negatively impacts the composition class. In this presentation, the information literacy pedagogy of a West African university is closely examined, issues impacting students’ composition classes are illuminated and solutions to the problems are discussed. This study employs a mixed-method approach in which students and teachers of first-year composition are surveyed and interviewed to ascertain the extent to which students are able to transfer their information literacy knowledge and skills to the first-year writing course. Preliminary findings of this investigation indicate that on-campus internet connectivity is unreliable, library facilities can hardly cater to the needs of students since books, journal articles and other information resources are outdated, and current publications seldom meet the needs of the growing student body. This study recommends how information literacy education can be adapted to the technological affordances of students. One way to accomplish this is to focus information literacy programs on databases that are friendly to mobile devices. Additionally, to enhance student information literacy in such a technologically-challenged context, this presentation outlines how a proposed a cell phone app can link students to credible popular and academic sources to make information search, evaluation, storage and retrieval less burdensome to students.