Monday, 10 November 2008

ECAR study 2008 on Undergraduate Students and Information Technology

This important longitudinal study (yearly from 2004 to 2008) has appeared again. It is US- based and draws on massive quantitative data and also has a special section on student participation in social networking sites.
This year they asked 3 questions on Information Literacy, derived from the ACRL standards. Surprise surprise 79.5% gave themselves glowing reports on their ability to "use the internet effectively and efficiently to search for information" , with half saying they were "very skilled and another third saying they were "experts. About half also said they were "very skilled" or "expert" at 2evaluating the reliability and credibility of online sources of information" or "understanding the ethical and legal issues surrounding the access and use of digital information."
As the report continues the "potential gap between actual and perceived skills and literacy is important to understand and factor into strategies for teaching and learning at the institution".

On social networking : 85.2% now use SNSs.. Half of these users now integrate SNSs into their academic life for communicating with classmates about course-related matters, but only 5.5% use them for communication to tutors about academic matters.No consensus on whether SNSs should be exclusive realm of students. Guess this gives some support for libraries to link into SLSs, with caution!

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