Measuring Students’ Information Literacy Skills through Abstracting: Case Study from a Library & Information Science Perspective

Maria Pinto, Andrés Fernández-Ramos, Anne-Vinciane Doucet

Abstract

New education models based essentially on competencies and skills are gradually displacing the old systems based on teacher instruction and passive and memory-based learning in students, as these new competencies allow the student to learn actively with better levels of performance. We consider abstracting as a transcendent learning tool to analyze the basic role of information analysis and synthesis skills within the learning processes and their relation to the abstracting processes. Using an action-research methodology, we analyze the abstracting skill of students on the first and final courses of the Faculty of Library and Information Science at the University of Granada (Spain). Based on postulates from information literacy, analysis and synthesis competencies are studied through the students' modus operandi at the different abstracting stages. Similarities and differences between the two groups of students are perceived and displayed, with reference to the relation between the learned subjects and the levels of competence and skill. In the light of these results, meaningful patterns and recommendations for improving students' skill levels are proposed.

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