Instructional Preferences of First-Year College Students with Below-Proficient Information Literacy Skills: A Focus Group Study

Don Latham, Melissa Gross


The Attaining Information Literacy Project has focused on identifying first-year college students with below-proficient information literacy skills, gaining an understanding of those students’ self-views and perceptions of information literacy, gaining an understanding of their instructional experiences and preferences, and developing an intervention that will address their instructional needs. Focus groups were conducted with students with below-proficient skills to determine their instructional preferences. The findings from the focus groups indicate that students place a high value on personal relevance in the knowledge and skills they are learning, and they prefer a combination of demonstration and hands-on activities, interaction with the instructor and other students, and the availability of supplemental instructional materials in the form of handouts. In addition, they feel that incentives to participate in instruction are crucial and that a number of communication strategies are needed to advertise effectively the availability of instructional sessions.

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Copyright © 2013 Don Latham and Melissa Gross

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