Self-learning of Information Literacy Competencies in Higher Education: The Perspective of Social Sciences Students

Maria Pinto, Rosaura Fernández-Pascual, Francisco Javier García Marco

Abstract

Preference for autonomous versus directed learning for the acquisition of information competencies (ICs) was analyzed among undergraduate social science students according to gender, degree program, belief in importance and self-efficacy. Data were gathered using the IL-HUMASS online survey from students at five public Spanish universities enrolled in audiovisual communication, education, information science, pedagogy, journalism, psychology, social work and tourism undergraduate programs during the 2013-2014 academic year. Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis and chi-square tests, as well as discriminant analysis, were performed. The results revealed a higher preference for the directed learning stylein the four IL competency categories: searching, evaluation, processing and communication-dissemination. Audiovisual communication, education and journalism students showed a predilection for autonomous learning, whereas information science and psychology students preferred directed learning. Higher scores in belief in importance correlated with a greater preference for autonomous learning. In contrast, higher levels of self-efficacy were associated with a greater preference for directed learning.

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