Assessment of information literacy skills of first-year students at Mangosuthu Technikon at a pre-library orientation and instruction phase.
This study assessed the information literacy (IL) skills of first-year students at Mangosuthu Technikon (MANTEC) at a pre-library orientation and instruction phase. What is evident is that students do, to a greater or lesser degree, display inadequate levels of IL skills. What is not so evident is the extent and nature of these inadequacies. The purpose of the study was to establish the level of these inadequacies. Background information concerning the MANTEC library orientation and instruction programme and the Eastern Seaboard Association of Libraries (esAL) User Education Pilot Project study was provided and an overview of MANTEC and its library was given. The assessment of IL skills in higher education libraries, with reference to the MANTEC library was discussed. The MANTEC students' IL skills were assessed using Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, which are evident throughout the objectives of the study. The research method used for this study was the descriptive survey method. The sample consisted of 170 first-year students. A purposive sampling procedure was used. The questionnaire consisted of two main sections, one which elicited demographic data of students and the other extracted data that addressed the objectives of the study. Results were coded and analyzed using the SPSS program. The findings of the survey indicated that there is a dearth of IL skills among the majority of MANTEC first-year students. Like many other studies it revealed that many first-year students, especially from the historically disadvantaged institutions (HDI) are under-prepared for tertiary education generally and for IL demands made on them at the tertiary level. Even those who have had previous library exposure appear to bring with them little or no IL competencies to tertiary institutions. Based on the findings for this study, recommendations were made with the aim of improving MANTEC students' IL skills.
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