Distance students’ readiness for an online information literacy programme : Unisa School of Accountancy as a case study

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Fourie, Ina
dc.contributor.postgraduate Rantlha, Legobole B.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-08-18T06:04:26Z
dc.date.available 2017-08-18T06:04:26Z
dc.date.created 2017-09-08
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.description Dissertation (MIS)-University of Pretoria, 2017. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This dissertation reports on a study of the self-reported readiness of undergraduate first-year students at a very large distance teaching institution, the University of South Africa (Unisa). The Unisa library does not offer an online information literacy programme for distance students and has not conducted surveys on students’ needs and their readiness for using online information resources and an online learning management system. The main research question thus was: What are the information seeking behaviour and the readiness of Unisa distance students in using and accessing the library online resources? Sub-questions were: • What has been reported on information literacy and information literacy programmes for distance students, with special reference to online programmes? • What has been reported on virtual learning environments with specific reference to distance education? • What are the students’ self-rated perceptions of their information literacy skills? • What are the students’ information seeking behaviour and preferences in using online information resources? • What are the students’ self-rated perceptions in using an online learning management system in a virtual learning environment? The Unisa School of Accountancy served as case study. All students enrolled for first- year modules in the School of Accountancy (including the Departments of Auditing, Financial Accounting, Management Accounting and Taxation) were invited to participate in the survey. Data collection occurred in July and August 2015 by means of a self-administered, semi-structured online questionnaire survey. In total 587 students responded, resulting in 525 usefully completed questionnaires. Most of the students were geographically remote from the institution and the library and its branches. The study collected mostly descriptive quantitative data, with limited qualitative data. The quantitative data were analysed by means of a statistical package (SAS JMP version 12), and the qualitative data by means of thematic analysis. The questionnaire covered self-reported information seeking behaviour when using the library’s online resources, whether students had received training on information literacy skills, and if these skills were effective enough to assist them to locate and access the library’s diverse online information resources relevant to their studies. It also collected data on their readiness to use an online learning management system. The limitations of self-reporting are acknowledged; in this case it was considered appropriate to determine lack of skills. Although the findings cannot be generalised to all Unisa or all distance students, they can inform recommendations on the need for an online information literacy skills programme for distance students and methods to conduct similar studies of students’ readiness to use such a programme. Respondents lacked information literacy skills that could enable them to access or use the online library resources from a distance. They lacked skills in using the virtual learning environment system, experienced problems in accessing the library from a distance, could not use databases to access online full-text articles and were often not aware of the library website and how it could be used. It is recommended that the Unisa library consider developing an online information literacy programme that adheres to international standards and guidelines for information literacy, and that this be informed by the needs expressed by students from diverse disciplines and study years and their self-reported information-seeking behaviour. For distance students a programme must be available through a virtual learning environment and this must be linked to the library’s website and marketing efforts. KEYWORDS • Case study • Distance education • Distance libraries • Distance students • Information literacy skills • Information seeking behaviour • Online information literacy programmes • Online information seeking behaviour en_ZA
dc.description.availability Unrestricted en_ZA
dc.description.degree MIS en_ZA
dc.description.department Information Science en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship University of South Africa (UNISA) en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Rantlha, LB 2017, Distance students’ readiness for an online information literacy programme : Unisa School of Accountancy as a case study, MIS Dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/61709> en_ZA
dc.identifier.other S2017 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/61709
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher University of Pretoria
dc.rights © 2017 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.
dc.subject Information Science en_ZA
dc.subject UCTD
dc.subject Information seeking behaviour
dc.subject Information literacy skills
dc.subject Distance libraries
dc.subject Online information seeking behaviour
dc.subject Online information literacy programmes
dc.title Distance students’ readiness for an online information literacy programme : Unisa School of Accountancy as a case study en_ZA
dc.type Dissertation en_ZA


Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record