Assessing Content and Cognitive Levels of Information Literacy in a Group of Life Sciences University Students
The present study investigates the initial level of information literacy (IL) of 308 life sciences students from three Slovenian faculties compared to the level achieved by the students after completing a compulsory credit-bearing IL course. A validated information literacy test (ILT) served as an assessment instrument, and the results were statistically analysed by IL topic, cognitive category and year of study. The students achieved significant progress in all main IL topics and all cognitive categories. The greatest improvement was in the subscale of database searching, where the initial IL level was the lowest. Another IL deficiency that was detected and improved relates to legal and ethical issues. With regard to cognitive categories, the students achieved the most evident progress in the category of applying knowledge, where they were initially the least successful. An analysis of the students’ IL achievements by year of study led to the recommendation to include an IL-related study course in the curriculum of life sciences programmes in the second year of study.
KeywordsInformation literacy Higher education Standards Cognitive levels Evaluation
The study was financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency, project J55535.
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