Information Literacy Skill: An Evaluative Study on the Students of LIS Schools in Odisha

Information Literacy Skill: An Evaluative Study on the Students of LIS Schools in Odisha

Bharati Pati (Sambalpur University, Sambalpur, India) and Sabitri Majhi (Sambalpur University, Sambalpur, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJDLDC.2019010102

Abstract

For the students and scholars belonging to any trade and level, exercising of information and its sources becomes inevitable. The university education in focus, identifying exact information, selecting the right source and authorized use of the same is being practised very often. This the authors call ‘Information Literacy Skill'. Considering the MLISc students, the future LIS professionals in making, this would certainly be an indication of respite that they are learning IL theories and practice during their second year course. An evaluative study on the targeted MLISC students can provide a substantial solution to this. The present study focuses on the LIS schools of state of Odisha (India) and tries to find out answers to various questions: Are the students of MLISc in LIS schools of Odisha possess adequate IL skills? Are the modules included under master degree syllabi enough for them and their skill requirements as information providers? Can IL be taught at the classroom level? Or is a meticulous practical exposure obligatory?
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Introduction

With the arrival of 21st century, the human society has revolutionised to have been necessitating to new fundamental requisites. Apart from the basic requirements like food, clothing, shelter and education, ‘information’ has become yet another essential commodity for every literary individual. To be particular, when the learning environment is concerned, the quest for information becomes even more vigorous. As, in such premises the exploration of information is elementary in nature. Especially, in the higher educational level, the experiences are altogether diversified, where everyday learning seeks discovery of new prospects of information sources. Along with the regular academics, research activities are an integral part of higher education in general and university education in particular. For the scholars belonging to any trade and level, exercising of information and its sources becomes inevitable. Thus for the university education in focus, identifying exact information, selecting the right source and authorized use of the same is being practised very often. This is commonly called the proficiency of information literacy or ‘Information Literacy Skill’. Fundamentally, information literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed, again, locate and evaluate the appropriate information and use it.ALA defines “to be information literate an individual must recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and use effectively the information needed.” An information literate thus must be able to locate information at the first hand, evaluate, and use them to the utmost requirement so as to satisfy the current information need efficiently and ethically.

Information Literacy and LIS Education

The understanding on information literacy can be depicted as a lifelong learning process. The significance and applicability doesn’t stops at a certain point. As the quest of information arises, the skill appliance has to be brought into action. An information-literate should be definite about the conceptual framework in accordance to the subjective need. LIS education in general provides the same to the graduates pursuing a degree of masters. That becomes an added advantage for the scholars of MLISCs over other disciplines. In the Indian scenario, over 210 Universities and aided institutions presently provide LIS education at different levels such as, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, M.phil and PhD. Among these, the significance of course curriculum at the master’s level is much higher. Up till now, unlike other multidisciplinary theories, Information Literacy hasn’t got a thematic status as an individual subject discipline. Thus it has to be associated with some other subject area under discussion. Observably, the broader notion here would be Library and Information Studies. Many syllabi for masters of Library and Information Science enclose more or less sub-units on Information Literacy. However, there would be two interfaces to the inclusion of IL into the MLISc syllabi irrespective of the institution or region. One, for the ‘consumers’ and one as the ‘would be generators’ or ‘intermediates of information exchange’. In both the cases the requirements differs from one another. An extensive and comparative research on the contents of syllabi from various universities having LIS schools can be suggested at this point. Momentarily, this could be added as a conviction, that the inclusions of IL have a positive impact on the students. Nevertheless the LIS curriculum standalone provide adequate information skilfulness to the students as a by-product.

The Research Question: (Statement of the Problem)

Considering the MLISc students, the future LIS professionals in making, this would certainly be an indication of respite that they are learning IL theories and practice during their two year’s course. Though, the level may vary from one student to another. There always is a scope for discussions on competencies of each individual. An evaluative study on the targeted MLISC students can provide a substantial solution to this. The present study focuses on the LIS schools of state of Odisha(India) and tries to find out answers to various question likes, are the students of MLISc in LIS schools of Odisha possess adequate IL skills, are the modules included under master degree syllabi enough for them and their skill requirements as information providers? Can IL be taught at the classroom level? Or a meticulous practical exposure is obligatory. At the end of this paper we shall be able to find answers all these speculations.

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