The Information Seeking Behavior of Undergraduate Education Majors: Does Library Instruction Play a Role?

Jason Martin

Abstract


Objective – This study investigated the information seeking behavior of undergraduate majors to gain a better understanding of where they find their research information (academic vs. non-academic sources) and to determine if library instruction had any impact on the types of sources used.

Methods – The study used a convenience sample of 200 students currently enrolled as undergraduates at the University of Central Florida’s College of Education. A chi square test of association was conducted to determine if the proportion of undergraduate Education majors who use academic sources as compared to non-academic sources varied depending on whether the students had attended at least one library instruction session.

Results – The majority of students surveyed find their research information on the freely available Web, even though they admit that academic sources are more credible. At an alpha level of .05, types of sources used for research were not statistically significantly related to whether the student attended library instruction sessions (Pearson χ2 (1, N = 200) = 1.612, p = .447, Cramer’s V = .090).

Conclusion – These results are supported by other studies that indicate that today’s college students are using freely available Internet sites much more than library resources. Little to no association appears to exist between “one-shot” library instruction sessions and the sources used by students in their research. Serious consideration needs to be given to multiple library instruction sessions and to for-credit library courses over one-shot classes.

Keywords


Library Instruction; Information Seeking Behavior; Information Literacy; Library Instruction Effectiveness; Internet

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