Communicating a message: Offshore postgraduate coursework students’ understanding of information literacy

Ms Judith Mcintyre (). Communicating a message: Offshore postgraduate coursework students’ understanding of information literacy Professional Doctorate, School of Education, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Ms Judith Mcintyre
Thesis Title Communicating a message: Offshore postgraduate coursework students’ understanding of information literacy
School, Centre or Institute School of Education
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Dr. Gloria Dall'Alba
Total pages 171
Abstract/Summary Transnational education (TNE) has become an important feature of the Australian tertiary education landscape. In TNE, commonly referred to in Australia as offshore delivery of higher education, students reside in a different country to the one where the institution providing the education is based (UNESCO/Council of Europe, 2001). In this study, it is argued that identifying offshore postgraduate coursework students’ understanding of information literacy (IL) will help to facilitate student learning in that context. IL has been described as a broad educational concept concerned with improving students’ ability to access, evaluate, manage and use information, which is essential for lifelong learning (ALA, 1989; Bundy, 2004). Although there have been a number of recent studies examining postgraduate students’ IL, further qualitative research from the learners’ perspective is required. In particular, there is a lack of studies that illuminate IL from the perspective of postgraduate coursework and international offshore students enrolled in Western universities. In this qualitative research study, a phenomenographic approach was used to examine how postgraduate coursework students at one Australian offshore international campus understood IL. Five qualitatively different ways in which these students understood IL were identified: (a) acquiring access to information; (b) conducting an effective search for information; (c) using information practices of a specific information community; (d) a vehicle for developing or demonstrating personal understanding; and (e) communicating a message. Gaining insight into differences in the ways in which postgraduate coursework students understand IL, and the relationships between these different ways of understanding, values these students’ knowledge and can inform teaching and learning. Identifying differences in ways of understanding IL can inform teaching and learning because it provides educators with a basis for creating opportunities to develop postgraduate coursework students’ understanding of IL. Implications for teaching and learning include the need to address: variation in offshore postgraduate coursework students’ understanding of IL; postgraduate coursework students’ technical information skills; differences in the ways in which academic information conventions are understood by postgraduate coursework students; opportunities for postgraduate coursework students to actively engage with information; collaboration amongst academics and librarians; and integration of IL into the curriculum.
Keyword postgraduate coursework students; information literacy; transnational education; phenomenography

 
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Created: Mon, 07 Dec 2009, 12:36:39 EST by Ms Judith Mcintyre on behalf of School of Education