International students using online information resources to learn : complex experience and learning needs

Hughes, Hilary E. (2013) International students using online information resources to learn : complex experience and learning needs. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 37(1), pp. 126-146.

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This paper reports the findings of a qualitative study which investigated 25 international students’ use of online information resources for study purposes at two Australian universities. Using an expanded critical incident approach, the study viewed international students through an information literacy lens, as information-using learners. The findings are presented in two complementary parts: as a word picture that describes their whole experience of using online information resources to learn; and as a tabulated set of critical findings that summarises their associated information literacy learning needs. The word picture shows international students’ resource use as a complex interplay of eight inter-related elements: students; information-learning environment; interactions (with online resources); strengths-challenges; learning-help; affective responses; reflective responses; cultural-linguistic dimensions. In using online resources, the international students experience an array of strengths and challenges, and an apparent information literacy imbalance between their more developed information skills and less developed critical information use. The critical findings about information literacy needs provide a framework for developing an inclusive informed learning approach that responds to international students’ complex information using experiences and needs. While the study is situated in Australia, the findings are of potential interest to educators, information professionals and researchers worldwide who seek to support learning in culturally diverse higher education contexts.

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12 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 55064
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: HERN
DOI: 10.1080/0309877X.2011.644778
ISSN: 0309-877X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 UCU
Copyright Statement: This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education (C) 2013 (copyright Taylor & Francis); [JOURNAL TITLE] is available online at:
Deposited On: 22 Nov 2012 07:32
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2017 10:15

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