Learning information literacy

Diehm, Rae-Anne & Lupton, Mandy (2014) Learning information literacy. Information Research, 19(1).

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This paper reports on university students' experiences of learning information literacy.


Phenomenography was selected as the research approach as it describes the experience from the perspective of the study participants, which in this case is a mixture of undergraduate and postgraduate students studying education at an Australian university. Semi-structured, one-on-one interviews were conducted with fifteen students.


The interview transcripts were iteratively reviewed for similarities and differences in students' experiences of learning information literacy. Categories were constructed from an analysis of the distinct features of the experiences that students reported. The categories were grouped into a hierarchical structure that represents students' increasingly sophisticated experiences of learning information literacy.


The study reveals that students experience learning information literacy in six ways: learning to find information; learning a process to use information; learning to use information to create a product; learning to use information to build a personal knowledge base; learning to use information to advance disciplinary knowledge; and learning to use information to grow as a person and to contribute to others.


Understanding the complexity of the concept of information literacy, and the collective and diverse range of ways students experience learning information literacy, enables academics and librarians to draw on the range of experiences reported by students to design academic curricula and information literacy education that targets more powerful ways of learning to find and use information.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 68639
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: information literacy, learning, higher education, phenomenography, HERN
ISSN: 1368-1613
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > LIBRARY AND INFORMATION STUDIES (080700) > Human Information Behaviour (080703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Chancellery
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Deposited On: 17 Mar 2014 22:18
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2014 13:50

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