University of Oulu

ICT literacy of information science & library management students in Bangladesh : to what extent informal peer learning has the effect on acquiring the skills?

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Author: Hossain, Md Arman 1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
Pages: 85
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : M. Hossain, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-04-26
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Laru, Jari
Reviewer: Laru, Jari
Vuopala, Essi
Peer learning has been suggested as an important and useful pedagogical practice by academicians and educational psychologists. Some studies argued that peer learning is more effective in acquiring various types of skills than other learning methods. Researchers affirmed that peer learning could take place at all levels of education and in both formal and informal ways. Furthermore, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) competencies are the critical twenty-first-century skills, and common prerequisites for all professionals, especially for those who are working to build a knowledge-based society. Since modern libraries and information providers are increasingly using advanced technologies to develop the quality of their services, employers are looking for Library and Information professionals who have extensive knowledge and skills in ICT. Several pieces of research have been conducted to find out the level of ICT literacy of the Information Science students. However, most of the researchers only attempted to know their standard of ICT skills; only a few of them aimed to identify the sources from where students acquired their skills and ignored to examine whether their peers have any contribution to the acquisition of their ICT skills. Consequently, the present study intended to explore the level of ICT literacy of the students in the Department (School) of Information Science and Library Management (ISLM) at the University of Rajshahi and the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Moreover, the study attempted to know the sources from where ISLM students acquire or develop their ICT literacy and to what extent informal peer learning has the effect on the acquisition and development of ICT literacy of the students. This study used the pragmatist approach (mixed method) as it required the adoption of both quantitative and qualitative methods to measure the variables objectively. A structured Web-based self-report questionnaire, having both closed- and open-ended questions, was used to collect the data from the Undergraduate and Master’s degree students of two ISLM schools in Bangladesh. An online survey tool ‘Webropol’ was used to collect the data through the questionnaire. Quantitative data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 24; descriptive statistics was used to measure the variables, and the independent samples t-test was carried out to compare the mean scores of different groups of the participants and to test the significance of the differences. Inductive content analysis process was adopted to analyse the qualitative data. The study found that the levels of overall computer and internet skills of the ISLM students at both the universities are good. However, the male students reported more skills in computer and the internet than the female students. Moreover, the students at the University of Dhaka claimed to have more skills in computer than the students at the University of Rajshahi. The results indicate that the students in the ISLM departments first used computers and the internet when they were admitted to the universities. Students mostly acquired these skills by themselves with manuals and handbooks; the contributions of ‘their peers’ and the ‘department’s courses’ were considerable. More than ninety-one percent of the ISLM students affirmed that their peers had contributed considerably in acquiring their ICT literacy. The present study identified eight distinct characteristics of peer learning: real-time assistance, communication, sharing, comfortable, effective, free-of-cost, practical knowledge, and new knowledge. To the best of this researcher’s knowledge, this is the first ever study attempted to measure the ICT literacy of university students in Bangladesh, and the first study on peer learning at any levels of education in Bangladesh. Furthermore, this is the first systematic effort to measure the role of informal peer learning for acquiring ICT literacy in higher education. Therefore, it is expected that this study will pave the way for the researchers in the field of Information Science, and Learning and Education Sciences for a more thorough investigation into this phenomenon.
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