Info Seeking Behaviour Of Students At Uwc

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An investigation of the information seeking behaviour of students conducted at the University of the Western Cape.

An investigation of the information seeking behaviour of students conducted at the University of the Western Cape.

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  • 1. University of the Western Cape Information seeking behaviour of undergraduate students at the University of the Western Cape Presented by: Patricia Khati Student# : 2548233 Lecturer : L. King Module : Information seeking behaviour
  • 2. Introduction
    • Information seeking is the process in which an individual tries to get information in a human or technological context.
    • According to Fourie cited in Ikoja-Odongo and Mostert (2006: 148) information seeking is a rather complex process made of social, communicative and interactive behaviour
    • It is also seen as a process in which people take part in to intentionally change their state of knowledge
  • 3. Purpose of the Study
    • The purpose of the study was to determine the information seeking behaviour of undergraduate students at the University of the Western Cape.
    • focuses on what type of information sources students consult when searching for information and what strategy they use to seek information when they are given an assignment to do
  • 4. Theoretical framework
    • This study is underpinned by Carol Kulthau’s model of Information Search Process.
    • The model consists of six stages and was used on an empirical study of students’ information seeking behaviour. The six stages are: Task Initiation, Topic Selection, Prefocus Exploration, Focus Formulation, Collection and Preservation.
    • Ajiboye & Tella (2007) state that this model deals with three realms found in each stage, viz, the affective, the cognitive and the physical.
  • 5. Problem statement
    • This project has investigated the information seeking behaviour of undergraduate students at the University of the Western Cape.
    • It is assumed that all students at the University of the Western Cape library are able to make use of all sources that are available for information seeking.
    • Students could be experiencing technical problems in accessing information resources together with the knowledge and the awareness of the resources.
  • 6. Research questions
    • The fundamental research questions coming from the study on information seeking behaviour of students will attempt to gather data and answer questions pertaining to the study.
    • The questions are grouped into two categories:
    • -Which sources are consulted for information?
    • -What is the strategy used for searching information?
  • 7. Methodology
    • An observation of the information seeking behaviour of UWC students was conducted
    • Interviews were also conducted with the participants to get a background understanding of their information seeking behaviours.
    • Questionnaires were given out to the undergraduate students as a form of data collection. The population consisted of all the UWC students, from this population a sample of 20 undergraduate students was chosen.
    • Undergraduate students were chosen randomly at the library, regardless of their gender, year of study and field of study.
  • 8. Results of the study
    • the information seeking behaviour of students at UWC were almost the same regardless if they were male or female.
    • 35 percent of the respondents argued that they had never got any training in using online information retrieval systems, while the rest of the participants have received training at their different year levels.
    • Participants conducted research on their own without any help from librarians.
  • 9. Results continued
    • the first source that the students first approach is the internet, which may include either Google, Online databases or the OPAC system
    • -Through Google only the senior students said that they used Google scholar or Google advance where they had options of what keywords to choose.
    • second option to use would be library books and journals, then lastly their textbooks.
    • When they were asked if they usually found the information in these sources relevant, surprisingly there were more students that said sometimes then those that said always and there was only one student that said that the information found in these sources is never relevant.
  • 10. Results cont…
    • Different responses were given to the question of what strategies do they use when searching for information.
    • The responses ranged from no strategies to consulting their lecturers first, grouping up with friends and classmates, to using their course readers, lecture notes and the internet .
  • 11. Conclusion
    • This study that was conducted with the undergraduate students of the University of the Western Cape is similar to some of the studies that have been done before and the studies that were reviewed.
    • Some of the students in this study do follow Kulthau’s model of the Information Search Process.