The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences between first-year and senior undergraduate students’ information literacy behaviors and experiences as measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement Experiences with Information Literacy module.
Publically available data resulting from the 2014 and 2015 module was analyzed. Descriptive statistics were used to compare group percentages and inferential statistics to discriminate the statistical significance of enrollment status.
Statistically significant differences between first-year and senior students were identified for the majority of survey items in both 2014 and 2015. Survey items with the highest effect sizes showed senior students were more likely to: complete an assignment that used the library’s electronic collections, be required to employ practices of a specific major of field, and indicate their institution contributed to their effective use of information. The least frequently exhibited behaviors for both groups were those that require higher-order thinking.
Limitations of the study include the granularity of publicly available data and the applicability of the results to specific institutions and beyond the USA.
This study points to areas for further investigation at the national level and offers an approach for colleges and universities to take with their local data.
The originality of this paper lies in the analysis of a recently launched information literacy survey.
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