PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to assess knowledge of Singapore Grade 5 (11 years old) students’ understanding and proficiency in basic information literacy (IL) skills of defining information tasks, selecting information sources, seeking information from sources and synthesising and using information.Design/methodology/approachA 38-item multiple-choice question assessment instrument was used to assess the students’ IL skills based on the i-Competent IL model. The instrument first developed in 2010 was refined and expanded to increase the robustness and accuracy of assessment for the study. It was administered to 17 primary schools in Singapore in November 2015. The maximum possible score of 54 was scaled up to 100 to report the overall mean score for ease of reference and comparison. A total of 2,399 returns were obtained and analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 22.0 to compute the mean scores, IL stage-level scores. The study also investigated for any significant differences in performance between male and female students, and students with or without access to the internet at home.FindingsThe students achieved an overall mean score of 53.39 which is below a recommended acceptable score of 60 or 70 advocated in a number of past studies. The two worst performing areas of IL skills were synthesising and using information and seeking information from sources with mean scores of 45.89 and 48.81, respectively. A review of the highest number of incorrect answers suggests that students had difficulty in identifying key information from an information task narrative, understanding the use of reference sources and role of librarians, distinguishing between a fact and opinion, and adopting the best strategy for searching. Girls outperformed boys with an overall mean score of 55.38 vs 51.50. Students with internet access at home fared better than those without access to it with a score of 53.67 vs 45.81. The overall poor results of the survey suggest an urgent need to review the IL education landscape in the Singapore school system, revisit polices, priorities and assess the relevance and effectiveness of the IL curriculum, practical hands-on classes, and interventions that are currently employed in schools.Practical implicationsThe study helped identify areas of IL skills strengths and weakness among Grade 5 students in Singapore schools. It provides recommendations for follow up actions for education authority and schools to improve the situation.Originality/valueThis study was prompted to provide an assessment after a national IL initiative was launched in 2012 to inculcate IL skills among the school-going children as part of creating a value-driven education system. This is the first reported set of findings for a large-scale survey conducted to measure and ascertain the IL skills level among Grade 5 students.
Aslib Journal of Information Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 15, 2017
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera