Developing modern technological methods in information seeking behaviour for the achievement of educational success in the secondary education sector

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Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economics and Social Studies

Original languageEnglish
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Award date2015
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Abstract

This study investigates the usage of electronic resources and their impact on students’ educational success in a secondary college in Mauritius, based on a sample of a group of fifty, sixth grade students. The key areas examined include: types of library print and electronic resources students use to meet their information needs for completing their academic work, the patterns and frequency of use of library electronic resources, purpose and academic benefits of library electronic resources, the advantages and disadvantages as perceived by the students’, problems and constraints they experienced and their expectations and needs of digital learning environment. Ellis' model of the information seeking behaviours was used as an over-arching theoretical framework to explore the students’ information search activities. A mixed method approach, combining qualitative and quantitative research methodology was used to gather the data. Quantitative and qualitative data were gathered through survey questionnaire and semi-structured interview, employing Flanagan’s critical incident technique. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic approach. The findings showed that students preferred internet information over print materials for their academic information needs. Google was the most preferred engine search. Due to a lack of electronic facilities in the college library, students predominantly used their home computer to conduct internet searches. Perceived academic and practical benefits of electronic resources outweighed the disadvantages. Students’ search tasks were largely consistent with Ellis’ model of information seeking behaviours. Students reported that internet made a positive contribution
to their learning and academic success. No significant gender differences were evident in the pattern of use of electronic resources. The findings have resource implications for the provision of an innovative technological environment and practical support for students to develop their competency in electronic information search.