Assessment of Online Information Literacy Learning Objects For First Year Community College English Composition

  • Mara Bordignon Seneca College
  • Gail Strachan Seneca College
  • Jennifer Peters Seneca College
  • Joy Muller Seneca College
  • Alana Otis Seneca College
  • Adele Georgievski Seneca College
  • Rana Tamim Zayed University


Objective – The main objective was to determine whether information literacy (IL) learning objects (LOs) impact student IL competency, specifically in a foundational first year English composition course. The primary research question was: What is the effectiveness of IL LOs compared to face-to-face instruction in terms of students’ skill acquisition?

Methods – The methods involved testing student IL competency through a multiple-choice test given pre- and post-IL intervention. Effectiveness was measured by assessing whether IL competency improves after exposure to one of two interventions: online IL LOs or face-to-face librarian-led workshop. Over two semesters, equal sections of the course were tested for each of these interventions. For the IL LOs group, students first completed a pre-test, then they worked independently through three online IL LOs. The three IL LOs were videos comprised of animation, screen casting, and video capture on these topics: Finding Articles at Seneca Libraries (hereafter referred to as Finding Articles), Finding Articles on Current Issues, and Popular and Scholarly Sources. The students were then given the same test again. For the face-to-face group, the pre- and post-tests were also required for the same number of sections. This study was conducted under institutional ethics approval.

Results – Descriptive analysis revealed student test scores increased for both interventions, IL LOs and face-to-face. Test scores increased, on average, between 14 to 37%. In comparing post-tests, results revealed a statistically significant difference only with the first topic, Finding Articles. In this case, the IL LOs (video) group outperformed the face-to-face group by at least 10%. No significance, in terms of performance from pre- and post-test scores, was found for the other two topics.

Conclusion – Both IL LO and face-to-face library led workshop interventions had a positive impact on students’ IL skill acquisition as evidenced by an overall increase in average test scores. One IL LO on Finding Articles significantly outperformed the face-to-face class equivalent. Further study is needed to track individual student performance.


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How to Cite
Bordignon, M., Strachan, G., Peters, J., Muller, J., Otis, A., Georgievski, A., & Tamim, R. (2016). Assessment of Online Information Literacy Learning Objects For First Year Community College English Composition. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 11(3), 50-67.
Research Articles