Information Literacy and Retention: A Case Study of the Value of the Library
AbstractObjective - The authors investigated the impact of library instruction on information literacy (IL) skills as part of ACRL’s AiA initiative. Additionally, the researchers sought to determine whether there was a relationship between IL tests scores and research experiences with student success outcomes such as retention.
Methods - The researchers administered a standardized IL test to 455 graduate and undergraduate students in multiple disciplines. They then collected outcome data on GPA, retention, and graduation three years later.
Results - While there were no significant differences between those students who had instruction and those who did not on the IL test, a regression analysis revealed that experience writing research papers that required library resources and an individual’s use of library books throughout their academic career demonstrated significant, positive relationships with whether a student passed the information literacy test. Additionally, using the longitudinal data on GPA, retention, graduation, and employment, the researchers found that students’ IL scores were significantly correlated with their GPAs, and that students who passed the IL test were more likely to be retained or graduate within six years.
Conclusion - The ability to demonstrate IL skills appears to contribute to retention and graduation and, therefore, may be an integral part of one’s academic success. Further, experience writing research papers and other meaningful assignments contributes to student success.
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