ICT SKILLS, INFORMATION LITERACY AND USE OF ELECTRONIC INFORMATION RESOURCES BY STUDENTS OF NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY IN SOUTH-WEST, NIGERIA
The use of Electronic Information Resources (EIRs) has become inevitable for higher education students in the digital age, given the volume of academic materials that are available in electronic rather than print format. Effective use of these resources depends on whether students have the requisite skills to access and effectively use them. Studies have shown that EIRs have been underutilized by undergraduates in Nigeria. The study investigated the influence of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills and information literacy on the use of EIRs by students of the National Open University (NOUN) in South-West, Nigeria.
The survey research design was adopted for the study. The population of study was 8,812 undergraduates of the National Open University in South-West, Nigeria. Multistage sampling procedure was used. Three states (Lagos, Ondo and Oyo) were randomly selected, using ballot system. Three study centers were purposively selected from the three states. Proportionate to size sampling method was used to select 802 students in 400 and 500 levels across all disciplines from the study centers. Data were collected with a validated questionnaire. The Cronbach’s alpha reliability coefficient for each of the constructs ranged from 0.74 to 0.92. A response rate of 71.3% was obtained. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential (correlation and regression) statistics.
Findings showed that there were significant relationships between EIRs use and ICT skills (r=0.389; p<.05) and EIRs use and information literacy (r=0.439; p<.05). The two variables jointly influenced the use of EIRs among NOUN students (Adj. R2 = 0.209, F(2,568) =76.524, p<.05). It was found that ICT skills positively influenced the use of EIR (β = .181, t =6.479 =101.40, p<.05) as did information literacy (β = .323, t =6.617, p<.05).
The study concluded that the students of NOUN in South-West, Nigeria were highly skilled in ICT use and their information literacy level was high which reflected in their use of EIRs. The study recommended that NOUN library should train students on how to make effective use of information by offering ‘Use of library’ as a course. The administration of NOUN and other universities should provide the enabling environment in the libraries and on their campuses to facilitate the use of electronic information resources.
Keywords: Electronic information resources, ICT skills, Information literacy, National Open University of Nigeria, Undergraduates