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Making Sense of the Information Seeking Process of Undergraduates in a Specialised University: Revelations from Dialogue Journaling on WhatsApp Messenger ARTICLE

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IJELLO Volume 13, Number 1, ISSN 1552-2237 Publisher: Informing Science Institute

Abstract

Aim/Purpose: The research work investigated the information seeking process of undergraduates in a specialised university in Nigeria, in the course of a group assignment. Background: Kuhlthau\u2019s Information Search Process (ISP) model is used as lens to reveal how students interact with information in the affective, cognitive and physical realms. Methodology: Qualitative research methods were employed. The entire seventy-seven third year students in the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas and their course lecturer were the participants. Group assignment question was analysed using Bloom\u2019s Taxonomy while the information seeking process of the students was garnered through dialogue journaling on WhatsApp Messenger. Contribution: The research explicates how students\u2019 information seeking behaviour can be captured beyond the four walls of a classroom by using a Web 2.0 tool such as WhatsApp Messenger. Findings: The apparent level of uncertainty, optimism, and confusion/doubt common in the initiation, selection, and exploration phases of the ISP model and low confidence levels were not markedly evident in the students. Consequently, Kuhlthau\u2019s ISP model could not be applied in its entirety to the study\u2019s particular context of teaching and learning due to the nature of the assignment. Recommendations for Practitioners: The study recommends that the Academic Planning Unit (APU) should set a benchmark for all faculties and, by extension, the departments in terms of the type/scope and number of assignments per semester, including learning outcomes. Recommendation for Researchers: Where elements of a guided approach to learning are missing, Kuhlthau\u2019s ISP may not be employed. Therefore, alternative theory, such as Theory of Change could explain the poor quality of education and the type of intervention that could enhance students\u2019 learning. Impact on Society: The ability to use emerging technologies is a form of literacy that is required by the 21st century work place. Hence, the study demonstrates students\u2019 adaptation to emerging technology. Future Research: The study is limited to only one case site. It would be more helpful to the Nigerian society to have this study extended to other universities for the purpose of generalisation and appropriate intervention.

Citation

Krubu, D., Zinn, S. & Hart, G. (2017). Making Sense of the Information Seeking Process of Undergraduates in a Specialised University: Revelations from Dialogue Journaling on WhatsApp Messenger. Interdisciplinary Journal of E-Learning and Learning Objects, 13(1), 19-36. Informing Science Institute. Retrieved October 18, 2017 from .

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