Information Literacy Self-Efficacy within a Medical Curriculum

Datum: 1 juni 2018

Locatie: UAntwerp, Stadscampus, Hof van Liere, W. Elsschotzaal - Prinsstraat 13 - 2000 Antwerpen (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Tijdstip: 14 uur

Promovendus: Ann De Meulemeester

Promotor: Prof. dr. Pierre Delsaerdt, prof. dr. Sven De Maeyer

Korte beschrijving: Doctoraatsverdediging Ann De Meulemeester - Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte / Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen

Abstract (English) 
Research conducted in 2011-2016 at Ghent University

Considering the rapid pace of progress in medicine, the medical profession should definitely be aware of the importance of lifelong learning. Information literacy self-efficacy (ILSE) plays a crucial role in the development of lifelong learning. Therefore, curriculum developers and medical educators need to have a good understanding of ILSE, in order to decide when to integrate specific support and training in their curricula.

This PhD dissertation investigates the conditions for an effective training of information literacy skills in the context of an academic medical curriculum. The research analyses the evolution of the ILSE for all medical students at Ghent University (Belgium) from 2011-2016.

To evaluate medical students’ ILSE, the research aimed at developing a validated and usable measurement tool: an ILSE scale to be used in a medical curriculum. An existing standardized scale (ILSES) was enriched with ten specific medical items and validated within a 6-year medical curriculum. The new scale, the Information Literacy Self-Efficacy Scale for Medicine (ILSES-M), consists of 5 subscales labelled as: ‘Evaluating and Processing Information’; ‘Medical Information Literacy Skills’; ‘Searching and Finding Information’, ‘Using the Library’ and ‘Bibliography’, all well-defined information literacy skills.

To investigate the effectiveness of the ILSES-M, the scale was tested on a longitudinal basis (to measure the development of medical students’ ILSE), and in a specific educational case (integrated information literacy course in the first year) pre-and post-intervention ILSE scores were analysed. In both cases, the ILSES-M appeared to be a reliable tool, e.g. for formulating recommendations to integrate information literacy training in the curriculum.

This research recommends a vertical integration of information literacy into medical curricula: a continuous development of information literacy skills throughout the programme, by activating and stimulating the actual use of these skills. Different implementations are clearly needed to enhance students’ learning. The longitudinal study shows that when there is no real use of the skills, the ILSE decreases. Pre- and post-interventions show that integrating a ‘search-report’ increases the development of ILSE and that adding a peer review is positive for the ILSE in relation to the medical information literacy skills. In general, student’s ILSE increases overall in more recent academic years. The development towards more specialised information literacy skills prove to influence students’ awareness and thus self-efficacy.

Furthermore, training and guidance need to be integrated at appropriate times and should be adapted at the level of information literacy skills appropriate in the learning process.

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