Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development > Vol. 5, No. 3 (2008)

Commencing undergraduates’ self-efficacy and ability in finding academic resources: Are they improving?

Beverley L. Oliver


Many studies suggest that young people, including commencing undergraduates are increasing ‘Net-savvy’ and sophisticated users of information and communication technologies devices and techniques, including the ability to find information. This paper reports on the self-efficacy and ability of two cohorts of students (one in 1999-2000 and the other in 2004-5) in finding websites and journals for academic purposes. The results suggest that the more recent cohorts have greater confidence in their ability to find websites and journals for academic study, and that their confidence is justified. However, evidence suggests that that are more confident than they should be, and that academic and information literacy programmes for commencing students are necessary to ensure our recent and more ‘Net-savvy’ students are also ‘search-savvy’.

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