Self-Efficacy And Use Of Online Information Resources Among Undergraduates In Babcock University

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

Self-Efficacy And Use Of Online Information Resources Among Undergraduates In Babcock University


Abstract


The study investigates the influence of self-efficacy on online information use among undergraduate students of Babcock University. The study adopted survey design method. The multi stage sampling technique was used to select a sample of 255 students from the population. Data were collected through the use of questionnaire. The data gathered were coded and analysed using descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation and inferential statistics of regression. All analysis was carried out using SPSS. The result of the findings reveals that there is high level of self-efficacy among the undergraduate students; there is high level of online information usage and that self-efficacy has positive and significant effect on online information usage among undergraduate students. The study recommends that programmes and workshop that will help increase students’ self-efficacy should be organised in the institutions yearly as this will go a long way of increasing the online information used by the undergraduate students.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Although information gathering and use patterns in the traditional print environment have been researched into over the years, the electronic environment presents a new and relatively unexplored area for such study. Some early effects of the increasing availability of electronic resources are already apparent. These dramatic changes include the way in which information is provided to undergraduate students. The online Information for libraries Network has their fundamental objective, which has been to create interfaces with the global knowledge systems. It is said that students show an increased reliance on online databases and electronic resources, especially when the products are made available by libraries at no cost. “A recent study at Princeton on e-journals revealed that the smallest percentages of both users and non-users were curiously the undergraduates” (E.J, 1998), this implies that few undergraduates were using online information resources. The advent of the internet came with information boom which in turn made it easier to obtain information, about what we want to know and what we don’t want to know. The internet contains so much information that arriving at the needed information can always be a challenge on researchers, especially undergraduates today as information comes in such a wide variety. When specific information is needed, resources concerning said topic might not necessarily be directly what the student is in need of. Therefore there is a need to understand and identify key point of a research which can link with the topic of research needed by the student becomes the goal. The use of online resources is be geared toward the understanding and application of online information acquired, this information must be analyzed carefully so that new concepts can be developed on existing ones instead of just repeating the same thing but in a different manner. The use of information can be said to be knowledge.

Self-efficacy in use of online information resources or internet self-efficacy allows us to understand that the use of online resources is heavily reliant on the self-efficacy level of the person in question especially when trying to acquire a certain/specific piece of information to complete a task. Models such as TAM, LOC, and so on, are used to describe this relationship. Recently, it has also been suggested that the today’s male and female undergraduates’ are pragmatic, their sights are set less on intellectual development than professional advancement and the utilitarian promise of higher education appeals to their desire to remain competitive and to increase personal income. (Shaw and Giacquinta, 2000) “Reported that their findings suggested two results, the first being that frequently held beliefs that older adult students showed more resistance than do younger students toward computing for academic purposes and that males are more involved”. Self-efficacy applies to the use of online information materials as it is a state of mind rather than a material law, it allows for flexibility, only increasing proficiency and re-enforcing that belief through practice and accumulation of experience. In general terms self-efficacy can be counted as a factor that affects the use of online information resources. As there is interconnectedness between the two concepts there must be certain lines that affect them either directly or inversely e.g. time, motivation, access etc.

Bandura’s premise on self-efficacy is the most recognized and practical theory in psychology today, stating it as a person belief in themselves to complete certain behavior or a set of behaviors (Bandura, 1997:2). It can also be defined as the belief to attain desired results. Self-efficacy applies to all points in life not limited to the work place it is relevant to studying, carrying out assignments, research, and so on. Information resources on the other hand, simply refer to resources (books, internet, journals, encyclopedia, dictionary, televisions, etc.) that are available to aid in the provision of information or the increase of the user’s knowledge. Online information resources on the other hand refer to resources (e-books, w-journals, online databases, e-library, search engines, etc.) that has been gotten from the internet and assists in the increment of knowledge for the user.

Self-efficacy can be rated as one to the top 3 things needed for a student to develop in life. Self-efficacy is related and linked to multiple different concepts such self-esteem, self-regulation, motivation, resilience, and confidence which allows a student to grow. If students lose the belief that they can achieve something, then it would never be tried by the students without even confirming that the task was really too difficult to achieve. Competition breads the character of a student, when success becomes frequent there tends to be an increase in the student productivity because of the buildup of self-efficacy.

Use of online information resources has a few obstacles that affect the ability of the user to make adequate use of the information provided, included in this are information overload, false posting, availability of internet connection, etc. “A study of undergraduates showed that they looked for the fastest way that would lead to satisfactory results when doing research, going for electronic information sources first” (Valentine, 1993), therefore there is a need for speed so they could download materials that may possibly be useless to their need, even too much clouding their judgment on the topic at hand. ICT has become the major factor of determining potential employees, therefore the need to familiarize one’s self with the necessary computer skills and the adaptation in using information to fulfilling tasks allows for a greater possibility of employment after graduation.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Online information is highly sought after as we are in the age that identifies the need for information heavily. Among students the need becomes even greater as it is needed for assignments, projects and others; therefore self-efficacy of students in their use of online information resources becomes a point to be reviewed.


1.3 Objective of Study

The objective of this study is to investigate the influence of self-efficacy on the use of online information resources among undergraduate students in Babcock University.

These objectives specific to this study are:

  1. To identify the level of self-efficacy within the undergraduates.
  2. To identify how much online information is used amongst them.
  3. To determine the amount of influence self-efficacy has on online information use among undergraduates.
  4. To find out the challenges faced when using online information resources.

1.4 Research Questions

If we are to attain answers to the objectives set, we use these research questions as a guide;

  1. What is the level at which undergraduate self-efficacy is at?
  2. What is the level to which use of online information resources is at among undergraduates?
  3. What are the challenges faced with the use of online information resources?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

In an effort to attain the needed results from the objectives previously stated we raise this hypothesis:

Self-efficacy has no significant influence on online information resource use among undergraduates.


1.6 Significance of the Study

In this study we are driven to try and identify what and the how of self-efficacy and its influence on online information resource use among undergraduates in babcock university. As it is with all things awareness of self-efficacy, can make or break a student in the sense that they become unable to carry out any tasks due to the lack of it, or do more than is necessary with too much of it. As self-efficacy has already been defined as the belief in Babcock undergraduates’ ability to carry out tasks, this study enables readers to identify ways to increase student’s self-efficacy, giving them a way to better themselves. Online information resources are used by the majority if not all students in Babcock University, which means if self-efficacy does influence the use of online information resources it will be necessary for teachers to know this an aid in developing them. With this study we seek to identify problems faced in use of online information resources and come up with possible solutions to these problems.


1.7 Scope and Limitations of Study

This research is aimed towards the identification of the influence of self-efficacy on the use of online information resources among undergraduate students in Babcock. The self-efficacy and online information use scale I set centers around nine statements. These statements will be graded on 1-5 points, where respondents would choose which suits them best (“1-strongly agree”, “2-agree”, “3-not sure”, “4-disagree”, “5-strongly disagree”). They can receive a point in the range of 9 to 45, 9 to 18 being low, 19 to 35 as medium, and 36 to 45 as high.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Self-Efficacy:

This is defined as the confidence in Babcock undergraduates’ ability to complete tasks.

Online Information Resources:

As stated in the definition of information resources it refers to materials (e-books, e-journals, search engines, etc) online that can provide information to a user.

Online Information Resources Use:

It is the application of information gotten from an online resource used to carry out assignments, projects, researches and so on.

Undergraduate:

Is defined as a student that has yet to attain their first degree.


Self-Efficacy And Use Of Online Information Resources Among Undergraduates In Babcock University


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Self-Efficacy And Use Of Online Information Resources Among Undergraduates In Babcock University


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