L.C. Chen, Y.H. Chen

National Chiayi University (TAIWAN)
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of six-year integrated information literacy instruction on elementary students’ memory and comprehension of subject contents through inquiry learning. Students’ gender was the main focus of this study. The subjects were 75 students who have participated in this study since they entered an elementary school in Chiayi district, Taiwan. This elementary school adopted the integrated information literacy instruction, designed by the researchers and elementary school teachers, and integrated it into various subject matters via the Super3 and Big6 frameworks of inquiry-based learning. A series of inquiry-based integrated information literacy instruction has been implemented since the second semester of the subjects’ first grade. A total of eleven inquiry learning projects has been implemented from grade one through grade six. Nine memory tests and eleven comprehension test were used as pretests and posttests to assess students’ factual recall and conceptual understanding of subject contents in different projects. Data were collected over six years from eleven inquiry projects and analyzed by SPSS 20. Paired sample t test were conducted to measure students’ improvements in memory and comprehension between pretests and posttests. In addition, pair-wise comparisons (i.e., male vs. female group) were used to obtain the difference between gender. Then effect sizes (Cohen’s d) were calculated in order to determine the relative magnitudes of experimental treatments and to judge the practical meaningfulness of the results derived.

The results showed that inquiry-based integrated information literacy instruction could help students memorize facts, comprehend concepts of subject contents and apply them in new situations. In general, the average of progression in comprehension learning is higher than in memory learning after receiving the six-year integrated information literacy instruction. Regardless of gender, they improved significantly in both memory and comprehension learning. There were no gender differences in memory learning. However, among eleven projects, there were significant differences in comprehension learning in five projects, where females performed better than males. These five projects were across various areas of social studies, science, and language arts. In other words, gender is a moderating factor of students’ comprehension through inquiry-based learning.