K. Dolenc, A. Šorgo

University of Maribor, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (SLOVENIA)
This paper aims to focus on investigating information literacy capabilities (IL) of the end-class of Slovenian lower secondary school students at the transition point between compulsory basic education and elective upper secondary schools. The second aim was an investigation of a discrepancy between perceived and actual IL capabilities as measured by 14-items multiple-choice knowledge test and corresponding self-assessment tool.

Background of the research was a recognition that the ability to effectively retrieve, evaluate, manage and use knowledge and information plays an increasingly important role in the personal and professional development of each individual. From the point of an individual developing information literacy (IL) is an increasingly prominent need as a foundation for lifelong learning which offers an individual with an opportunity for better employment. From the standpoint of a society IL citizens can better evaluate sources and solutions that can influence the economic competitiveness of the country. However, with the development of information technology and global access to the multitude of web sources of different forms, content and value, access to information is easier but on the other hand a large quantity of information is of questionable value. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to have sufficient skills to extract the useful and trustfully data from large information sets which are available.

For measurement of the actual knowledge levels, the IL-test (ILT) was assembled as a multiple-choice instrument composed of 14 questions, each offering a choice of four possible answers. The modified ILT used in this research contained 14 multiple choice questions which were recognized as relevant for lower secondary students and were tested in previous research of IL at higher educational levels (Boh et al., 2016). Each question was accompanied by a subquestion about the difficulty level of each question on a scale between very easy (1) to very difficult (5). The research was conducted in 8 urban and suburban lower secondary schools. We collected responses of 144 students in Slovenia. The main findings reveal that the students perceive themselves as above average but the IL test showed only average results.

The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency for support to the project “Development, testing and validation of an autonomous intelligent and adaptive e-learning system for the improvement of information literacy of adolescents”, grant no. J5-8230.
No conflict of interests is reported for the study.
Primary data and research instruments are available on request from the corresponding author.

[1] Boh Podgornik, B., Dolničar, D., Šorgo, A., & Bartol, T. (2016). Development, testing, and validation of an information literacy test (ILT) for higher education. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(10), 2420-2436.