A. Šorgo1, T. Bartol2, D. Dolničar2, B. Boh Podgornik2

1University of Maribor (SLOVENIA)
2University of Ljubljana (SLOVENIA)
In-line with the penetration of digital technologies and applications, the term information literacy (IL) has emerged as a prerequisite to find, retrieve and evaluate information when needed. For generations born in digital-rich word, the term ‘digital natives’ was coined, to distinguish them from the older generation of ‘digital immigrants’. In a study within the project entitled “Development of information literacy of university students as a support for solving authentical science problems«, supported by the Slovenian Research Agency[1](Boh et al., 2015a) the connection between IL and attributes of digital nativeness was examined. To measure levels of IL, as the outcome variable, a new instrument based on the American Library Association (ALA/ACRL) standards for higher education was developed [2] (Boh et al. 2015b). In addition, the following predictors that can contribute toward the development of IL were examined:
a) ICT experiences;
b) number of ICT-rich university courses;
c) Internet confidence; and
d) ICT ownership.

Statistical analyses revealed that the attributes of being a digital native are poor predictors of the IL. The major findings were that:
a) the number of ICT rich university courses, if they are not carefully designed to promote IL, only marginally affects IL.
b) Diversity and frequency of applications used do not necessarily contribute to IL; some applications may have a positive and some even a negative effect.
c) Personal ownership of ICT devices (smart phones, portable and desktop computers) has no direct effect on IL; moreover, ownership of a tablet computer may be a negative predictor.
d) Thus, although personal ownership of ICT devices does have an impact on ICT experiences and Internet confidence, both are poor predictors of IL.

The tentative conclusion is that digital natives are not necessarily information literate. To achieve a sufficiently high level of IL in higher education, as defined by several IL standards, a systematic approach is needed, including the promotion of information literacy hands-on and minds-on courses based on IL standards and good practices.

[1] Boh Podgornik, B. et al. (2015a). Development of information literacy of university students as a support for solving authentical science problems, J5-5535 Project report for 2014, Ljubljana: ARRS - Slovenian Research Agency.
[2] Boh Podgornik, B., Dolničar, D., Šorgo, A., Bartol, T. (2015b). Development, testing and validation of an information literacy test (ILT) for higher education. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (accepted for publication).