An exploration of the current status of information literacy tuition in South African tertiary institutions and proposals for curriculum design

Karin De Jager, Mary Nassimbeni


An investigation was launched at the University of Cape Town (UCT) with the aim of determining measurable
competencies in students' information literacy at tertiary level educational institutions. It is increasingly clear that
students need both technological skills and information competencies in order to access and employ a wide range of
electronic and other information resources. As courses are being developed to inculcate these competencies. it is
imperative to generate and incorporate a rationally justified system of standards and benchmarks according to which the
outcomes and impact of such interventions may be measured and evaluated in order to ensure continuous improvement.
Members of staff at the Centre for Information Literacy at UCT are working towards the establishment of such standards
and intend making them available to the information community throughout southern Africa in order that best practice
may be shared by all. This paper specifically reports on two exploratory surveys in which firstly. responses were received
from ten different information literacy providers from a number that had been identified at the 200 I LlASA conference.
and a follow-up survey at the 2002 LlASA conference. It concludes with a suggested approach to obtaining consensus on
preliminary standards for information literacy among South African students and a process of evaluation.

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