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ASSESSMENT OF INFORMATION NEEDS AND SEEKING BEHAVIOUR OF POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

  • Type:Project
  • Chapters:5
  • Pages:77
  • Methodology:Simple Percentage
  • Reference:YES
  • Format:Microsoft Word
(Library Science Project Topics & Materials)

ASSESSMENT OF INFORMATION NEEDS AND SEEKING BEHAVIOUR OF POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE..........
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY ........
1.1 Introduction ........
1.2 Background to the Study
1.2.1 Information Needs of Postgraduate Students .......
1.2.2 Information Seeking Behaviour of Postgraduate Students ..
1.2.3 Information Resources Use .............
1.2.4 Challenges Faced by Postgraduate Students .....
1.2.5 Context of the Study ...................
1.3 Statement of the Problem ...........
1.4 Aim of the Study....................................
1.4.1 Specific Objectives ................................
1.5 Research Questions...............
1.6 Assumption of the Study........................
1.7 Scope of the Study ............................
1.8 Limitation of the Study .............................................
1.9 Significance of the Study ..............................
1.10 Definition of Operational Terms ........................
1.10 Chapter Summary ...................
CHAPTER TWO...................................

LITERATURE REVIEW ........................
2.1 Introduction ..................................................

2.2. Theoretical Framework .....
2.2.1. Wilson’s (199) Model of Information Behaviour...
2.3 Information Seeking Behaviour of Postgraduate Students ....
2.4 Information Needs of Postgraduate Students .........
2.5 Academic Research and Learning in Modern Academic Librar
2.6 Information Resources Preferred by Postgraduate Students
2.6.1 Electronic Information Resources ......
2.7 Challenges of Accessing Information.......
2.8 Conceptual Framework ............................
2.9 Chapter Summary .....................
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ........
3.1 Introduction ...................
3.2 Research Design .............
3.3 Area of Study....................................................
3.4 Target Population ...........
3.5 Sample and Sampling Techniques..........
3.5.1 Sample Size .........................
3.5.2 Sampling Techniques..........
3.6 Data collection Methods ...........
3.6.1 Questionnaire......................................
3.6.2 Interview Guides..........
3.7 Research Instruments .......
3.7.1 Validity..............................
3.7.2 Reliability ..................................
3.8 Data Collection Procedures...
3.10 Ethical Considerations .............................
3.11 Chapter Summary ....................................
CHAPTER FOUR ..............................................
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION........
4.0 Introduction ...............................
4.1 Response Rate of Respondents..................
4.2 Background Information of Students..................
4.3 Postgraduate Degrees.........................
4.4 Academic Library Staff........................................
4.5 Period of Study at the University ....................................
4.6 Information Needs ................................................
4.7 Information Seeking Behaviour ...............................
4.8 Hours Spent in the Library in a Week ..........................
4.9 Print and Electronic Information Resources .......
4.10 Access and Use to Electronic Resources .....................
4.11 Information Retrieval................
4.12 Level of Satisfaction ...
4.13 Challenges in Accessing Information ..
4.14 Discussions and Data Analysis
4.14.1 Information Needs of Postgraduate Students
4.14.2 Information Seeking Behaviour of Postgraduate Students ..
4.14.3 Information Resources Used .
4.14.4 Challenges Faced by Postgraduate Students during Information Seeking...
4.15 Chapter Summary ......
CHAPTER FIVE ...
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS .......
5.1 Introduction .......
5.2 Summary of the Findings ......
5.2.1 Information Needs of Postgraduate Students ..
5.2.2 Information Seeking Behaviour of Postgraduate Students .
5.2.3 Information Resources used .....
5.2.4 Challenges Faced by Postgraduate Students during Information Seeking .
5.3 Conclusion..........
5.4 Recommendations...............
5.4.1 Enhancement of Service Delivery .
5.4.2 Infrastructure Development...............
5.4.3 Improvement of Internet Connectivity.........
5.4.4 Comprehensive Collection Development .......
5.4.5 User Training.............
5.5 Suggested Areas for Further Study.............
5.6 Chapter Summary ...............

REFERENCES

APPENDIX 1: INTRODUCTION LETTER..

APPENDIX II: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS

APPENDIX III: INTERVIEW SCHEDULE..
 
ABSTRACT

The use and access of information resources is rapidly shifting due to technology advancement   and   changing   information   needs   of   postgraduate   students   and inadequate information resource tools. The purpose of the study was to assess the information   needs   and   seeking   behavior   of   postgraduate   students   in   public universities. The study’s specific objectives sought to examine the information needs of postgraduate students in public universities, examine their information seeking behavior of postgraduate students at the University of Nairobi, establish the types of information  resources  and  services  used  by  postgraduate  students,  explore  the challenges faced by postgraduate students while accessing information resources in the public  university, including possible solutions.  The  study was based on both quantitative and qualitative research methodology. The study was conducted at the University of Nairobi- main campus. The research was informed by Wilson (1999) Model  of  Information  Seeking  Behavior.  The  study  employed  stratified  random sampling technique to sample. The target population was 1,830 postgraduate students in the school of humanities and social sciences and the sample size was 328 students. Data collected was analyzed using tables, graphs, pie charts. The findings indicated 76%  of  the  respondent’s  information  seeking  behaviour  anchored  on  finding information that would primarily allow them to pass their examinations. The findings also revealed that 60% of the students sought information using various retrieval tools such  as  OPAC  to  be  of  main  importance  in  their  diverse  needs  for  accessing information.  Furthermore,  inadequate  e-resources,  poor  quality  service  delivery, inadequate IT infrastructure, inadequate user training, and slow internet connection were identified as major challenges. The recommended strategies for improvement were that, libraries should increase the allocation of internet bandwidth, improve on the service delivery and offer frequent information literacy to the students.  The study will be useful in guiding public universities and other academic libraries in providing access to information.

LIST OF TABLES

Table 3.1: Sampling Frame......

Table 4.1: Postgraduate Degrees 

Table 4.2: Access and Use to Electronic Resources

Table 4.3: Information Retrieval.
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
 CD-ROM    Compact Disc Read-Only Memory
 E-books    Electronic books
 E-Journals    Electronic journals
 ICT    Information Communication Technology
 IR    Institutional Repository
 IT    Information Technology
 JKML    Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library
 MBA    Masters in Business Administration
 OPAC    Online Public Access Catalogue
 SNS    Social Networking Sites
 UON    University Of Nairobi
 URL    Universal Resource Locator
 VPN    Virtual Private Network
 CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.1  Introduction
This study investigated information seeking behaviour of postgraduate students at the University  of  Nairobi  JKML.  This  chapter  explains  the  concept  of  information seeking behaviour and its associated terms in the context of this study. "Information- seeking behaviour is a broad term encompassing the ways individuals articulate their information needs, seek, select, evaluate, and use the needed information" (Majid, 2002). Additionally, they indicate that individuals or groups often have to perform different  work  roles  at  different  stages  of  their  careers  and  often  face  various challenges and problems that require solutions. As a result, they encounter knowledge gaps  that  trigger  information  needs  resulting  in  the  information-seeking  process (Majid, 2002). Information seeking behaviour is an area of dynamic interest among librarians,    information    scientist,    communication    scientists,    sociologist,    and
psychologists. Information seeking behaviour is expressed in various forms, from reading printed material to research and experimentation (Bhatti, 2010).
1.2 Background to the Study
This  research  work  delves  into  the  access  of  print  and  electronic  information resources in regard to the information seeking behaviour of postgraduate students at University of Nairobi-main campus.
1.2.1 Information Needs of Postgraduate Students
Higher  academic  institutions  have  libraries  as  their  central  educational  systems, assisting in the improvement of learning and dissemination of knowledge to meet the information  needs  of  their  students.  This  information  resources  are  required  for student’s academic  enhancement.  Students  need  information materials to produce quality  research  work  (Kehinde  et  al.,  2016).  Information  needs  arise  when  an information user recognizes some information deficiency and desires to acquire that information (Kakai, Miriam et al. 2014). Frequent analyses of the information needs of the postgraduate students is needed for planning and acquiring what’s relevant for student’s scholarly study and knowing how easy it is for them to utilize the available information  resources.  Identifying  methods  for  searching  for  information  in  the current  era  of  information  explosion  is  very  vital  in  the  general  handling  of information.

1.2.2 Information Seeking Behaviour of Postgraduate Students
An important component for students in any learning institution is how they seek knowledge  in  their  learning  process.  The  objective  of  any  institution  of  higher learning is to satisfy its students with adequate information that is relevant, timely and easily accessible no matter the format (Donald 2012). However, some postgraduate students may have difficulties in finding relevant electronic resource that they need. In addition, in his study on information seeking, Kakai, Miriam et al. (2004) stated that several postgraduate students faced challenges while seeking academic resources required in electronic format.According to Ikoja-Odongo (2004), information seeking behaviour is the manner at which people go about looking for relevant information.
Fasola & Olabode (2013) also defined information seeking as a basic pursuit involved by all information seekers and explained through a certain manner. In our day to day activities we access and use various information systems and services not limited to either communications, such as e-mail, social networking, such as Facebook, to a bigger extent of web-based database systems and other information services (Goker &
Davis 2009).
Information seeking behaviour is revealed in various major ways, including reading printed resources to research and experimentation (Catalano (2013). Those people who  seek  information  make  active  and  deliberate  efforts  to  look  for  current information from the library resources, including, electronic sources. It’s imperative to  point  out  that  the  rise  of  information  technology  especially  in  the  academic environment has radically influenced the way libraries and information services are providing their services and has brought about significant changes in the ways in which information is consumed.
1.2.3 Information Resources Use
Information is an important and key resource for every institution of higher learning. Libraries are organized knowledge hubs where users can access diverse information sources. Gunasekera (2010) indicated that libraries can build their collections and facilities to meet user’s satisfaction.   The learning process of researchers is hugely dependant on the richness of the library collection, development of enabling library technologies  and  the  quality  of  the  information  service  delivery  in  a  library environment.
1.2.4 Challenges Faced by Postgraduate Students
Any negative outcome to information search is also defined by Ogba (2012) as an impeding and limited way which affects a person looking for information or requires to find more specific information. All these can be categorized as barriers to access information resources and inability to search and use information resources given that academic  library  users  need  information  for  education,  training  and  research  to address their information needs. Fasola and Olabode (2013) and Onuaho and Awoniyi (2011) reveal the barriers that face  students in universities and academic institutions when  seeking  and  searching  information  resources  in  the  library  collections  are limited   time, lack of internet facilities and connections, inadequate and irrelevant library materials. The library professions have been criticised for not being supportive while offering services, with a lack of proper attitude to their patrons, and lacking training  and  knowledge  of  using  e-resources.  Okite-Amughoro,  Makgahlela  and Bopape (2014) also states that postgraduate students are conversant of the library resources contained in the library in both print and electronic, but have challenges in accessing  them  due  to  poor  internet  connection  in  campus,  lack  of  information literacy to search information and limited space in the library.

1.2.5 Context of the Study
The University of Nairobi was established in 1956 initially as the Royal Technical College with admission of A-level students in April 1956. It was then changed to the second  University  College  in  East  Africa  on  25th  June,  1961  by  the  Scottish mathematician  Prof James  Morton  Hyslop,  gaining  support  from  University  of London.  The  university  commenced  enrolment  of  students  in  various  academic disciplines  such  as  the  Arts,  Science  and  Engineering  while  still  offering  the
professional diploma.  In 1970, it became the first national University in the country and thus it was renowned as the University of Nairobi. University of Nairobi Library fully identifies with the philosophy of the University as spelt out in its mission and vision. The vision is to be a world class information centre committed to excellence in the provision, dissemination and preservation of knowledge. (University of Nairobi, 2018).
The  tasks  of  the  University  Library  System  towards  the  accomplishment  of  the functions and objectives enlisted in the University of Nairobi Act 1985, to carry out basic functions of acquiring, organizing and disseminating information in support of the University mission. More precisely it is designed to deliver reading, reference, research materials and other library services to the students, academic staff, non- academic staff and to a limited number of the external community authorized to access the facility. (University of Nairobi, 2018).
The University of Nairobi Library System is composed of twelve libraries grouped into six college libraries plus a central library. The central library known as Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library (JKML) also houses the administration, central services such as acquisitions, cataloguing coordinating unit, the union catalogues, the bindery and the archives. The system has a total stock of approximately 750,000 volumes, inclusive of books, periodicals and other non-print materials. The stock is divided into a general lending materials and specialized research collections to support scholarly work.  Books  in  the  library  system  are  classified  by  the  Library  of  Congress Classification Scheme. A union catalogue of library materials held in the system is maintained in the JKML.
Strategic objectives of the University of Nairobi Library;
To  provide  access  to  information  for  teaching,  learning,  research  and consultancy.
To  enhance  Library  facilities  and  environment  for  improved  information delivery.
To enhance staff capacity and innovativeness.
To establish and promote collaborations and partnerships for resource-sharing. (University of Nairobi, 2018).
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Postgraduate  students  from  diverse  disciplines  have  got  different  approaches  of information seeking for both print and electronic information resources. Globally, postgraduate students in search for information are vulnerable to challenges such as existing information gaps in their pursuit of their scholarly works. (Kalantari 2017). This situation is not any different for postgraduate students in East Africa as well as local universities in Kenya. The researcher in her capacity as a postgraduate student at the University of Nairobi observed that postgraduate students seem to suffer from inability to utilize the core retrieval tools used to retrieve information, lack adequate training on IT user skills such as use of web based resources available at JKML library and inadequate space especially with the growing students’ population (Sakaja 2011).
This view compares favourably with Sakaja, (2011) who observed that access to electronic resources by students at the extra mural department of the University of Nairobi  has  been  hindered  by  unreliable  internet  connectivity  within  the  library facility and undeveloped technological infrastructure. According to Okite et al, (2014) postgraduate students at Delta State  university,
According to (Wasike (2012); Otike (2000); and Adika, (2003) postgraduate students’ information needs and seeking behaviour may be associated with certain challenges that students have in optimally utilizing academic library resources.
1.4 Aim of the Study
The aim of this study was to investigate the information needs and seeking behaviour of postgraduate students in public universities.
1.4.1 Specific Objectives
The specific objectives of this study were to:
1.  Examine the information needs of postgraduate students at the University of Nairobi.
2.  Examine the information seeking behaviour of the postgraduate students at the University of Nairobi.
3.  Establish the types of information resources and services used by postgraduate students at the University of Nairobi.
4.  Explore the major challenges faced by postgraduate students while accessing information resources at the University of Nairobi library including possible solutions.

1.5 Research Questions
This study was guided by the following research questions:
1.  What are the information needs of postgraduate students at the University of Nairobi?
2.  Are  there  common  information  seeking  behaviour  of  postgraduate  at  the University of Nairobi?
3.  What are the types of information resources used by postgraduate students at the University of Nairobi?
4.  Are  there  key  challenges  that  postgraduate  students  face  while  accessing information sources at the University of Nairobi?
5.  What are the possible solutions in relation to the challenges that hinder access to information resources at the University of Nairobi?
1.6 Assumption of the Study

The following are the research assumptions.

1.  Information literacy enhances individual capabilities of accessing information resources from the library facility.

2.  Access to electronic resources is a very crucial factor in determining the users’ satisfaction levels.
 
1.7 Scope of the Study

Scope of this research study was basically defined as the extent of the content to be revised by the research in order to establish more logical conclusions (Walliman 2011). This research project was carried out at the University of Nairobi - main campus  in Nairobi  with the  purpose  of  assessing information seeking needs and behaviour of the postgraduate students. This study is grounded on Wilson’s (1999) nested model of information behaviour which essentially embraces the generation, acquisition, use and communication of the information. The target population that was used for this study was confined to the postgraduate students.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

This are the challenges that the researcher encountered during data collection. The anticipated challenges of data collection were: Due to the nature of the quantitative and qualitative research emphasised here the study was not exempted to limitations in the homogeneity of the sample population and representation. The study was only limited to the University of Nairobi library and postgraduate students taking Masters in Business Administration and Information Sciences.  Therefore, this cannot be extrapolate representational to additional academic institutions.

1.9 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study were two fold; to help the students to have a positive attitude while seeking and using information resources at the University of Nairobi and also help the policy makers of University of Nairobi to put in place the right mechanism  of  addressing  students’  challenges  in  terms  of  accessing  information resources. The expectations are that postgraduate students of University of Nairobi will improve their skills of accessing information sources efficiently. The goal of this study was to help improve students’ experience in accessing library resources. To academics  and  practitioners,  it  may build  the body of  knowledge  on  top  of  the existing and may enhance translation of theory to practice.

1.10 Definition of Operational Terms Information Need
The concept of information needs is the simple process of asking questions in a systematic way within the universe of knowledge.
Information Seeking

Basically it’s the information seekers’ constructive determination to get meaning from information. This process constitutes a series of experiences with information within a given period time.
Information Seeking Behaviour

Information seeking begins when a person recognizes that the present condition of possessed knowledge is not what is needed to deal with some knowledge gap. The skills in which the information searcher uses to access the required information in relation to his or her specific needs.
Information Use

Indicates  the  purpose  which  accessed  and  acquired  information  both  in  print  or electronic is used for academic and knowledge purpose.
Public University

A university which is predominantly funded by the government entity.
User Studies

User studies seeks to comprehend the established patterns of information seekers, information requirements and what really drives them by the use of observations and various feedback mechanisms in a meaningful manner.

1.10 Chapter Summary

The chapter introduces the research study and the reason of conducting the study, history  of  the  case  study,  the  extent  and  challenges  of  the  study.  This  chapter illustrates the problem statement that led to the researcher undertaking this study with regard to the stated problem, broad and specific objectives and hypothesis that were used to guide the researcher. Also discussed in this chapter is the significance of the study and definition of the terms used.





ASSESSMENT OF INFORMATION NEEDS AND SEEKING BEHAVIOUR OF POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI

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Details

Type Project
Department Library Science
Project ID LIS0154
Price ₦3,000 ($20)
Chapters 5 Chapters
No of Pages 77 Pages
Methodology Simple Percentage
Reference YES
Format Microsoft Word

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    Details

    Type Project
    Department Library Science
    Project ID LIS0154
    Price ₦3,000 ($20)
    Chapters 5 Chapters
    No of Pages 77 Pages
    Methodology Simple Percentage
    Reference YES
    Format Microsoft Word

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