Information literacy competencies of masters of business administration students: A case study of Makerere University Business School
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Information literacy (IL) competency is a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes towards recognizing when and why information is needed where to find, how to evaluate, manage and apply it, synthesize, use and communicate it ethically. Information literacy (IL) competencies are relevant in today's information age. This is because they influence the ease with which students can access or retrieve pertinent information to promote good academic outcomes. This research examined the information literacy (IL) competencies of MBA students at Makerere University Business School (MUBS). The objectives of the study were: i) to establish the information literacy needs of MUBS master of business administration students; ii) to establish the IL competency acquired from the existing IL training programme offered by MUBS library to MBA students; iii) to establish the contribution of IL competencies in the access and utilisation of information resources offered by MUBS library to MBA students and iv) to identify the setbacks in the effective provision of information literacy programmes by MUBS library to MBA students. A case study research design was used for this study with a mixed methods research approach. The study population was composed of 47 people who were all adopted as the sample size using census sampling. Data collection methods used to collect data included interviews and self-administered closed-ended questionnaires. The findings from the study revealed several IL needs for MBA students as; regular IL instructions on library use, computer training, and information search skills, research skills, referencing, citation and ethical use of information. It was also revealed that the majority of MBA students acquired skills of identifying information needs and very few acquired other skills like locating information needed, evaluating and search skills. The study further revealed the contributions of ILC as; access to relevant information, independent search and computer use. Several setbacks such as unstable internet connectivity, lack of IL policy poor search skills, lack of awareness and unstable power supple were established from the study. It was concluded that many MBA students lack the skills needed to effectively organise and critically evaluate research. It was further concluded that there was inadequate IL training for xv postgraduate students, especially on search strategy and hence reflecting the low level of search strategies as well possessing marginal knowledge of IL skills and knowledge among students. Additionally, while awareness of the availability of the various library information resources was another IL competence which has enabled some of the MBA students to use the library information materials, many students were not aware of the available information resources as well as lacked basic ICT skills. Lastly, the various setbacks to effective provision of IL programmes affected the IL competencies of MBA students at MUBS. Based on the conclusions, it was recommended that MBA students at MUBS should receive training in IL search and evaluation skills from qualified personnel. It was also recommended that the MUBS librarian in partnership with the relevant stakeholders should develop an IL policy to guide IL implementation, design and teaching activities. It was further recommended MBA students should receive digital literacy training and be informed of the available information materials by the relevant stakeholders. Lastly, MUBS' management to resolve the challenges affecting the effective provision of IL competencies of MBA students at MUBS such as recruiting qualified staff, training students and improving the internet connectivity.