Use of Internet as a reference tool among East African School of Library and Information Sciences (EASLIS) Undergraduate Students
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The purpose of the project is to develop a guide on the use of internet as a reference tool among EASLIS undergraduate students. The study objectives were to; identify the different reference tools students use at EASLIS, establish the kind of information students look for on the internet, determine the challenges students experience in their efforts to use the internet services and develop a guide on the use of internet as a reference tool among EASLIS students. The study used a case study research design while adopting both qualitative and quantitative research approaches in presenting the data. Data was collected using interviews, questionnaires and observation methods. Simple random and purposive sampling methods were used to select 70 respondents who participated in the study. The study found out that although their basic internet and computer skills were at a high level, more training was required to enable them to explore the internet resources at a deeper level. Furthermore, inadequate facilities militated against the full utilisation of internet resources. Factors that influenced their effective use of the internet and the problems they experienced when using the internet were also explored. The study found vigorous use of the internet among the respondents and this, according to the respondents, has impacted their academic work positively especially in terms of exchanging research information and student–lecturer communication. The study concluded that most of the students who participated in the study were aware of the internet services offered by the EASLIS. Most of them had taught themselves to use the internet or learned from colleagues. Formal training did not play a big role in developing network skills. The respondents‟ skills in the use of ICT tools to access the information in a networked environment were limited. Many applications (such as blogging, video sharing and discussion groups) which may facilitate students‟ collaborative and communicative activities were not widely used. The study recommended that access to the internet is paramount for students‟ effective use of the internet and related resources, and should be considered a priority at the EASLIS, Skills training in the use of both the computer and the internet should be extended to students at all levels and Marketing e-resources should be intensified in all the departments of the EASLIS.