Improving Master’s students’ information literacy through online instruction

Esther Argelagos, Consuelo Garcia, Jesús Privado, I.G.J.H. Wopereis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


The ability to manage information obtained from the internet for learning purposes represents a difficult task for most students, even in higher education, where this ability takes on major importance for the writing of academic texts. The Information Problem Solving (IPS) model breaks down this ability into five different skills: defining research questions; planning research activities; searching for and locating sources; processing the information found; and organizing and presenting this information. In this study, an IPS training course was designed, implemented, and evaluated in order to train master’s students to conduct a literature review task and write their final thesis. Since the university where this course took place is completely virtual, all instruction was offered online. In addition, this pilot course was based on the Four-Component Instructional Design (4C/ID) model, which includes the following components: learning tasks, supportive information, procedural information, and part-task practice. Twenty-five master’s students participated in the full two-month course and fifty-five acted as a control group. The findings of this quasi-experimental study indicate that, upon completion, the group of students that had completed the course obtained statistically better results in activities involving the following skills: defining initial questions; planning research and conducting searches on the internet or other sources; and processing the gathered sources and materials. In terms of the ability to organize and present information, no differences were observed between the two groups. Nevertheless, the online course proved to be an excellent tool for improving students’ IPS skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe IAFOR Conference on Educational Research & Innovation 2023
Subtitle of host publicationOfficial Conference Proceedings
Place of PublicationNagoya
PublisherThe International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2023
EventThe 3rd IAFOR Conference on Educational Research & Innovation - Washington DC, United States
Duration: 21 Apr 202324 Apr 2023


ConferenceThe 3rd IAFOR Conference on Educational Research & Innovation
Abbreviated titleERI2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington DC
Internet address


  • Information Problem Solving (IPS) Skills
  • Information Literacy
  • Four-Component Instructional Design (4C/ID) Model
  • Instruction
  • Higher Education


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