Information literacy of U.S. and Indian engineering undergraduates

Roman Taraban, Damodar Suar, Kristin Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To be competitive, contemporary engineers must be capable of both processing and communicating information effectively. Available research suggests that Indian students would be disadvantaged in information literacy in their language of instruction (English) compared to U.S. students because English is not Indian students' native language. Compared to U.S. students, Indian students (a) were predicted to apply practical text processing strategies to a greater extent than analytic strategies and (b) endorse the direct transmission of information over critical, interpretive analysis of information. Two validated scales measuring self-reported use of reading strategies and beliefs about interpreting and critiquing written information were administered to engineering students at an Indian Institute of Technology in their freshman to senior years. Neither prediction was supported: Indian students reported applying analytic strategies over pragmatic strategies and were more disposed to critically analyze information rather than accept it passively. Further, Indian students reported being more analytic and more reflective in their reading behaviors than U.S. engineering students. Additional data indicated that U.S. and Indian students' text-processing strategies and beliefs are associated with the texts that they read and their academic behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number244
JournalSpringerPlus
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural differences
  • Epistemological beliefs
  • Information literacy
  • Text processing strategies

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