Information Literacy Skills of First Year Pharmacy Students: Focus Group Results
AffiliationArizona Health Sciences Library, The University of Arizona
Department of Pharmacy Practice & Science, College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona
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DescriptionPoster presentation. American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting 2011.
AbstractTo assess the information literacy skills of incoming first year pharmacy students using focus groups. The findings from the focus group will be used to develop a tool for assessing information literacy skills of all entering students. Two focus group sessions were held with a total of fourteen student volunteers in the second semester of their first professional year. A series of nine open-ended questions were given with follow-up probing questions. Each session was fifty-five minutes and was held during lunch. Both sessions were audio recorded for accuracy, transcribed, and analyzed. These students had skill levels ranging from low to high. The typical search strategy was first using Wikipedia, then PubMed and then MD Consult. Students indicated they did not use physical resources, but relied on electronic resources. If an article was not available electronically, they would not retrieve it. They also had trouble understanding the difference between types of databases and how to search them and would often rely on Google. Insights provided by the students will allow both the librarians and the instructors to make adjustments in their instruction of information seeking skills and will help in creating a survey tool for incoming first year students prior to starting fall courses to determine their information literacy skills. Being able to address deficiencies and strengths in their skills through effective instruction will benefit future students in their competency skills as they enter rotations and ultimately professional practice.