Information Studies

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    Information security of medical records at R K Khan Hospital in the province of Kwazulu- Natal.
    (University of Zululand, 2022) Maphumulo, Rebone; Luthuli, L P
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    Digital literacies in high schools within uMhlathuze Local Municipalities
    (University of Zululand, 2023) Mbalo, Athini; Jiyane, G.V. and Evans, N.D.
    The concept of digital competence is central to this study and can be broadly defined as skills, knowledge, creativity, and attitudes that everybody needs to use digital media for learning and functioning in the knowledge society. It is undeniable that we live in an information age in which everyone is dependent on electronic tools to access data. Digital incompetence affects people of all ages and that is why it is important for children, young adults, and adults to have digital skills. The foundation for the growth of digital competences should start in the foundation phases of early education to prepare learners for the digitised world they will experience in different stages of their lives. Most studies on similar topics did not cover grade level education and that is why this study focused on grade 11 learners. Educators are also imperative role players in the development of learners’ digital skills, as they are the ones responsible for facilitating the lessons to the learners. The study found that it was important that the educators’ digital competences also be investigated. The study primarily sought to establish the digital literacy programmes offered at high schools in the uMhlathuze Local Municipality, assess the digital literacy competences of learners and educators from high schools in the uMhlathuze Local Municipality and establish challenges faced by high schools in the uMhlathuze Local Municipality with regard to digital literacy education. Two frameworks were adopted in this study. Baharuddin’s digital literacy framework (2016), which was used to understand the learners’ digital competences and digital tools used by the selected high schools. The second framework was the TPACK (Technological pedagogical content knowledge) framework by Mishra and Koehler (2006). This framework was used to understand how educators apply the three constructs of the framework when they teach learners. The study adopted a post-positivism research paradigm in line for the type of data the study sought to collect. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were adopted in this study, as well as a survey and case study research designs. The target population for this study was grade 11 learners and grade 11 educators from three selected high schools located in different geographic areas in the uMhlathuze Local Municipality. Simple random sampling was used to administer 234 questionnaires to grade 11 high school learners and two educators were interviewed through the purposive sampling technique. Quantitative data from the questionnaires were analysed using descriptive analysis and the qualitative data from interviews were analysed with the use of the thematic analysis method. The findings of the study revealed that two of the three selected high schools offered digital literacy programmes at their schools, even though one of those two schools indicated a shortage of infrastructure. The findings of the study discovered that the majority (33%) of the learners had good digital literacy skills, 27% had average digital skills, a few (13%) had poor digital skills and a minority (11%) had excellent digital skills. The findings also revealed that the educators were highly qualified to teach digital-based subjects and had good and excellent digital skills. Furthermore, the study established different challenges faced by the high schools during digital literacy classes, such as power outages, which disturb examinations, no internet connection, slow computers and a shortage in resources. The study therefore concluded that a digital divide exists between schools located in different geographic areas. Learners that attend schools in rural areas are still digitally excluded compared to their counterparts who attend schools in urban and peri-urban areas. Furthermore, the study concluded that learners who attend schools in urban areas are more digitally competent than learners who attend peri-urban and rural schools. Additionally, the study concluded that the biggest challenge facing schools with regard to digital literacy is a shortage in infrastructure. The study recommended that the Department of Basic Education should bridge this digital divide by introducing compulsory digital-based subject in all high schools in South Africa. The study also recommended that the Department of Basic Education should provide funds for these schools to purchase all the necessary resources for the implementation of digital literacy education.
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    Information literacy skills of secondary school students of Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi counties of Kenya
    (University of Zululand, 2024) Mwaura, Ireri John; Evans, Neil and Ocholla, Dennis N.
    Information literacy (IL) is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and use the needed information effectively. It is significant to scholars for making decisions with critical thinking skills, seeking answers to critical questions, finding information from particular sources, forming intelligent opinions and evaluating sources of information. Therefore, it is pertinent that governments incorporate information literacy knowledge into academic programmes to ensure that citizens are productive and equipped to function globally in the 21st century. Information literacy skills are essential to secondary school students in developing countries such as Kenya. However, many secondary schools’ students have very little or no basic knowledge about library use, computer literacy and information searching skills. This problem can be attributed to students being educated in environments with poor learning facilities, such as lack of well-equipped school libraries, lack of computers in schools and failure to recognize the school library (where in existence) as a learning resource. In this information technology age, Kenyan secondary school students need to be equipped to develop the skills to help them search, evaluate and utilize the information effectively. The general objective of this research was to investigate the status of IL skills of secondary school students in the Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi Counties of Kenya. The specific objectives were to establish the standards of information literacy, available information literacy programmes, factors that can influence students' information literacy, information-seeking strategies of students, and challenges which students face in the use of school libraries of Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi Counties. Finally, the study was intended to develop a framework for IL in Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi Counties. The study used a mixed-methods approach which is an interpretivist research philosophy because of its ability to accommodate questionnaires and interviews, as well as the analysis of existing relevant texts in extant literature, and post-positivism since it uses various methods and techniques for collecting data to allow for effective triangulation; the pragmatism paradigm being practical in the choice of data collection techniques. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used, as interview schedules and questionnaires were used in data collection. This study used survey design because it examines and describes phenomena and explains the relationship between the variables as they occur in a natural environment. The population of this study was derived from Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi Counties of Kenya. The schools in these two counties represent the nature of urban and rural secondary schools in other counties in Kenya and thus the findings from the two counties can easily be generalized to the whole country. The target population was the principals, librarians and students in the sampled secondary schools. Sample size was determined where 382 students were sampled in 30 secondary schools: 20 in Nairobi County and 10 in Tharaka Nithi County. Both stratified and random sampling techniques were used to obtain 13 students per school while purposive sampling was used to select the principals and librarians who participated in the study. Semi-structured questionnaires and interview guides were physically distributed to the respondents and data analyzed using SPSS; descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages to describe data on the various variables were conducted. Inferential statistics such as Pearson correlation was carried out to show the relationship between the variables. Research findings revealed that most students in Nairobi County visited the library 2-3 times weekly, mostly to study, while in Tharaka Nithi County the students rarely visited the library. Nearly half of the students in both counties denoted, that the libraries were up to the required standard, Results on the library standards in the schools revealed that the students were not sure whether the library was up to the standard. Results of the analysis on the available library programmes in the schools revealed that students in Nairobi County and Tharaka Nithi County indicated that library orientation was the most easily available programme in the school. Results further indicated that library user education and information literacy were the most available library programmes, known by more students in Nairobi County than in Tharaka Nithi County. The principals and librarians pointed out that the available library programmes comprised reading skills, training on cataloguing, and library lessons by language teachers among others. The students indicated that the available resources in the libraries were easily accessible. Adding more books and having computers in the library topped the list of what needs to be done to encourage more students to use the library. Key among the approaches used to ensure that the library is well equipped and up to the required standards in both counties was requisitions by either the librarians or teachers to the principals, donations from government, parents and well-wishers and the purchase of revision books as revealed by the principals and the librarians. Results from the principals and librarians on the strategies used in information-seeking by the students in the libraries revealed that browsing the shelves and the use of library personnel were the most common information-seeking strategies used by the students. Moreover, results showed that restricted library hours and a lack of computers and Internet connectivity were the major challenges for the students. The common challenges highlighted by the principals and librarians in both counties were few books in the library, limited space, unprofessional librarians, the poor reading culture of the students, and the lack of Internet connectivity and theft of library materials, among others. The study recommends enhancing practical-oriented users’ education programmes on the effective use of catalogue for information retrieval by students. The Kenyan government through the parliament needs to increase budget allocation for secondary schools so that the libraries can be equipped with more books and more computers can be bought to increase computer literacy in the schools. Competent and effective staff should be employed in the school libraries so that they can serve the students in a more effective way and encourage the frequency of borrowing and using the library resources and, finally, stakeholders in school library development should improve on their contributions and assistance towards schools’ library development. The research was limited to secondary school students of Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi counties in Kenya. The focus was information literacy skills of secondary school students in the selected counties in Kenya. The study suffered from limitations that are inherent to the data collection methods that were used, since questionnaires and interview schedules were used. The results of this study inform the principals of secondary schools in Nairobi and Tharaka Nithi Counties, Kenya, regarding the significance of IL among their students, making them better placed to understand the significance of IL among their students. The study also provides the government and other stakeholders with knowledge of the significance of IL among secondary school students in their efforts in promoting IL in the schools.
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    Service quality in the academic libraries in Kenya
    (University of Zululand, 2021) Mbua, Paul
    The subject of service quality has been widely researched in various sectors, and academic libraries are no exception. It has become imperative that university libraries in Africa, Kenya in particular, re-examine their existence in academia, in order to justify the need for their services. This study seeks to establish the level of service quality in Kenyan academic libraries by analysing, evaluating, and assessing the service delivery of the academic libraries. It was guided by the following specific objectives: To evaluate the influence that the service parameters (human resource practices, technology, the library environment and infrastructure, information resources, etc.) have on the service quality in academic libraries; assess the library customer service orientation and its influence on service quality in the academic libraries; assess how the range of services/products offered by academic libraries influence service quality in the academic libraries; and analyse the level of library customer retention/attraction strategies and service delivery approaches and their influence on service quality in the academic libraries. The Gap model adopted for the current study suggests that customer satisfaction is often not achieved as a result of gaps/shortfalls in the service delivery process. Descriptive survey research method was employed, guided by the study’s research objectives. Mixed method approach was used to generate both the qualitative and quantitative data. From the entire list of accredited universities in Kenya, a sample of 10 (ten) institutions was selected. Systematic random sampling, random sampling, purposive methods were employed to identify the actual sample size for the different strata. In total seven hundred and fourteen (714) questionnaires were returned from the external library customers (55% males and 45% females); while for the internal library customers (librarians), 47 out of the 80 questionnaires administered were returned (43% males and 57% females). This gave an overall, 76% response rate. Purposive sampling procedure was used to identify the interview participants (who were the senior management of the academic libraries) using an interview schedule, in total 10 interviews were conducted; while observation was guided by an observation schedule that was obtrusively applied to capture information on the general state of each of the academic libraries, the facilities, and the service delivery processes. SPSS was used for data analysis, descriptive statistics, factor analysis and multiple regression. Findings of the study revealed that academic libraries in Kenya are faced with a myriad of challenges such as a growing and divergent population, limited range of information resources and services, poor infrastructure, inadequate staff working areas and tools, limited budgets, heavy bureaucratic tendencies, lack of top institutional management support, poor leadership by the departmental heads, and lack of clear market orientation strategies. The above concerns notwithstanding, the study showed that the academic libraries are endowed with a rich pool of well-trained information professionals, large market for services, and customers’ goodwill; all of which need to be fully exploited. Also noted was that the academic libraries are poorly equipped to cater for people with disabilities (PWDs). The study recommends the following: a radical shift in the management of the academic libraries; the creation of an enabling environment for optimal service delivery; greater supervision by the Commission for University Education (CUE), and a policy framework that will guide the overall operations of the academic libraries. This study has strong implications for the improvement of library and information services for customer satisfaction in Kenya, and perhaps, elsewhere.
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    Cyberethical behaviour of high school students in selected schools in Umhlathuze municipality
    (University of Zululand, 2022) Buthelezi, Noxolo Nqobile
    Cyber technology has become a basic aspect of schools and universities, with students' habitual use of these tools to communicate, learn, and play. However, schools and universities have faced numerous issues as a result of cyber ethics activities in various settings. This study has examined the cyber ethical behaviour of high school students in selected schools in uMhlathuze Municipality. The objectives of this study were to: explore the level of awareness of cyber ethical behaviour prevalent at the selected high schools in uMhlathuze Municipality; identify the forms of cyber ethics behaviour shown by the selected high school students; demonstrate the application of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) on cyber ethical behaviour intentions of high school students and establish the challenges faced by high school students to act ethically when using the Internet and cyber technologies. The study adopted a quantitative approach through survey research design. Probability sampling was used to sample students through the simple random technique. A sample for the study was drawn from Grade 11 students from three conveniently selected high schools in uMhlathuze Municipality. 214 questionnaires were distributed among Grade 11 students. Data was collected through questionnaires. The data analyses were carried out largely using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 28.0. The findings of the study show that 68.2% of the respondents were aware of their cyber ethical behaviour. Less than half (68;31,8%) of the respondents showed less awareness. A high percentage of the respondents (82,7%) said that their teachers hardly teach them about cyber ethics. The respondents submitted that cyberbullying (57%), using another user’s password (16,4%) and dissemination of fake news (8.4%) are the common types of cyber ethical transgressions. The study discovered a substantial number of challenges related to effective cyber ethical behaviour. The findings indicated a need for awareness of cyber ethical technology and how to mitigate its misuse. This study's originality stems from its scope, subject matter, and application. The study is significant because it provides a theoretical basis for future studies in the following areas: high schools in the uMhlathuze municipality, the levels of awareness of teachers and principals pertaining to cyber ethics. The study has implications for cyber ethical technologies and cyber ethical behaviour in high schools’ research and responses by stakeholders.
University of Zululand