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ERIC Number: ED523438
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 310
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-9148-9
Use of Digital Resources in an Academic Environment: A Qualitative Study of Students' Perceptions, Experiences, and Digital Literacy Skills
Matusiak, Krystyna K.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
The use of information resources for teaching and learning in an academic environment is undergoing a dramatic transformation. The development of digital technologies and the growth of the Internet have changed the format as well as the dissemination methods of scholarly resources. Digital libraries have been created as part of the transition from print to digital format. The digital transition is also associated with an ease of creation and distribution of visual materials. To better understand students' experiences and literacy practices in this changing information environment, I conducted a qualitative two-case. Two undergraduate lower-level and upper-level geography classes were selected as cases. The study investigated the extent and nature of students' interaction with digital resources, focusing on students' experiences and perceptions of digital resources and on practices related to using information resources in different class contexts. The study assumed an interdisciplinary approach. In interpreting my findings, I drew on the perspectives of several related fields, including digital libraries, literacy studies, and educational technology. Data analysis demonstrated the pervasiveness of digital technology in an academic environment. Most of the resources that students interacted with were in the digital format, although some study participants expressed concerns about the ephemeral nature of digital materials. The analysis of resources' attributes in regard to the mode of representation revealed that visual and textual resources play different roles in knowledge construction. The study findings indicate that digital libraries were underutilized in the observed cases and relate the limited use of digital libraries to predominantly negative perceptions of academic library websites in regard to ease of use. Study participants were either unaware of the digital collections offered by academic libraries or did not distinguish them from other library systems. This study found that literacy in the digital environment is dynamic, is context-dependent, and involves an interaction of multiple literacy types. Linguistic, visual, and information literacies are distinct and represent core competencies in academic learning. With the increasing use of images in instruction, visual literacy is gaining importance, but linguistic literacy remains critical to academic learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A