Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Frankie S. Laanan

Second Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers

Third Advisor

Rebecca Jackson


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of community college students and their development of the concept of information literacy. The participants' individual definition of information literacy was explored as well as the people, places, and events that helped shape their concept of information literacy. Data were gathered applying narrative inquiry using a combination of interviews and document analysis. It was anticipated that reflection on their prior experiences would illuminate the meaning students make of information literacy, and could help inform instruction for future students.;Information literacy had different meanings to each of the participants. There was no one clear description of the term or the concept. Themes that emerged were centered on types of resources, documentation systems, and fears of plagiarism. Information literacy did not emerge as a process learned over time by these students.;This study was conducted using a small sample of students (7 students) from one institution and should not be generalized to other populations. A larger study conducted nationwide is needed to gain a national perspective of information literacy development in students. Further research should be conducted to assess the experience instructors in the K-12 systems as well as in community colleges systems have with learning and teaching information literacy skills. In order to affect change and proceed with the recommendation that instructors are also trained to teach these skills, there must be an understanding of the level at which instructors operate as well as standards that currently exist which support a shift to embedding information literacy into the curriculum.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Lisa Anne Hermann Stock



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

133 pages