Student voices: Re-conceptualising and re-positioning Australian library and information science education for the twenty-first century
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Security Science
This paper reports on the preliminary research findings of the sub-study group of a larger undertaking, the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) priority project Re-conceptualising and Re-positioning Australian Library and Information Science Education for the Twenty-first Century. It examines student experiences of library and information science (LIS) education across both the tertiary and vocational education sectors in Australia. The student sub-study group's task was to provide the student/recent graduate perspective on LIS education in Australia. The research considered four major themes to find out how students and recent graduates felt about LIS education in Australia. The themes were: learning opportunities; learner attributes; learning experiences; and learner outcomes. In the second half of 2010, self-administered anonymous web questionnaires and focus groups were used to explore issues such as student demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, past experiences, expectations and rationale behind course choices. In addition the destinations of graduates were explored. Key findings suggest there are various pathways that students take to achieve a LIS qualification in Australia; students are generally optimistic about the future of the LIS profession, and consider that technology will continue to play a key role in future career options; they stress the importance of practical workplace experiences as part of course structure; their satisfaction levels with current courses are high and students feel confident they have been provided with the skills required to begin their professional life.