Distance students and online research: Promoting information literacy through media literacy.
Today's college students, particularly distance students, are increasingly dependent on the Web for their research needs. At the same time they lack the critical thinking skills required to successfully evaluate the actual credibility of online information, a critical aspect of information literacy. Furthermore, rather than access the online library database, distance students are more likely to employ generic search engines in their research quests, making more critical the need for information literacy. The current study employed an online survey designed to explore the relationships between critical evaluation of online information, as a measure of information literacy, and components of media literacy. Results suggest a significant, positive relationship between these literacies. These findings suggest variety in the types of strategies instructors and instructional designers might employ towards the development of information literacy skills required for today's graduates to successfully negotiate the 21st century information society. (Contains 1 table.)