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Information Literacy for Open Distance Learners Essay

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” ―Margaret Mead. In this fast moving world education is has become an essential things in human life. And today the technology has evolved so much that information is just a touch away. Narrowing down the technology development to the education nowadays, the students face challenges due to the movement of the technology and communication. The competition has become closer whereby they need to prove themselves to the world especially the distance learners. To ensure they are doing so, the study skills and information literacy applied thorough out their education is essential.

Study skills are the abilities that are used by students for learning. It will help the student to identify their weakness and to brush up on the weakness so as to progress on their learning. Being said so; first the students need to identify the study skills to be applied which will be discussed further below. On the other hand, information literacy also a crucial point for this 21st century. Broadly defined, information literacy is a set of abilities whereby person recognizes when information is needed and how to reach out to the information. This has become important since nowadays there are abundance of information choices – print, image, sound and spatial. It is exactly the opposite of lack of information – one having too much information.

The pitfalls and the current information environment by students has been clearly described by Lorie Roth: “With the explosion of information generated and stored, the unregulated sprawl of the Internet, the shift from a print- to an image-based culture, the development of sound and video archives, and the ease of seemingly infinite reproduction of words and pictures through electronic media, the pitfalls for college students have multiplied geometrically. There is so much information, so much of it of doubtful quality, so accessible through so many different platforms” (Roth, 1999, p. 42).

2.0 Skills Required

i. Management Skills

Prospective graduates must possess management skills. Through these skills, employers will assess whether the graduate is able to arrange something that will be entrusted to him. In fact, the employer will also ensure that graduates are able to either do the work efficiently and productively, to guarantee the quality of work as well as at the desired level. In these management skills, very important thing also is time management. The ability to manage well, especially in deciding to do the work that needs to be given priority and focus should be resolved over time will also be taken into account by the employer. Good management skills are a bonus for an organization that not only have employees who are able and efficient in doing their assignment, but also to guarantee the production of quality work, but is capable of satisfying customers.

ii. Information Technology Skill

Information technology (IT) has changed the way we work (economic aspects), communication (social aspects), and thinking (psychological aspects). Although Malaysia has not yet reached the status of information society, we are already feeling the heat and turbulence of the Information Age. We cannot master the technology with the push of a computer button. We need to have the skills to access the information. Information literacy is a skill to do such things as identify and locate sources of information from reliable sources. After that, we need to assess the quality and organizing information correctly and to use that information effectively. One should understand the nature of information on various subjects or disciplines. Awareness of the existence of various types of reference sources and uses must be known.

There are some good study skills and information literacy skill is to be learned by students in order to succeed in education. Those are time management skills and managing real tasks and responsibilities that the extent of distance learning students can use these skills to be discussed in class and team learning. And the third is the skill of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in line with current technology, distance education students have mastered the skills to learn independently through ICT. And the last is the skill of making reference to expand knowledge in a particular subject.

iii. Leadership Skills

In addition, leadership skills are also needed by future graduates. The success of a business or a rise and fall is based on leadership. This criterion is also very important to be dominated by undergraduates, as one of the few important skills to master. While future graduates will not continue to hold the highest office when venturing in the field of employment, but they have shown potential as a leader, which can carry a given, next perform the task because of its leadership will be evaluated by the employer. They should also be able to demonstrate the potential to motivate and give impetus to a colleague who will be working with them soon. What is most important in this is the attitude of the leadership, graduates will need to know about the next assignment received perform assigned tasks, judge assignment deadlines and show leadership by giving good examples to others or other colleagues. Leadership skills have actually nurtured while studying at the university among prospective graduates, either directly or indirectly.

iv. Manipulating Information Skills

Manipulating information is one aspect of the main skills. In this case, students are not only able to identify the information to be sought after, but also able to collect, manage and manipulate the information so that the information can be used to meet the needs of learning. These skills must be mastered students so that students can obtain additional information on their studies. This is because students can not solely rely on the information provided by teachers. When students master the skills of information, meaning that students were able to identify learning resources, methods and techniques to get the information either through reference books, reference dictionary or reference through internet sources.

Finally, learn how to master the skills either with or without the presence of the teacher, students are able to maximize efforts and optimize the acquisition of knowledge. At the same time, the acquisition of skills can help students learn how to use time effectively. Not only are students able to identify weaknesses and strengths in their own learning process and try to resolve it, but more importantly the students are able to make effective independent learning appropriate to emphasize aspects of lifelong learning by the Ministry of Education.

v. Team working skills

And skills that must be mastered by graduates and employers is desired Teamwork Skills. Competition is happening in the world job market among prospective graduates who have graduated over the years, resulting in many students who are difficult to get a job. Should the prospective graduates should use the situation to try to collect as many of the skills that should be used after the expiration learn later. Teamwork skills are different than individual work. Teamwork is required, working with more people, but in a group. Commitment is required in teamwork. One has to show he is a player in the team, as well as able and capable to manage and be representative of the responsibilities assigned.

In addition, working in a team also demanded that someone be able and be able to build positive relationships with colleagues, as well as to help achieve the goals and objectives of the work undertaken, but also can improve the quality of work. Furthermore, the problems in employment impacts of each process are complex in nature and will involve a number of parts and systems. So logically, problem solving such cases is beyond the ability of the individual. Therefore, it is important for graduates to be able to master the skills of teamwork, so that they can do the job if asked to manage a business group. Disclosure provided or learned in the course of practical sessions should be used by undergraduates, for this practical session they will be exposed to the experience of teamwork and building relationships with others, the colleague.

vi. Managing Stress

Online courses may not necessarily increase or reduce your stress just because it is delivered online. We must consider our own sources of education-related stress when choosing to take online course. Online course might be suitable for those feel high stress from giving in-class presentations, where it can save them from the stress. However if using lap top and related technology makes you experience excessive stress, students might need to reconsider taking a course online, since most online courses rely exclusively on computer technology. Some strategies for managing course-related stress include:

Knowing the deadline:
Students need to know their course deadlines and also other important events occurring elsewhere in their life while you are enrolled in the course. Plan ahead.
The students need to plan and do their course related activities ahead if they foresee their time being consumed by non course activity.
With the technological resources, students should ask for help resources, and have them at hand when you are working on your coursework. Always keep in touch with their instructor. If at all they fall behind, should work together with the instructor to get back on track.

vii. Balancing Responsibilities and Setting Priorities

For successful online learning experience one has to able to balance the responsibility. Setting priority is the best benefit from online education. The students have to find out what is expected from them at the beginning of the course and plan ahead. Certainly one will have more things to fulfill than they have the time to complete them. During this time students need to determine which course activity is important and focus on those. They should not hesitate to ask for advice from their instructor.

viii. Using Search Engines

Even though library and catalogue can provide direction and access to scholarly information, the Web itself is a storehouse for billions of documents. For reasons outlined below, one needs to look into information in books and journals first since they go through quality control measures before they are published. However the can also reveal thousands of potentially useful information that’s related to the research.oHhhhesdkkmHO

3.0 Suggestions

Based on the skills needed by future graduates as found above, it is necessary for the future graduates themselves, with existing initiatives, in order to increase the equipment inside have those skills. In addition, the parties responsible as government bodies and educational institutions, low or high to take steps and initiatives in order to prepare future graduates to face the challenges of globalization to compete career search, even comparable to the skilled manpower there are out there as well as expressed by other universities. Generally, prospective graduates and responsible parties should emphasize mastery Soft skills among student, because this skill is the inclusion of aspects of generic skills, the skills that are indispensable aspect in the globalized world of work. Compensation should be for future graduates to assess and meet the needs of an increasingly demanding job market. Furthermore, the technology changes at this time are very fast.

Firstly, to carry out the plan of study that requires a schedule that is constantly reviewing and maintaining the schedule to follow in implementing the planning sorted by priority and keep a checklist of completed and outstanding tasks, for example in the information technology era high at the present time there are many options to make a study schedule effective as using a “smart phone” now has an application “Android” to schedule a lesson in the mobile phones of students, so students can create a memorial for the study of the set so much time in order to have students study schedule on the phone. Next, not all distance education students proficient in the use of ICT computer, internet portals and institutions. Therefore, students can pursue distance learning courses in ICT for control over the use of ICT. Most of these courses are always offered and can also learn on your own in the Internet network or buy the book for self-study.

And the last suggestion is, not all students can master the skill of making a very important reference in learning, the intention is that the institution should give awareness to students of distance learning and briefed the importance of study skills are the skills which make reference to the success of a distance learning student said.


All the above mentioned skills are important for online learners. It will make the online learning effective. Early preparation is important and also active participation in online learning such as forum. In general online learning needs the use if latest technology in order for the students to complete their studies. There are certain difficulties faced by students in using the technology such as virus, technical issues, internet traffic and henceforth. Therefore, the online learners do have the freedom to arrange their study by their own and which method to follow. This requires them to have all the skills that is stated above for them to continue the studies and achieve their goals. (Words : 2166)


Available Online : http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/how-students-develop-online-learning-skills Available Online : http://www.ucc.vt.edu/academic_support_students/online_study_skills_workshops/ Available Online : http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2012/01/13/4-time-management-tips-for-online-students

Available Online : http://www.military.com/education/keys-to-success/study-skills-for-the-online-adult-learner.html

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