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Information Seeking Behaviour of Students of ECWA Theological (Jets) Jos


This study investigates the Information-seeking behaviour of students of ECWA Theological (JETS) jos. A structured questionnaire was used for data gathering in the institution. The questionnaire data was analyzed using frequency, bar char, and percentage for easy interpretation. The research findings show that the respondents use goggle, print textbooks, library materials and social media as major research resources.  Lack of computer skills, irregular electricity supply and lack of good search skills were found as factors affecting information-seeking behaviour of the respondents. The following were recommended in line with the findings of the study: Training of students on computers skills, provision of alternative power supply as well as adequate coverage of information literacy skills in the use of library currently taught in the university.


Table of content




1.1 Background to the study

1.2 Statement of the Problem

1.3 Objectives of the Study

1.4 Research Questions

1.5 Significance of the study

1.6 Scope and limitation of the Study



2.0 Introduction

2.1 Literature review

2.2 Definition of concepts

2.2.1 Information seeking

2.2.2   Information need

2.2.3 Sources of Information

2.3 Information seeking behaviour studies

2.3.2 African studies of information seeking behaviour

3.4 Conceptual and Theoretical Framework

2.4.1 Wilson’s 1996 model Activating mechanisms Intervening variables Information seeking behaviour

2.5 Summary of the literature



3.1       Introduction

3.2       Research design

3.3       Sources of Data

3.5       Population of the study

3.6       Sample size determination

3.7       Sample size technique

3.8       Instrumentation

3.9       Reliability

3.10     Validity

3.11     Method of Data Collection

3.12     Method of Data Analysis

3.13     Ethical consideration



Gender distribution

Research question 1: What are the sources of information students are familiar with?

Objective two: To discover the information needs of students

Question number 2: To discover the information needs of students

Objective 3: To determine the students’ information demand and use

Question 3: How do students demand for information to meet their needs?

Objective 4: What are the factors militating against the availability and accessibility of information by student?








1.1 Background to the study

The assessment of information seeking behaviour by undergraduate student is vital in supporting them to access and use information resources to meet their required information needs. According to Ajiboye and Tella (2007), information is data that has been processed to be well understood to satisfy the user’s query. They go further in their definition to say that ‘information is data value in planning, decision making and evaluation of any programme. KOC University Library Glossary (2014) see information as data presented in readily comprehensible form, to which meaning has been attributed within a context for its use. In a more dynamic sense, the message is conveyed by the use of a medium of communication or expression. Bruce (2005) states that, “information plays a significant role in our daily professional and personal lives and we are constantly challenged to take charge of the information that we need for work, fun and everyday decisions and tasks.

Wilson (2000) posited that information needs are influenced by a variety of factors such as the range of information sources available, the uses to which the information will be put, the background, motivation, professional orientation and individual characteristics of the user. While other factors according to Nwagwu and Oshiname (2009), are the sociopolitical, economic, legal and regulatory. There must be a need that would prompt an individual to engage in information seeking. Information Need is an innate desire that prompt an individual leading to a search for information.

Students  have a lot of information needs which prompted their demand for information. When students are searching for information to meet their needs, they use different sources of information. Akinola, Afolabi and Chinedu (2009)  defines  information  sources  as  the  materials  or  means  through  which information can be found to meet a particular need. Case (2002) defines information seeking as a conscious effort to acquire information in response to a need or gap in your knowledge. Information seeking behaviour is a key concept in Library and information science profession.  Pettigrew Fidel and Bruce (2001) defined information behaviour as the study of how people need, seek, give and use information in different contexts, including the workplace and everyday living. According to Odongo and Bukenya (2004), information seeking behaviour is the way people go about searching for information. They also observed that students’ information seeking behaviour involves purposeful information seeking as a result of the need to complete course assignments, prepare for class discussions, seminars, workshops, and write final-year research papers. Information seeking behaviour is expressed in various forms, from reading printed material to research and experimentation (Bhatti, 2008).Information-seeking behaviour remains a key research area; academic librarians around the world strive to understand the information needs of students and ways of satisfy these needs. Ossai-onah (2013) posit that though there seems to exist many reasons and sources of information to the information user, the university library occupies a central position in the information seeking process of undergraduate students in Nigerian universities. Undergraduate students’ information seeking behaviour was considered the biggest problem to be investigated. Most undergraduate students find it difficult to locate the right sources of information to meet their needs and without adequate information succeeding academically would be a great challenge. This study is therefore aimed at determining information seeking behavior of students with a view to improving their academic performance.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Institutions  across the world, including Nigeria, are investing more in electronic databases, but studies have shown that such investments are often not cost effective because students in some universities, especially in Africa, under-utilize these resources (Kwadzo, 2015).

Some of the reasons for under-utilization of electronic databases are basically technology-related challenges including:

  1. inadequate computers
  2. unstable internet connection

III.       need for passwords to access information

  1. low internet speed
  2. lack of training of library staff (Al-Saleh, 2002 cited in Al-Saleh, 2004; Fasola and Olabode 2014; Rice, 2003).

Rice (2003) also mentions that finding and evaluating the reliability of the level of graduate students’ skills in an electronic environment, and how many students are able to retrieve the right information is difficult. Some students often get confused in the course of their information seeking. This is confirmed by Kuhlthau (1999), who states that in the early stages of seeking information, students mostly have challenges. In the beginning many of the students are sure of finding the required information but then get confused or uncertain during the process. Other challenges faced by students in their information seeking include unstable Internet or network infrastructure, lack of search skills, information scattered in many sources, non-supportive staff, lack of awareness, unavailability of materials, out-dated information and lack of time to access information (Fasola and Olabode, 2014; Okonoko, Ojukwu and Deborah, 2015).

A review of the literature revealed that students information seeking behaviour studies have been conducted at the University of Ghana (Badu, 1991), Methodist University College (OpareAbabio, 2011) and other institution but not JETS. It is important for librarians and information professionals to have knowledge about the information seeking behaviours of students and to be able to design effective information services and information literacy programs to meet their information needs (Fidzani, 1998).

“For libraries to be able to meet the information needs of their users, they need to conduct user studies. This involves determining the profile of the users in terms of demographic and personal information. User studies help in determining their information needs, their information seeking behaviours and sources of information used in meeting their information needs” (Aina, 2004, p.5). “Various methods have been employed in user studies over the past decades, for example

Wilson (1994) and Gorman and Clayton (1997) have discussed

  1. Questionnaires, interviews, case studies etc. II. Observation of events, reviews of diaries etc and

III.       Study of internal processes.

Users’ studies are very essential for prescription, improvement and efficiency of information services.” (Cited by Onwuchekwa and Jegede, 2011, p. 117).

1.3 Objectives of the Study

Studying the Information seeking behaviour of students of ECWA Theological (JETS) Jos will enable libraries and academic librarian deliver standard services which will improve the academic performance of their students. This study sought to establish ways of improving the information–seeking behaviour of students. To attain this goal, the study stipulated the following objectives:

  • To find out the sources of information students are familiar with.
  • To discover the information needs of students
  • To determine the students’ information demand and use
  • To establish the problems that students encounter in information seeking

1.4 Research Questions

For the purpose of this research the following questions have been formulated:

  • What are the sources of information students are familiar with?
  • What are the information needs of students?
  • How do students demand for information to meet their needs?
  • What are the factors militating against the availability and accessibility of information by student?

1.5 Significance of the study

The study is significant in many ways. It highlights the information needs of graduate students and the challenges they face when seeking information so that the library can provide efficient information services and resources to meet their information needs. It also highlights the sources of information which are not used so that librarians will create awareness about the relevance of these sources of information among the students. The findings of the study contribute to the body of knowledge on information seeking behaviour in general. It revealed the challenges faced by students when seeking information, which may be resolved for improved access to information to meet their academic and research needs.

In the literature search, it was found out that there are many studies conducted in the area of information seeking behaviour.

All the above studies were on the information needs and seeking behaviour and not on the searching strategies except Dzandu and Boateng (2013). This research went further to look at the activating mechanism such as active attention.

1.6 Scope and limitation of the Study

A study of this nature should ideally include all the students of EWCA JETS but it was limited to the full time students, their information needs, sources of information, library use, information seeking behaviours, and challenges encountered in their information seeking. Students who attend school in the evenings and weekends were excluded from the study because of the difficulty in reaching them as a result of their irregular class schedules. Their exclusion is not expected to affect the results of the study since they all do the same courses and use the same library resources. Thus, their information seeking behaviours are not expected to be different from their counterparts with regular time schedules, that is, those who attend classes during the day.


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