Purpose of the Study. Given the shift toward an increasingly knowledge-based economy, educators and employers have expressed the desire to emphasize students’ information literacy. Being information literate extends beyond the classroom setting and provides skills for independent investigations needed in internships and professional positions in marketing. However, in order to most effectively teach information literacy, what teaching styles are most appropriate? Should students be guided by the instructor or develop skills as independent learners? Our study determines the impact of a guided versus self-directed instruction method on students’ information literacy skills.

Method/Design and Sample. Using a survey with objective and subjective measures of information literacy, we collected data from eight sections of an introductory marketing course, where some of the students were guided in their information literacy education, while the others learned through a self-directed approach.

Results. Results indicate that a scaffolding approach through guided teaching enhances information literacy more than self-directed methods. This suggests emphasizing guided information literacy instruction in undergraduate marketing education; however, raises questions about the role of student independence in the learning process.

Value to Marketing Educators. In many instances, the formal incorporation of information literacy in undergraduate marketing programs is still developing. We provide a unique contribution to marketing education by assessing which teaching methodology is most effective in developing, promoting, and assessing the critical and analytical thinking of students. Our findings are readily applicable to similar introductory marketing classes, which is beneficial to educators.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/agb_fac/150