Information literacy and learners’ satisfaction. The mediating role of social networking technology usage

Publication Date12 November 2018
Date12 November 2018
AuthorAbdulqadir Rahomee Ahmed Aljanabi,Waleed K.H. Mohamed AL-Hadban
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library & information services
Information literacy and
The mediating role of social networking
technology usage
Abdulqadir Rahomee Ahmed Aljanabi
Department of Public Relations and Marketing, Sulaimani Polytechnic University,
Sulaymaniyah, Iraq, and
Waleed K.H. Mohamed AL-Hadban
Department of Applied Computer Science, Charmo University, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
Purpose This paper aims to empiricallyexamine the relationships among information literacy(IL), social
networkingtechnology usage (SNTU) and learnerssatisfaction (LS) amonguniversity students. The research
also aimsto determine whether SNTU has a mediating role in therelationship between IL and LS.
Design/methodology/approach Based on the proposed framework,a self-administered questionnaire
was adopted to gather data from studentsat Komar University of Science and Technology. Of a total of 520
questionnaires, 335 were returned and subsequently used for statistical analysis. The collected data were
analysedusing Smart-PLS software version 3.2.0.
Findings The results of the present researchindicate that both IL and SNTU have signicant effects on
LS. Furthermore, the results suggest thatSNTU has a mediating role in the relationship betweenIL and LS
and that IL has the ability to strengthenLS via SNTU.
Originality/value This study offerssignicant insights that could guideeducational institutions in their
understandingof LS andthe key factors that may affect it. Previous studies have not prioritized the impact of
IL and SNTU on LS, and thus the results of this study can serve as a basis for enhancing LS in other
Keywords Literacy, Social, Satisfaction, Technology, Networking, Information, Learners
Paper type Research paper
Educational scholars have focussed their attention on developing exible pedagogies that
can provide deep knowledge and reliable learning opportunities to learners (Bruce, 1995;
Drotner and Kobbernagel, 2014;Hicksand Sinkinson, 2015;Pinto, 2010). These endeavours
reect a remarkable change in how theorists approach the learning process in higher
education (Gameel, 2017;Hicks and Sinkinson, 2015;Joo et al., 2014). With the growing
development of information technology and social media applications, several Web 2.0
platforms are being used to facilitate learner interactions (Burdenand Kearney, 2017;Chow
and Shi, 2014). These developments have magnied the need for alternative educational
approaches and pedagogies for developing and disseminating information to different
learners (Hicks and Sinkinson, 2015) and also pose new challenges for achieving a balance
between higher educationrequirements and learnerssatisfaction (Bundy, 2002).
Social learning and social development theories propose that the quality of social
interaction is a main factor determining the quality of learnerssatisfaction (LS)
Received29 August 2018
Accepted26 September 2018
Informationand Learning Science
Vol.119 No. 11, 2018
pp. 618-634
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/ILS-08-2018-0091
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
(Sungkur et al., 2016), especiallywith the increasing volume of information originating from
venues such as social media platforms, which have direct implications for LS (Andersen,
2013). However, few studies have investigated the relationship between social networking
technology as a platform for social interaction and LS (Li et al., 2016). Previous scholarly
works have focussed on the use of new mobile technologies by instructorsand the inuence
of these technologies on the overall educational process (Burden and Kearney, 2017). Other
researchers have investigated the characteristics of the interactive relationship between
learners and instructors using socialmedia for educational purposes and the impact of this
relationship on LS (Andersen, 2013;Joo et al.,2014). However, scholars have shown that
social networking technology usage (SNTU) is affected by the availability of related skills
for interpreting, evaluating and sharingcertain information (Perrett, 2010). These skills and
experiences can facilitate the use of social networking technology (Watjatrakul, 2016) and
increase LS with access to desirable learning materials (Perrett, 2010). In addition, freely
available Web 2.0 platforms have become a major source of information, both genuine and
not; thus, identifying dependableknowledge and discarding false information is becoming a
real challenge (Al-Auet al.,2017;Badke, 2017). Consequently, these new technologies must
be accompanied by informationliteracy (IL).
An important objective of IL is to provide a functional framework for greater
comprehension of SNTU. The effective integration of SNTU into different educational
pedagogies will allow learners to develop the skills and abilities needed to manage these
technologies, but IL is needed to further guide and rene those skills.(Drotner and
Kobbernagel, 2014;Ezziane, 2007) and identify authentic information for educational
purposes (Al-Auet al.,2017).Previous research has mainly concentrated on course design,
course exibility and its effect on LS (Chow and Shi, 2014;Gameel, 2017;Joo et al., 2014;
Kauffman, 2015), and studies addressing the relationship between IL and SNTU and their
inuence on LS within the higher education context have been limited (Al-Auet al.,2017;
Drotner and Kobbernagel, 2014;Fenwick,2016;Hung and Yuen, 2010). In addition, studies
investigating the relationship between IL and LS remain inadequate(Andersen, 2013;Hicks
and Sinkinson, 2015;Kauffman, 2015). Consequently, the effectiveness of SNTU as a
mechanism for enhancing the effect of IL on LS, especially in the context of higher
education, remainsunclear.
Many developing countriesare increasingly focussing on investment in higher education
and improvements in required infrastructure (i.e. information technologies) to enhance
academic standards. However, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI), the desired level of
these developmentshas not yet been accomplished, particularly in public universities,due to
barriers in terms of information technology services, unavailability of research
infrastructure and poor pedagogies (RDSKR,2014). Furthermore, the recent economic crisis
in Iraq has also cast its shadow on the higher education sector by reducing the budgets
allocated for investment in and development of this vital domain (Unicef, 2016). Despite
these challenges, private universities in KRI have invested in information technology
services and established large campusesand research centres to strengthen LS, increase the
number of enrolled studentsand improve studentsIL to foster their commitment to learning
in advanced programmes and to enhance their positive response to the modern learning
environment (Aljanabiand Kumar, 2012;Unicef, 2016).
Grounded in previous work (Al-Auet al.,2017;Gameel, 2017;Hicks and Sinkinson,
2015;Joo et al., 2014), the current study aims to examine the inuences of IL and SNTU on
LS among university students in the private education sector. Based on this examination,
the second goal of this study is to investigate the intervening mechanism of SNTU in the
relationship between IL and LS, which has sufferedfrom a lack of research. The remainder
Role of social

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