Student teachers’ evaluation of the credibility of web-based learning resources at University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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University of Dar es salaam
College students including student teachers are increasingly relying on the learning resources available through the web. However, a great deal of web –based learning resources are not subjected to peer review process, thus the credibility of such resources is suspicious. Therefore, it is important that student teachers learn the skills to assess the credibility of web-based resources. Nevertheless, in the context where teacher education offers limited opportunities to learn information literacy skills, student teachers are likely to use less credible web-based learning resources. This study explored how student teachers evaluate the credibility web- based learning resources using a cross sectional survey. Data were collected from 393 student teachers during the academic year 2018/2019 at the University of Dar es Salaam’s Mwalimu Nyerere Campus using a questionnaire. Data were analysed by descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS version 20 and excel 2007. Findings show that student teachers had a narrow understanding of the credibility of web-based resources. Over half of the student teachers considered web-based resources credible and were likely to use them without through evaluation. Further, although over 90% of student teachers used web-resources to answer up to 5 assignments in a semester, more than 52% of them were not aware of the type of web-resource they used. This suggests a lack of awareness of the web-resources of different types and levels of credibility, which makes student teachers at risk of consuming less credible resources. Consequently, over 90% of student teachers frequently use non- scholarly resources such as Wikipedia, blogs and Social Networks. Moreover, Google was the most frequently used search engine instead of the vetted library databases and scholarly journals. Although over half of the student teachers claimed to consider the background details of authors of web-resources, between quarter to nearly half either do not assess the credibility of web-resources at all or ignored important criteria such as objectivity, relevance, currency, quality and accuracy of the resources that 39% of student teachers exhibited. Overall, I conducted that student teachers had narrow understanding of credibility of web-based learning resources, which makes them susceptible to using less credible resources. This means, they are unlikely to nurture information literacy skills among their students when employed to teach. It is recommended that Teacher Education Institutions expand opportunities for student teachers to acquire skills to evaluate web-based resources. Also, they should be encouraged to use subscribed vetted databases and journals. Instructors are advised to help their students by sharing web-based resources to set example. Lastly, students are argued to take time to learn how to evaluate web-based resources and use them cautiously.
Available in print form, East Africana collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, class mark (THS EAF LB2157T34N492)
Student, Teachers, Web -- based instruction, Ellectronic Information resources, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Nkwamah, J (2020) Student teachers’ evaluation of the credibility of web-based learning resources at University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.