Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Gene W. Scholes


The evaluation of the effectiveness of the Library Skills Learning Package as a means of teaching basic library skills to students enrolled in Speech Communication 1310 at Eastern Illinois University is the purpose of this study. The Library Skills Learning Package is a printed self-contained, instructional program consisting of explanations and procedures for use of specific resources and exercises which require the student to use a source in order to answer the questions.

The evaluation takes two forms: (1) attitude measurement and (2) performance measurement. Two null hypotheses are tested. Hypothesis #1: Students displayed no significant attitudes or opinions, pro or con, toward the effectiveness of the Library Skills Learning Package. Hypothesis #2: There is no significant difference in the scores obtained by the students on the pretest and posttest, indicating that the Library Skills Learning Package does not achieve its stated objectives and is, therefore, not an effective method of teaching basic library skills.

Student attitudes toward the instruction are measured by means of a questionnaire, completed anonymously, at the conclusion of instruction. The questionnaire surveys student opinion on the content and effectiveness of the learning package and solicits any additional comments the student wishes to include.

Pretests and posttests measure student knowledge of basic library skills before and after instruction. In order to make the evaluation more objective, the pre and posttest scores are subjected to statistical analysis using the "t" test of means for related samples.

In regard to the questionnaire used to assess student attitudes toward this method of instruction, the number of positive responses indicates that the majority of students completing the instruction do feel that the learning package is an effective means of learning basic library skills.

Findings of the study pertaining to performance measurement, indicate a significant improvement in posttest scores of students completing the learning package.

Based on results of the student survey and analysis of statistical data the following recommendations are made: (1) continue the Library Skills Learning Package as the means of teaching basic library skills to students enrolled in Speech Communication 1310; (2) add additional versions of all exercises to alleviate the problem of numbers of students needing the same sources at the same time; (3) review responses to pretest and posttest questions to determine which information presented in the learning package should be eliminated, emphasized or revised; (4) validate the pretest and posttest so they may be used as the basic form of evaluation for the Library Skills Learning Package; (5) conduct follow up studies to ascertain student retention and subsequent use of information included in the learning package, and what effect, if any, instructor attitude has on the effectiveness of the program.