Date of Award



© 2019 Kathleen Conklin Brenner

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Second Advisor

Peter Harrison

Third Advisor

Elizabeth Chase


The American Library Association released its Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education in response to the changing needs and demographics of today’s digital native students. This study was designed to ascertain first-year undergraduate students’ definitions and perspectives of information literacy to determine how they are aligned to the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) six frames of information literacy. The overarching research question was: How is the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy aligned to first-year undergraduate student expectations of information literacy instruction? The following supplemental research questions supported the study:
1. How do first-year undergraduate students define the term information literacy?
2. How do first-year undergraduate students’ past experiences and perceptions influence their definition of information literacy?
3. What concepts do first-year undergraduate students expect to obtain from information literacy instruction and how do they expect to achieve these objectives?
Eight first-year undergraduate students participated in the qualitative study. Each participant was interviewed and transcripts of the interviews were coded to determine common themes and trends in the data.

Findings from the study indicate that participants could not completely define the term information literacy, although they had a general, conceptual sense of what information literacy was and why it was important to them as students. Additional findings showed there was no connection between past library instruction and students’ definition of information literacy. Participants’ definitions of information literacy were aligned to three of the six frames and their expectations of information literacy instruction were aligned to five of the six frames. This study recommends the continued practice of designing information literacy instruction using the ACRL Framework and incorporating digital literacy concepts in active learning environments.


Ed.D. Dissertation