Information Fluency, Information Literacy, Technical Communication, Information Technology, Critical Thinking, Technical Writing
Information fluency refers to the ability to recognize information needs and to gather, evaluate, and communicate information appropriately. In this study, I treat "information fluency" as both an overall competency and as a collection of knowledge and skills. The purpose of this study is to explore the specific workplace information fluency skills valued by employers of technical communicators, to find out how instructors perceive and teach these skills, and to suggest how these findings can inform our teaching practices. Within the framework of qualitative methodology, this study employs two data-collection instruments, including a content analysis of online job recruitment postings and a survey of technical communication instructors across the United States. The study discovers that when hiring technical communicators, employers require candidates to have skills in information processing, information technology, and critical thinking. Candidates must be able to identify their information needs, and must know how to use specified tools to gather, evaluate, and communicate information. It also reveals that although "information fluency" is a new terminology to a majority of instructors, the skill sets that constitute information fluency already existed in their knowledge. The study's last finding suggests that the opportunity for an internship is perceived as the most helpful in students' acquisition of information fluency skills. This dissertation concludes with a list of specific employer-valued information fluency skills, recommendations for program administrators and instructors for implementing information fluency, as well as recommendations for future researches on this subject.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Zhang, Yuejiao, "Defining Workplace Information Fluency Skills For Technical Communication Students" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4258.