Information and Digital Literacy Skills Amongst 16-18-Year-Olds

What skills support do incoming University students need to help them succeed during their studies and beyond?

University libraries make significant investments in introducing new students to their service and providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to use the library effectively and succeed in their studies. However, with the educational disruption and growth in digital poverty seen during the pandemic, combined with the rise of misinformation and fake news, it is increasingly challenging to support young people with their information and digital literacy skills.

This updated insight collaboration for 2023, ‘Information and Digital Library skills: 16-18-year-olds,’ will build on previous research conducted by Alterline in 2017 (you can download a free summary report for that project here)

Why join this project?

  • Build an evidence base of the gaps in knowledge and experience of new students and the support they need to excel in their studies
  • Identify opportunities for new programmes or initiatives that could better support incoming students
  • Understand how the situation has changed since Alterline’s research in 2017 to identify areas for further development
  • Target messaging and communications to the students who need support the most

What will the project explore?

The survey and online community guide will be shaped in conjunction with the universities who choose to participate in this research project, based around the following crucial questions:

How does is work and what are the costs?

The strategic national collaborative insight costs £4,350 + VAT to participate in and includes:

  • A quantitative survey of 750 16–18-year-old prospective students
  • A two-day online research community, recruiting 25 young people from the same year groups to share their thoughts experiences and views in more depth
  • A smart, succinct, highly visual report with practical recommendation to help you support incoming students with their information and digital literacy skills
  • Demographic differences will be highlighted where appropriate
  • We’ll contextualise the findings using our previous research with 16- to 18-year-olds conducted in 2017
  • We’ll bring together participating institutions in online events to shape the project and to discuss the findings and ideas for action

In addition to joining the national project, you can also choose to add on a bespoke option to tailor the research engagement even further to your own institution.

The project commences in February 2023 and will complete by May 2023, so please get in touch now to arrange to talk if you’re interested to hear more.

For a detailed project outline and more information about how to join click here to email Sharon Steele, Marketing and Client Communities Director, at