Academics' knowledge and use of electronic information resources (EIR) at the University of Bahrain
2011-02-01T15:51:03Z (GMT) by
Electronic Information Resources (EIR) can be seen as invaluable teaching and research tools, which complement print-based resources and enhance the learning and research processes in any academic institution. The aims of this research were to investigate, analyse and discuss the use of and needs for EIR and existing training in promoting and enhancing the quality of teaching and research activities amongst academic staff at the University of Bahrain. Extensive quantitative, qualitative and theoretical methods were used to identify and analyse academic staff EIR skills, knowledge and awareness. The population of the study is made up of all the full-time faculty members working at the University of Bahrain. A total of 593 questionnaires were distributed and 466 completed ones were returned, giving an overall response rate of 78.5%, and these were used for the purpose of the study. The result of the study revealed that printed resources are the sources of information most used for teaching and research. The colleges of Law, Art and Education had the lowest percentages of usage of EIR compared with other colleges. Work overload, lack of awareness, low skill levels, slow servers, ineffective communication systems, language barriers and a preference for print resources were among the primary constraints that affected academic staff uptake and use of electronic resources in teaching and research. One-to-one training was the preferred training method for those academics wishing to enhance their EIR skills. It was recommended that there is a need for greater promotion from the upper level decision-makers at the university if they wish to see greater use of electronic resources in teaching and research. Strategic conceptual models designed to provide solutions to the current problems and to help in setting policies and decisions for the effective use of EIR in teaching and research are given.