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Towards an improvement of LIS graduates ICT skills and employability needs in Kuwait

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posted on 16.06.2010, 07:44 by Hanadi J. Buarki
The aim of this research was to explore the ICT skills of LIS students in Kuwaiti HE that are potentially defined by the job market. These skills are deemed essential for the employment of LIS graduates in different job market sectors. As a result, the ICT skills of current LIS students, the needs of employers, and the LIS curriculum in Kuwait were all investigated. In addition the factors that had an impact on students ICT skills were also investigated. To fulfil the research aim and objectives, mixed research methods were employed. The research subjects were employers, LIS students, and teaching staff. Their views were sought through qualitative and quantitative methods that included: 54 semistructured interviews; 225 self-administered questionnaires; these were supplemented by three focus groups; and content analysis of relevant web sites, reports, and LIS syllabus to provide further documentation and analysis. The main findings of the research were: (1) overall the students had knowledge and basic ICT skills, but they lacked advanced searching and internet navigation skills. 85% of the students did not have enough ICT skills; their ICT skills level was selfrated as intermediate or beginner ; (2) the research investigated negative factors such as: unsuitable teaching and learning environment, negative attitudes, social influences, and lack of resources; (3) the students most preferred teaching and training method was group training ; (4) the employers identified further ICT skills and non-ICT skills that LIS graduates should possess for employability; (5) gaps were found in the curriculum and in teaching and training the ICT courses such as: course content was inconsistent; did not reflect the needs of the job market and were outdated; an imbalance between theory and practical training, courses had different outline and little use of the English language hindered the students ICT skills improvement and ICT use. In addition, work placement needed careful consideration. Recommendations based on the research findings and conclusions were made to the DLIS in Kuwait and stakeholders. Future ideas were identified for further research.



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© Hanadi J. Buarki

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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