n Mousaion - Internet use among students St. Joseph's Theological Institute in South Africa : empirical findings and implications for network literacy

Volume 28, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



Although a review of the literature shows that there are numerous studies on the use of the Internet, the unparalleled growth of the World Wide Web makes it incumbent upon researchers to continually study patterns of use and users' information seeking behaviour. In that regard, a study was carried out at St. Joseph's Theological Institute in South Africa in 2007 to investigate Internet use with the focus on the assessment of the level of network literacy among students. Network literacy - the ability of the end-user to identify, access and use electronic information resources from the information network, is cited as one of the factors influencing the use of the Internet. Data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire and an in-depth interview with the Librarian. Findings revealed that the major problems facing the Internet users at St. Joseph's were the shortage of computers and lack of training in the use of Internet services. Further, students did not use a wide variety of Internet resources such as search engines and computer - mediated communication tools effectively. Recommendations in aid of improving Internet use and network literacy at the Institute were made. Other institutions using the Internet may benefit from this study if the problems that are highlighted in this study are relevant.

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