This paper reports the results of a two-phase study examining the effectiveness of a set of five online learning modules in increasing student understanding of information literacy topics. The modules were deployed within the foundational class of an online Master of Library Science program. Using Qualtrics-based surveys, Phase 1 assessed 15 students for their possible knowledge gains as well as their perceptions of their experiences with the instructional content. Through a combination of statistical and qualitative analysis, the researchers found modest knowledge gains as well as positive student perceptions of their instruction. Based upon the moderate success of Phase 1, the online learning modules were retained in subsequent offerings of the course. Three years after the Phase 1 study, a Phase 2 study was conducted with 30 students over two semesters to examine student knowledge and perception changes possibly occurring after utilization of the modules. Through the analysis of student reflection writings, the researchers found that all students presented with a minimum desired level of competency postinstruction. Furthermore, the researchers found that knowledge gains were reported primarily within the area of information search strategies. Findings suggest that online learning modules on information literacy topics can be a welcome addition to the first course in a Master of Library Science program sequence and can help instill confidence in new students who are studying to become library science professionals.



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