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Information Seeking Behaviour of Distance Learners: What has Changed During the Covid-19?


Ryan Alturki


Vol. 22  No. 5  pp. 182-192


All the aspects of human life have been affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19). It has rapidly spread in most countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As a result, early precautionary actions aiming to minimise the virus effect are taken by the Saudi government. One of these actions is the sudden shift to online classes and suspending the attendees to all educational institutes. Such immediate change can have a significant effect on the educational process, especially for students. One can argue that students’ information-seeking behaviour within the current situation can affect their learning quality and outcomes. Therefore, this paper examines the Saudi students’ information-seeking behaviour by taking a sample of students from Umm Al-Qura University. A descriptive analysis is conducted with 193 students and two approaches are used to collect data, questionnaire and semi-structured interview. The results showed that the majority of students face difficulties when searching and retrieving e-resources from the university library website. The problems range from mainly poor User Experience (UX), network connection, multiple errors and lack of subscription with academic publishers.


information retrieval; covid-19; seeking behavior; distance learning; information literacy