Does dyslexia present barriers to information literacy in an online environment? A pilot study


  • Lynne Cole City University Norland College
  • Andrew MacFarlane City University, London
  • George Buchanan City University, London



search behaviour, dyslexia


The skills and attributes required to become information literate have not been analysed from the perspective of information users with cognitive disabilities, such as dyslexia and this research seeks to begin to address this gap in the literature. The results of a pilot study involving fourteen participants, seven dyslexic and seven non-dyslexic adults, are reported here. Participants were interviewed and their online information searching behaviour was observed through the collection of screen recording diaries over the completion period of one higher education assignment. Within the dyslexic group, difficulties were reported and observed in the areas of keyword creation, use of appropriate tools to refine and expand searches and the evaluation of sources. The dyslexics' group low self-efficacy in many of the skills associated with information literacy was discovered to be a notable barrier.