Exploring determinants influencing information literacy with activity theory

Xuanxi LI, A.Y.M. Atiquil ISLAM, Wai Lun Eddie CHENG, Xiao HU, Samuel Kai Wah CHU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study aimed to provide evidence to support the use of a wiki called PBworks as a learning tool to foster students' information literacy (IL) skills based on activity theory. 

Design/methodology/approach: The participants consisted of 421 students (i.e. form 1 to form 3) from Hong Kong taking a liberal studies course during the 2016–2017 academic year. This study mainly used a mixed methods design, proposing 11 hypotheses. Quantitative data from 374 questionnaires were analysed to test these research hypotheses, while a qualitative method (interviews) was used to explain the quantitative results. A structural equation modelling approach was used to analyse the data, and data triangulation was used to answer the same research questions. 

Findings: The results showed that the model components PBworks affordances (PB) and rules and divisions (RD) had significant direct effects on individual activities (IA) and community activities (CA) and significant indirect effects on information literacy (IL). The results also revealed that CA had a significant effect on IA and had an even greater effect on IL. 

Research limitations/implications: Using PBworks and the project-based learning (PjBL) approach, this study examined the determinants affecting the IL skills of Hong Kong junior secondary school students and proposed a wiki-based information literary activity (WILA) model. 

Practical implications: As students' IL skills have become increasingly important, this study can shed light on related topics for future studies. 

Social implications: And contribute to social stability and harmonious development. 

Originality/value: This study eventually confirmed the validity of the WILA model with all hypotheses supported. 

Peer review: The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-03-2020-0092. Copyright © 2021 Emerald Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-589
JournalOnline Information Review
Issue number3
Early online dateSept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 02 Jun 2022


Li, X., Islam, A. Y. M. A., Cheng, E. W. L., Hu, X., & Chu, S. K. W. (2022). Exploring determinants influencing information literacy with activity theory. Online Information Review, 46(3), 568-589. doi: 10.1108/OIR-03-2020-0092


  • Activity theory
  • Wiki
  • Information literacy
  • Teamwork
  • Junior secondary school students


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