Higher Education to Support Sustainable Development: The Influence of Information Literacy and Online Learning Process on Chinese Postgraduates’ Innovation Performance

Chiyao Sun, Ji’an Liu*, Liana Razmerita, Yanru Xu, Jia Qi

*Corresponding author for this work

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Digitalization provides opportunities for sustainable development. Cultivating postgraduates’ digital skills is an important task of higher education to support sustainable development (HESD). As a crucial way of cultivating digital skills, high-quality online learning processes are of great significance to achieve “Quality Education”, in line with the 2030 sustainable development agenda. Based on Biggs’s 3P (Presage-Process-Product) learning model, this study focused on the whole learning process and explored the relationship among postgraduates’ information literacy, online platforms, online knowledge-sharing processes and their innovation performance. The analysis of a questionnaire survey of 501 Chinese postgraduates showed that (1) information literacy has a positively predictive effect on postgraduates’ innovation performance; (2) different online learning processes lead to different learning results. Compared to the quantity-oriented online knowledge sharing process (Qty-KSP), the quality-oriented online knowledge sharing process (Qlty-KSP) is related to better innovation performance, which opens onto this study’s third finding: (3) Qty-KSP and Qlty-KSP play a parallel mediating effect between postgraduates’ information literacy and their innovation performance. Compared to Qty-KSP, Qlty-KSP is a more powerful intermediary variable, which leads to this study’s fourth finding; (4) an efficient online learning environment can contribute to higher-quality online learning process, thus improving postgraduates’ innovative performance. This study suggests that policy makers should develop postgraduates’ digital skills for sustainable development in the digital age. This can be achieved by (1) cultivating postgraduates’ information literacy; (2) encouraging them to practice high-quality online learning processes; and (3) providing an efficient sharing platform for sustainability, resilience, and digitalization in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7789
Issue number13
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Digital age
  • Talents cultivation
  • Information literacy
  • Online learning process
  • Innovation performance

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