16 SES 01 A, Research on K-12 Students' Digital Competence
Most studies on the assessment of ICT competences are conducted from the perspective of self-perceived measures (Litt, 2013; Meelissen, 2008). One of the most commonly used self-perceived measures to assess students’ ICT competences is ICT self-efficacy. Although ICT self-efficacy measures are often deployed in large scale studies, they suffer from validity problems due to self-reported bias, i.e. students can over- and/or underestimate their own ICT competences (van Deursen & Van Dijk, 2011). Consequently, it can be assumed that the results of ICT self-efficacy measures are not always an accurate representation of students’ actual level of ICT competence (Siddiq, Hatlevik, Olsen, Throndsen, & Scherer, 2016). The general aim of this study is to explore whether ICT self-efficacy measures can be used to assess primary school students’ ICT competences in a valid way when taking the accuracy of students’ ICT self-efficacy into account.
Main theoretical concepts
ICT competences have been incorporated and defined in several educational frameworks on 21st century skills and ICT literacy. For example, in the DIGCOMP framework, ICT competence is defined as “the confident, critical and creative use of ICT to achieve goals related to work, employability, learning, leisure, inclusion and/or participation in society” (Ferrari, 2013, p.2). The European Commission (2007) states that ICT competences concern information processing, problem solving, critical reasoning, and creative and innovative ICT use. According to these definitions, ICT competences are more concerned with higher cognitive capabilities in digital information processing and communication than with the mastery of basic ICT skills (Markauskaité, 2007; Siddiq et al., 2016). In this study, ICT competences are similarly defined as a student’s ability to search, process and communicate digital information using a computer and the Internet (Authors, 2015).
ICT self-efficacy originates from the construct of self-efficacy, which is derived from Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. According to Bandura (1986), self-efficacy is concerned with “people’s judgments of their capabilities to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances” (p.391). In this context, ICT self-efficacy refers to peoples judgment about their abilities to successfully perform computer and Internet related behavior (Papastergiou, 2010). This study follows Tsai and Tsai’s (2010) specific conceptualization of ICT self-efficacy as a student’s individual judgment about his or her ability to explore digital information, and to communicate using the computer and the Internet. More specifically, it is about a student’s belief in his capability to successfully perform specific digital tasks with regard to 1) retrieving and processing appropriate digital information; and 2) communicating in a safe, sensible and appropriate way (Authors, 2014a).
Bias and accuracy are two measures that have not yet been studied within the context of ICT self-efficacy. Similar to self-efficacy in other academic domains, (Chen, 2003; Pajares & Graham, 1999) bias of ICT self-efficacy refers to the direction of the judgment error, i.e., bias indicates whether one is over- or underestimating his ICT competences. Accuracy of ICT self-efficacy refers to the magnitude of the judgment error, i.e., the extent to which the over- or underestimation of ICT competences is big or small.
The general aim of this study is to explore whether ICT self-efficacy measures can be used to assess primary school students’ ICT competences in a valid way when taking the accuracy of students’ ICT self-efficacy into account. This aim was divided into two research questions (RQ)
RQ1: To which degree does an ICT self-efficacy measure provides an accurate and non-biased representation of students’ ICT competences?
RQ2: To which degree does the accuracy of students’ ICT self-efficacy increases the predictive validity of an ICT self-efficacy measure?
Authors (2014a). Authors (2014b). Authors (2015). Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Chen, P.P. (2003). Exploring the accuracy and predictability of the self-efficacy beliefs of seventh-grade mathematics students. Learning and Individual Differences, 14, 79-92. European Commission (2007). Key competences for lifelong learning. European reference framework. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. Ferrari, A. (2013). DIGCOMP: A framework for developing and understanding digital competence in Europe. JRC scientific and policy reports, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg. Litt, E. (2013). Measuring users’ internet skills: A review of past assessments and a look toward the future. New Media & Society¸15(4), 612-630. Markauskaite, L. (2007). Exploring the structure of trainee teachers’ ICT literacy: the main components and relationships between general cognitive and technical capabilities. Educational Technology Research & Development, 55(6), 547-572. Meelissen, M. (2008). Computer attitudes and competencies among primary and secondary school students. In J. Voogt, & G. Knezek (Eds.), International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education (pp. 381-395). New York: Springer. Pajares, F., & Graham, L. (1999). Self-Efficacy, Motivation Constructs, and Mathematics Performance of Entering Middle School Students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 24, 124-139. Papastergiou, M. (2010). Enhancing Physical Education and Sport Science students’ self-efficacy and attitudes regarding Information and Communication Technologies through a computer literacy course. Computers & Education, 54, 298 – 308. Siddiq, F., Hatlevik, O.E., Olsen, R.V., Throndsen, I., & Scherer, R. (2016). Taking a future perspective by learning from the past - A systematic review of assessment instruments that aim to measure primary and secondary school students' ICT literacy. Educational Research Review, 19, 58-84. Tsai, M.J., & Tsai, C.C. (2010). Junior High School Students’ Internet Usage and Self-Efficacy: A Re-examination of the gender gap. Computers & Education, 54, 1182 – 1192. van Deursen, A., & van Dijk, J. (2011). Internet skills and the digital divide. New Media Society, 13(6), 893 – 911.
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