Research & Consulting: Digital Learning and Work

Reexamining digital-learning readiness in higher education: Positioning digital competencies as key factors and a profile application as a readiness tool
April 16, 2021

Reexamining digital-learning readiness in higher education: Positioning digital competencies as key factors and a profile application as a readiness tool

What was the research status of digital competences as e-learning readiness factors? Did the EILAB’s’ DCP application represent a viable instrument for profiling e-learning readiness? This critical literature review found that despite the prominent positioning of digital competences in the e-learning readiness research, survey instruments were limited by undertheorised and unidimensional operationalisations. In response, the Digital Competency Profiler is positioned as a robust apparatus for measuring e-learning readiness and predicting key performance characteristics of learners in online environments. In the end, this study addresses key limitations in e-learning readiness research and positions the DCP as a solution.

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Blayone, T. J. B. (2018). Reexamining digital-learning readiness in higher education: Positioning digital competencies as key factors and a profile application as a readiness tool. International Journal on E-Learning, 17(4), 425-451. http://www.learntechlib.org/p/178285/

Formal Abstract

Readiness for digital learning is an international research domain exploring the preparedness of people and contexts for successful technology-rich education. This study, focused on higher education, reviews the readiness literature and positions digital competencies as factors within it. A key limitation identified is that despite the position of digital knowledge, skills and attitudes as highly significant factors, readiness instruments are limited by inconsistent conceptualization and unidimensional operationalization of digital competencies. In response, the General Technology Competency and Use (GTCU) framework and accompanying online Digital Competency Profiler (DCP) application, developed in Canada and used over a decade in several national contexts, are reviewed as an alternative readiness-assessment apparatus. Findings from a pilot observational study comparing: (a) self-reported digital competencies (using DCP indicators), and (b) the quality of authentic digital-learning performances, are highlighted in support. Through continued application development and international collaboration, the researchers are pursuing contextually-sensitive and non-exclusionary readiness-assessment tools that help individuals and groups better prepare for successful digital learning.

Keywords

digital competence; fully online learning; readiness; e-learning; e-readiness

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