Readiness for digital learning: examining self-reported and observed mobile competencies as steps toward more effective learner readiness assessment
Blayone, Todd J. B.
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This mixed-methods study explores a digital-competencies survey tool for probing the readiness of higher-education students for digital learning, in three steps. First, it develops a methodology for capturing and analysing authentic, digital-learning activity, and relating this activity to reported digital competencies. Second, it explores situational factors shaping human-computer interactions through video-based, case-study analyses. Finally, it proposes a threshold approach to self-reported digital competencies, which may help identify students requiring greater preparedness for optimal functioning as digital learners. Quantitative findings include generally strong, positive correlations between self-reported competencies and performance quality. Qualitative case-study analyses highlight four sets of situational factors influencing performance: (a) task/scenario difficulty; (b) comfort with device; (c) engagement, frustration and fatigue; and (d) persistence and activity-completion strategy. In the end, this study recommends the General Technology Competency and Use instrument as a promising tool for probing participant readiness for digital learning, and offers methodologies for future performance studies.