Digital literacy and effective learning in a blended learning environment

Tang, Chun Meng, and Chaw, Lee Yen (2015) Digital literacy and effective learning in a blended learning environment. In: Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on e-Learning. pp. 601-610. From: ECEL 2015: 14th European Conference on e-Learning, 29-30 October 2015, Hatfield, UK.

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Abstract

Leveraging the capabilities of the web, which has become hugely popular among university students since its inception in the 90s, blended learning has been promoted as an alternative to classroom learning. A hybrid of classroom learning and online learning, blended learning offers flexibility in the way students learn – when, what, where, and how to learn. The easy availability of mobile devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets, etc.), coupled with web-based services (e.g. digital library, learning management systems, etc.), has further fuelled blended learning. Universities see online learning as complementary to classroom learning so as to give students a better learning experience, and students like the learning flexibility. As blended learning expects students to know how to use digital technology to access the web, to search for and to use information from different sources both online and offline, as well as to be an independent learner, it seems reasonable to presume that to be an effective learner in a blended learning environment, students need to have a certain level of digital literacy. Thus, there remains a question: Do students require digital literacy to be effective in learning in a blended learning environment? Answering this question helps universities to understand if high digital literacy is a prerequisite to more effective learning in a blended learning environment. If it is, universities can provide students with workshops to help raise digital literacy among them. Following a quantitative approach, this study conducted an online questionnaire survey to answer the question by examining the relationships between four digital literacy constructs; i.e. underpinnings, background knowledge, central competencies, and attitudes and perspectives; as conceptualised by David Bawden in his 2008 book chapter entitled "Origins and Concepts of Digital Literacy," and effective learning. This study developed a 5-item scale to operationalise each of the four digital literacy constructs and, using the revised Bloom’s taxonomy as a point of departure, a 6-item scale for the effective learning construct. To collect responses from the students who were taking subjects in a blended learning environment at a local university, the students were invited to fill in an online questionnaire. Responses were then analyzed using partial least squares. Exploratory factor analysis resulted in the four digital literacy constructs being reduced to three. Subsequent confirmatory factor analysis proved that the three digital literacy constructs each had a statistically significant relationship with the effective learning construct.

Item ID: 40787
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-910810-71-2
ISSN: 2048-8645
Keywords: blended learning, online learning, digital literacy, effective learning, higher education, partial least squares
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Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2016 03:18
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education @ 50%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies @ 50%
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