Digital literacy: levels and development among Chinese postgraduate students


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Digital literacy: levels and development among Chinese postgraduate students

  1. 1. Digital literacy: levels and development amongChinese postgraduate studentsMengjie, JIANGInstitute of Learning InnovationUniversity of roleBackgroundImportanceResearch objective and questionsLiterature reviewReferencesImage courtesy of
  2. 2. 1. Born and brought up in China2. An international postgraduate student3. An extension of the Master’s dissertation researchMy role (My personal rationale)BAIDUCNKIQQRENRENSINA BLOGWEIBOGoogle ScholarGoogle BooksfacebooktwitterYouTubeIn China In the UKSource: Mengjie, J (2011, p.70)Fig. 1. Changes in the use of participatory web tools by Chinese overseas postgraduate students
  3. 3. Research Background• Networked student (• Digital literacy - an essential educationalaim that fits ‘all disciplines, all learningenvironments and all levels of education’(ACRL, 2000, p.3).• Transnational higher education-about585,000 Chinese students will beseeking university education in the UKby 2020 (The Economist, 10 Mar 2012).Image courtesy of
  4. 4. The importance of the study Increasing internationalisation in higher education calls paying attention to theneeds of diverse students groups, and universities need to remodel theircurricula to support international students (Ramsden, 2008). This study will help to collect data and evidence from non-Western students(Chinese postgraduate students) on their digital literacy skills.
  5. 5. Research objective and questionsThe main objective: To investigate the levels of digital literacy among Chinesestudents in universities (in the UK and in China), and the reasons for thedifferent levels.Research questions:1). What are the different levels of digital literacy among Chinese postgraduatestudents in Chinese higher education institutions and those in UK highereducation institutions?2). What are the factors leading to the different levels of digital literacy amongChinese postgraduate students in Chinese higher education institutions andthose in UK higher education institutions?3). How can Chinese international higher education students be better supportedto make full use of web technologies in UK higher education institutions?
  6. 6. Literature review: What is digital literacy? ‘The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a widerange of sources when it is presented via computers’ (Gilster, 1997). ‘The awareness, attitude and ability of individuals to appropriately use digitaltools and facilities to identify, access, manage, integrate, evaluate, analyze andsynthesis digital resources, construct new knowledge, create media expressions,and communicate with others, in the context of specific life situations, in order toenable constructive social action; and to reflect upon this process’ (Martin, 2005). ‘Representation’, ‘Language’, ‘Production’ and ‘Audience’ (Buckingham, 2007)
  7. 7. Literature review: What are the elements of digital literacy? Access; Manage; Integrate; Evaluate; Create; Communicate (CETF, 2008). Statement; Identification; Accession; Evaluation; Interpretation; Organization;Integration; Analysis; Synthesis; Creation; Communication; Dissemination;Reflection (Martin, 2006) the essential elements of digital literacies (cited in Belshaw, 2013):Cu(cultural)Cg(cognitive)Cn(constructive)Co(communicative)Cf(confident)Cr(creative)Ct(critical)Ci(civic)
  8. 8. Fig1: Levels of digital literacy in action (Cited in Martin, 2006)Level I: Digital competence (skills, concepts, approaches, attitudes, etc. )Level II: Digital usage (professional/discipline application)Level III: Digital transformation (innovation/creativity)Social action (embedded in life context)setsTask/problemdigital usages(embedded in task context)Resources• text• images• multimedia• etc.stateidentifyaccessintegrateevaluateinterpretanalysesynthesizecreatecommunicatedisseminatereflectdigitaltoolsdigitaltoolsProduct• re-presented• information• new knowledge• mediaexpressionOutcome/solutioninstigatesSocial action (affect life context)Fig1: levels of digital literacy in action (adopted in Martin, 2006, p.255)Literature review: Levels of digital literacy in action
  9. 9. Fig 2: Digital competence framework (cited in Calvani et al, 2009, p. 162)Literature review: digital competence framework
  10. 10. Data collection Pilot study [from July, 2013] Main study [from January,2014]
  11. 11. ACRL (2000) Information Literacy Competency standards for higher education. Available at, accessed 15th Feb, 2013.Belshaw, D. (2013) What is digital literacy? Eight (8) essential elements. The search Principle: views are my own, [blog] March 5, 2013,Available at, accessed 18th June, 2013.Buckingham, D. (2007) Digital media literacies: rethinking media education in the age of the Internet. Research in comparative andinternational education, 2(1), 43-55.Calvani, A., Fini, A. & Ranieri, M. (2009) Accessing digital competence in secondary education-issues, models and instruments. InLearning, M. (Eds) Issues in Information and media literacy: Education, practice and pedagogy. Santa Rosa: Informing Science Press.CETF (November, 2008) California ICT digital literacy Policy framework. Available at, accessed 9th May, 2013.Gilster, P. (1997) Digital literacy, New York: John Wiley.Martin, A. (2005) DigEuLit- a European framework for digital literacy. A Progress Report. Journal of eLiteracy, 2, 130-136.Martin, A. (2006) DigEuit: Concepts and tools for digital literacy development. Available at, accessed 5th June, 2013.Ramsden, P. (2008) The future of higher education teaching and the students experience. The Higher Education Academy. Availableat, accessed 15th Feb,2013.The Economist (10 Mar, 2012) Pretty Poly: The new universities are 20 years old, and still spry. Available at, accessed 10 October, 2012.References
  12. 12. Thank you!
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