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Assessing Digital Skills of Refugee
Migrants during Job Orientation in
Germany
Juliane Stiller & Violeta Trkulja
Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
March 27, 2018 - iConference 2018, Sheffield, UK
„Querz“ by montillon.a (CC BY 2.0)
Agenda
○ Situation in Germany
○ Digital Skills: Concepts & Definitions
○ Methods
○ Results
○ Discussion & Future Work
2
3
○ In 2015 over one million refugee migrants sought
asylum in Germany
○ Integrating refugee migrants is the ultimate challenge
for public authorities
○ Own experience of voluntarily teaching German,
support in overcoming bureaucratic obstacles and
apply for jobs
○ Support refugees to acquire the needed skills for
becoming actively participating members of the society
Situation in Germany
Why is this important?
○ Integration activities in Germany for refugee migrants
are not designed for job orientation
○ Untapped potential of refugee migrants’ qualifications
○ Job-seeking activities increasingly move online
○ Digital skills are necessary to be able to enter the labor
market
4
Analyzing Digital Skills
○ Understand deficits in finding, processing and
analyzing information on the Internet
○ Benefit from the opportunities that arise through the
Internet
○ Improve chances for labour market integration
○ Contribute to forced migration research
○ Design targeted courses to develop digital skills
5
Digital Skills
Concepts & Definitions
Definitions
○ Digital skills, digital literacy, information literacy, digital
competences …
○ According to Iordache et al. (2017) we define:
○ Digital Knowledge: knowledge about digital tools
○ Digital Skills: ability to apply this knowledge
○ Digital Competence: use these sets of knowledge and
skills for one’s personal development
7
Digital Skills ...
○ Are indispensable for the work of tomorrow through
increased use of ICT
○ OECD (2016) recognizes a need for
○ specialist skills to programme, develop applications and
manage networks
○ generic skills to use such technologies for professional
purposes
○ complementary skills to perform new tasks associated to
the use of ICTs at work, e.g.: information-processing,
self-direction, problem-solving and communication
8
What are digital skills and how can they be measured?
Digital Literacy Frameworks
○ Iordache et al. (2017) examined the commonalities and
differences of 13 Digital Literacy Frameworks
○ 5 groups of competencies:
○ Operational, technical, and formal
○ Information and cognition
○ Digital communication
○ Digital content creation
○ Strategic
→ explicitly mention the framework of van Deursen and
van Dijk
9
Internet Skill Scale
(v. Deursen, 2010; v. Dijk & v. Deursen, 2014; v. Deursen u.a., 2015)
strategic
Developing an orientation toward a particular goal, taking the
correct actions & making the right decisions to reach this goal
10
Defining the information problem, choosing a search system, &
search queries, selecting & evaluating information sources
information
operational
Recognizing and operating the Internet service’s toolbars,
buttons, and menus
formal Navigating the Internet by using hyperlinks embedded in
different formats
Methods
11
Method
○ Lab-study with 7 participants in August 2017
○ Survey on internet activities
○ 9 tasks for digital skill assessment
○ Participants:
○ Between age of 18-33 from Syria and Iraq
○ 6 male and 1 female participants
○ Level of German language skills = B1 and higher
○ Status of residency with long-term perspective
○ High educational level (academics, students)
12
Purposeful sample to include participants that fulfill formal
requirements (as envisioned by the German government)
to enter German workforce
Experiment design
○ Study duration: 2,5h
○ Survey on internet activities
○ 9 online tasks for determining skill level on internet skill
scale
○ from easy to hard task
○ related to job search activities
○ task structure similar to tasks of v. Deursen & v Dijk, 2009
○ time recording for each task (visible to participants)
○ screen recording
13
Nine tasks
operational 1. Download and save a file
formal
2. Use specified site search and remove filter
3. Find address of jobcenter with specified website
strategic
8. Find three jobs with highest salary during training and career
9. Match perks for employees to three given companies
information
4. Find information on a specified website
5. Determine standard size of an application photo
6. Determine the minimum wage per hour
7. Determine minimum vacation days
Results
15
High level of Internet affinity
○ All participants used laptops and mobile phone to access the
Internet in their daily lives
16
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Administrating Contracts
Communicating with public authorities
Finding information and reading news
Shopping
Using Social networks (Facebook, Twitter)
Listening to music, watching videos
Which activities do you use the Internet for?
How would you rate your skills?
17
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Programming
Creating content for blogs and websites
Installing of Software
Searching and finding Information in the…
Using webbrowsers like Chrome, Firefox
Using and participating in social networks
Using Internet search engines
Downloading and saving files
No skills some skills average skills good skills very good skills
Results of the online tasks
4
1
7
6
4
5
6
18
0
0
operational 1. Download and save a file
formal
2. Use specified site search and remove filter
3. Find address of jobcenter with specified website
strategic
8. Find three jobs with highest salary during training and career
9. Match perks for employees to three given companies
information
4. Find information on a specified website
5. Determine standard size of an application photo
6. Determine the minimum wage per hour
7. Determine minimum vacation days
Results
○ only basic search strategies
○ information seeking process is inefficient, advanced
search functionalities not used
○ lack of website orientation, understanding of structure
of website
○ fact-based information seeking was successful,
whereas strategic searches was rather unsuccessful
○ perceived skills were higher than measured skills
○ no observation of information source evaluation
19
Discussion & Future Work
20
Some learnings
○ Countdown timer was stressing participants
○ Participants were under pressure to “perform well”
○ Chose real-world scenarios in job seeking but they
were artificial to the way refugee migrants normally find
work (via personal networks)
○ Concept of choosing work you like or that matches your
talents
21
Discussion
○ “Cultural information space” and digital literacy are
connected
○ Influence of language proficiency on understanding and
successfully operating the tasks
○ Teaching concepts are missing that convey digital skills
and the cultural information space
22
Future work
○ Evaluate videos and analyse the applied search
strategies
○ Conduct an extended lab-based experiment with
interviews and surveys (OCLC/ALISE Research Grant
2018)
○ Establish a training program for the acquisition of digital
skills for refugees
23
References
van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2009). Improving digital skills for the use of
online public information and services. Government Information Quarterly, 26(2), 333–
340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2008.11.002
Iordache, C., Mariën, I., & Baelden, D. (2017). Developing Digital Skills and Competences: A
Quick-Scan Analysis of 13 Digital Literacy Models. Italian Journal of Sociology of
Education, 9 (1), 6-30, doi:10.14658/pupj-ijse-2017-1-2
OECD (2016), "Skills for a Digital World: 2016 Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy
Background Report", OECD Digital Economy Papers, No. 250, OECD Publishing, Paris.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jlwz83z3wnw-en
van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2014). Digital Skills - Unlocking the
Information Society. Palgrave Macmillan US. Abgerufen von
http://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9781137437020
van Deursen, A. J. A. M., Helsper, E. J., & Eynon, R. (2015). Development and validation of
the Internet Skills Scale (ISS). Information, Communication & Society, 19(6), 804–823.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1078834
Deursen, A. J. A. M. van. (2010). Internet skills : vital assets in an information society.
https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036530866
24
25Questions
○ Contact
juliane.stiller@ibi.hu-berlin.de
violeta.trkulja@ibi.hu-berlin.de

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Iconference 2018 stiller trkulja-digital literacy session-27-03

  • 1. Assessing Digital Skills of Refugee Migrants during Job Orientation in Germany Juliane Stiller & Violeta Trkulja Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany March 27, 2018 - iConference 2018, Sheffield, UK „Querz“ by montillon.a (CC BY 2.0)
  • 2. Agenda ○ Situation in Germany ○ Digital Skills: Concepts & Definitions ○ Methods ○ Results ○ Discussion & Future Work 2
  • 3. 3 ○ In 2015 over one million refugee migrants sought asylum in Germany ○ Integrating refugee migrants is the ultimate challenge for public authorities ○ Own experience of voluntarily teaching German, support in overcoming bureaucratic obstacles and apply for jobs ○ Support refugees to acquire the needed skills for becoming actively participating members of the society Situation in Germany
  • 4. Why is this important? ○ Integration activities in Germany for refugee migrants are not designed for job orientation ○ Untapped potential of refugee migrants’ qualifications ○ Job-seeking activities increasingly move online ○ Digital skills are necessary to be able to enter the labor market 4
  • 5. Analyzing Digital Skills ○ Understand deficits in finding, processing and analyzing information on the Internet ○ Benefit from the opportunities that arise through the Internet ○ Improve chances for labour market integration ○ Contribute to forced migration research ○ Design targeted courses to develop digital skills 5
  • 7. Definitions ○ Digital skills, digital literacy, information literacy, digital competences … ○ According to Iordache et al. (2017) we define: ○ Digital Knowledge: knowledge about digital tools ○ Digital Skills: ability to apply this knowledge ○ Digital Competence: use these sets of knowledge and skills for one’s personal development 7
  • 8. Digital Skills ... ○ Are indispensable for the work of tomorrow through increased use of ICT ○ OECD (2016) recognizes a need for ○ specialist skills to programme, develop applications and manage networks ○ generic skills to use such technologies for professional purposes ○ complementary skills to perform new tasks associated to the use of ICTs at work, e.g.: information-processing, self-direction, problem-solving and communication 8 What are digital skills and how can they be measured?
  • 9. Digital Literacy Frameworks ○ Iordache et al. (2017) examined the commonalities and differences of 13 Digital Literacy Frameworks ○ 5 groups of competencies: ○ Operational, technical, and formal ○ Information and cognition ○ Digital communication ○ Digital content creation ○ Strategic → explicitly mention the framework of van Deursen and van Dijk 9
  • 10. Internet Skill Scale (v. Deursen, 2010; v. Dijk & v. Deursen, 2014; v. Deursen u.a., 2015) strategic Developing an orientation toward a particular goal, taking the correct actions & making the right decisions to reach this goal 10 Defining the information problem, choosing a search system, & search queries, selecting & evaluating information sources information operational Recognizing and operating the Internet service’s toolbars, buttons, and menus formal Navigating the Internet by using hyperlinks embedded in different formats
  • 12. Method ○ Lab-study with 7 participants in August 2017 ○ Survey on internet activities ○ 9 tasks for digital skill assessment ○ Participants: ○ Between age of 18-33 from Syria and Iraq ○ 6 male and 1 female participants ○ Level of German language skills = B1 and higher ○ Status of residency with long-term perspective ○ High educational level (academics, students) 12 Purposeful sample to include participants that fulfill formal requirements (as envisioned by the German government) to enter German workforce
  • 13. Experiment design ○ Study duration: 2,5h ○ Survey on internet activities ○ 9 online tasks for determining skill level on internet skill scale ○ from easy to hard task ○ related to job search activities ○ task structure similar to tasks of v. Deursen & v Dijk, 2009 ○ time recording for each task (visible to participants) ○ screen recording 13
  • 14. Nine tasks operational 1. Download and save a file formal 2. Use specified site search and remove filter 3. Find address of jobcenter with specified website strategic 8. Find three jobs with highest salary during training and career 9. Match perks for employees to three given companies information 4. Find information on a specified website 5. Determine standard size of an application photo 6. Determine the minimum wage per hour 7. Determine minimum vacation days
  • 16. High level of Internet affinity ○ All participants used laptops and mobile phone to access the Internet in their daily lives 16 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Administrating Contracts Communicating with public authorities Finding information and reading news Shopping Using Social networks (Facebook, Twitter) Listening to music, watching videos Which activities do you use the Internet for?
  • 17. How would you rate your skills? 17 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Programming Creating content for blogs and websites Installing of Software Searching and finding Information in the… Using webbrowsers like Chrome, Firefox Using and participating in social networks Using Internet search engines Downloading and saving files No skills some skills average skills good skills very good skills
  • 18. Results of the online tasks 4 1 7 6 4 5 6 18 0 0 operational 1. Download and save a file formal 2. Use specified site search and remove filter 3. Find address of jobcenter with specified website strategic 8. Find three jobs with highest salary during training and career 9. Match perks for employees to three given companies information 4. Find information on a specified website 5. Determine standard size of an application photo 6. Determine the minimum wage per hour 7. Determine minimum vacation days
  • 19. Results ○ only basic search strategies ○ information seeking process is inefficient, advanced search functionalities not used ○ lack of website orientation, understanding of structure of website ○ fact-based information seeking was successful, whereas strategic searches was rather unsuccessful ○ perceived skills were higher than measured skills ○ no observation of information source evaluation 19
  • 21. Some learnings ○ Countdown timer was stressing participants ○ Participants were under pressure to “perform well” ○ Chose real-world scenarios in job seeking but they were artificial to the way refugee migrants normally find work (via personal networks) ○ Concept of choosing work you like or that matches your talents 21
  • 22. Discussion ○ “Cultural information space” and digital literacy are connected ○ Influence of language proficiency on understanding and successfully operating the tasks ○ Teaching concepts are missing that convey digital skills and the cultural information space 22
  • 23. Future work ○ Evaluate videos and analyse the applied search strategies ○ Conduct an extended lab-based experiment with interviews and surveys (OCLC/ALISE Research Grant 2018) ○ Establish a training program for the acquisition of digital skills for refugees 23
  • 24. References van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2009). Improving digital skills for the use of online public information and services. Government Information Quarterly, 26(2), 333– 340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2008.11.002 Iordache, C., Mariën, I., & Baelden, D. (2017). Developing Digital Skills and Competences: A Quick-Scan Analysis of 13 Digital Literacy Models. Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 9 (1), 6-30, doi:10.14658/pupj-ijse-2017-1-2 OECD (2016), "Skills for a Digital World: 2016 Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy Background Report", OECD Digital Economy Papers, No. 250, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5jlwz83z3wnw-en van Deursen, A. J. A. M., & van Dijk, J. A. G. M. (2014). Digital Skills - Unlocking the Information Society. Palgrave Macmillan US. Abgerufen von http://www.palgrave.com/br/book/9781137437020 van Deursen, A. J. A. M., Helsper, E. J., & Eynon, R. (2015). Development and validation of the Internet Skills Scale (ISS). Information, Communication & Society, 19(6), 804–823. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2015.1078834 Deursen, A. J. A. M. van. (2010). Internet skills : vital assets in an information society. https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036530866 24