‘Digital Natives’ Require Basic Digital Literacy Skills


This paper discusses a Digital Academic Literacy (DAL) Programme at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). It highlights the Programme__s response to and alignment with emerging South African Higher Education (HE) national policy imperatives and discourses which include, the effective integration of ICTs for teaching-and-learning; and the need to increase and continue large-scale targeted work. This specific student development Programme is deliberated within a paradoxical context, where on the one hand there are claims by Marc Prensky that the Digital Natives use of ICTs are significantly increased from their predecessors; and on the other hand, many of these Digital Natives still require basic digital literacy training and support. The study highlights how through gaining the necessary ICT support, students are better equipped to cope academically while, also attaining a range of skills which enhance employability. The researchers discuss the exponential growth of the student DAL Programme, catering to first year students across Departments, as well as the need for further expansion in order to accommodate all students who lack the necessary digital literacy skills to succeed at tertiary level. A mixed-method research approach is adopted, using both quantitative and qualitative evidence. Data was retrieved from CIECT__s intranet as well as, via an internet-based online survey regarding student access to ICTs. Other data includes student assessment results after engagement in the DAL Programme as well as, contributions by field experts. Moreover, the researchers highlight the importance of critical change management processes to ensure the sustainability and quality of the Programme.

Author Information
Liesl Leonard, The University of the Western Cape, South Africa
André Siebrits, The University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Tebogo Mokwele, The University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Juliet Stoltenkamp, The University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Paper Information
Conference: IICTCHawaii2016
Stream: Digital literacy

This paper is part of the IICTCHawaii2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon