Being Citizens in the Digital Era: An Empirical Study of Chinese University Students’ Practice of Digital Citizenship


As a newly emerged concept, digital citizenship received extensive attention from researchers and was mainly investigated from the following aspects including exploring its meanings, developing reliable and valid instruments, and identifying impacting factors. However, it is detected that there is limited research focusing on researching how people behave as citizens in the online community. Employed quantitative research with purposive sampling method, this research aims to tackle this research gap by examining Chinese university students’ practices of digital citizenship. As a result, 820 students were recruited according to gender, educational level, and educational background. The questionnaire data were analyzed by using Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) and then Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA). The research finding revealed that Chinese university students demonstrated high confidence in digital literacy skills, a strong sense of fulfilling civic responsibility as netizens, appropriate and ethical digital behaviors, respectful attitudes towards others’ legal rights in the online community, responsible behaviors in protecting personal rights when surfing online, and relatively low passion for digital civic participation. This research theoretically contributed to current literature about digital citizenship practices, especially in a non-western context. Also, the findings of this research could help improve digital citizenship education when educators and policymakers examined gaps between teaching and learning of digital citizenship.

Author Information
Jing Yu, The Education University of Hong Kong, China
Koon Lin Wong, The Education University of Hong Kong, China

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2023
Stream: Higher education

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon