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A.L. Dumitrescu1, E.E. Iorgulescu2, C.B. Dogaru3, C. Duta3, C. Toma3

1University "Lucian Blaga" Sibiu (ROMANIA)
2University of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
3University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Carol Davila", Bucharest (ROMANIA)
In recent years higher education faces numerous new challenges such as assimilation of knowledge, problem solving skills and management of increasing numbers of learners as well as changes in educational models and methodologies The use of computer assisted learning, internet and e-learning technologies has improved teaching and learning in undergraduate education. The objective of this study is to investigate the differences in computer literacy between first year undergraduate students from four Romanian faculties.

A cross-sectional survey was carried out among students. The data was gathered through a written questionnaire containing the Computer Literacy Scale (Lin, 2011). The scale included six constructs (software, hardware, multimedia, networks, information ethics, and information security).

151 participants answered the questionnaire: 55 from Faculty of Medicine, 44 from College of Dental Technicians (University of Medicine and Pharmacy "Carol Davila", Bucharest) and 52 from Faculty of Chemistry (University of Bucharest). Mean score for the computer literacy questionnaire was 140.31 ± 19.67, with no significant gender difference (Males: 24.54 ± 3.37, Females: 140.49 ± 17.76). When the subscales were evaluated, males scored higher than females on the hardware subscale (26.71 ± 3.77 vs. 25.36 ± 3.80, P < 0.05). In the whole sample participants earned the highest scores for the network domain and the lowest score for the information ethics and multimedia domains. When age differences were evaluated, statistically significant differences were observed only for information security (P = 0.001). In the whole sample 99% of the students reported to have an e-mail address, 79% have a desktop computer, 87.8% a laptop, 18% a tablet and 81.9% were using mobile phones for Web browsing. A significant higher number of medical students reported to have a laptop comparing with dental technicians students (94.4% vs. 77.3%, P<0.05). In the linear regression analysis, having an email address was the strongest predictor of computer literacy (β = 0.233, P = 0.004), followed by tablet ownership (β = 0.184, P = 0.007) and the type of faculty (β = 0.143, P<0.05).

In aim to improve problem-solving abilities of undergraduate students, courses related to multimedia topic should be increased as well as those related to information ethics. The findings revealed that the first year Romanian undergraduates were well prepared and had a high level of computer literacy and computer skills.