THE LEVEL OF COMPETENCES AMONG UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN THE AREA OF APPLICATION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)
Palacký University Olomouc (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:In the current “digital age”, the competences in relation to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are becoming increasingly important. They are of crucial importance in education, especially in the context of improving its quality. These competences help teachers and students perform more effectively as well as improve and expand the teaching and learning process (in relation to the ability to acquire, search for, use and share relevant and accurate information in time), while addressing the specific challenges of today (such as ethics in education/science, distinguishing between true and untrue information on the internet, security and protection of personal data in relation to modern technologies, etc.) New technologies have the potential to support and strengthen education across educational programmes (curricula) and to provide opportunities for effective communication between the teacher and students in ways that used to be impossible. To make the best use of ICT, it is therefore necessary for teachers to be equipped with appropriate competences. At the same time, it is indisputable that the level of ICT competences among undergraduate students provides some guidance in the assessment of the quality of academic institutions.
In this context, the following research questions were formulated: “What is the level of ICT competences among undergraduate teacher training students?”, “To what extent is the degree of ICT competences affected by gender, parental education and formal study characteristics?” The research sample comprised 624 respondents aged 19–55 years (M = 23±6); 528 women (84.7%) and 96 men (15.3%). The research method was the Information and Communication Technology Competence questionnaire. This is a 14-item questionnaire with a 4-point Likert scale which uses three factors (core, application and ethics competences) to examine students’ qualification in ICT. The inventory has very good psychometric parameters reaching α = .87. The data were analysed in SPSS 21 using descriptive statistics calculation, ANOVA, t-test and chi-squared test. The study was conducted in compliance with applicable ethical principles. According to the results, the average values for ICT competences achieved 3.31 ± .39, 2.42 ± .61 and 3.49 ± .45 for the core, application and ethics competences, respectively. The degree of competences varied significantly between men and women with men showing higher core (P = .012), application (P < .001) and ethics (P = .013) competences. The year of study, form of study or parental education were not observed to have an effect on level of ICT competences. Higher application competences (P = .063) were observed in teacher training students as opposed to non-teaching students. According to the results of an item analysis of the individual competences, the average level of ICT competences (defined as a score of 3 and more) was 83.3%, 50% and 94.1% for the core, application and ethics competences, respectively. In the context of demographic characteristics, several differences were observed. Men used digital tools for problem solving significantly more (P = .015), teacher training students used ICT resources more (P = .031) and were able to communicate information using ICT tools effectively (P = .001), parental education was related to the ability to communicate information using ICT tools (P = .006) and to the creation of new works as a means of self-expression (P = .012).
Keywords: Information and Communication Technology, student, teacher, university.