AN INSTRUMENT FOR THE DIGITAL COMPETENCE ACTIONS FRAMEWORK
1 Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki and University of Macedonia (GREECE)
2 University of Macedonia (GREECE)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Existing instruments to evaluate one’s digital skills and digital competence consider neither the full spectrum of digital skills, nor the new digital technology advances, nor the digital behavior of modern people. This paper proposes a holistic instrument of 70 ability statements to measure one’s digital competence.
Today, 90% of jobs require some level of digital competencies (Gabriel, 2018). Local and national companies, as well as international corporations, are increasingly seeking IT skilled workers. However, 40% of businesses looking for ICT specialists have difficulties in finding the right candidates. In order to close this gap, European Commission put digital skills among the ten priority actions and launched the following plans:
i) the “Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition” plan in 2016 for education providers to offer more short-term and long-term ICT training schemes,
ii) the “Digital Education Action Plan” in 2018 to help education systems by adapting to the digital age and integrating digital technologies in teaching methods, thereby increasing digital competencies among students.
Recently, the European Council (2018) stated that digital competence involves the confident, critical and responsible use of, and engagement with, digital technologies for learning, at work, and for participation in society. Digital competence includes information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), safety (including digital well-being and competences related to cybersecurity), intellectual property related questions, problem solving and critical thinking”. It is one of the eight key competences in the EU for lifelong learning.
In addition, the European Training Foundation (ETF, 2018) defined digital competence to encompass a set of basic digital skills, covering information and data literacy, online communication and collaboration, digital content creation, safety and problem solving. Digital competence is about the ability to apply those digital skills (knowledge and attitude) in a confident, critical and responsible way in a defined context (e.g. education).
Initial attempts to measure one’s digital skills were tried to assess her/his technical digital skills. Later, researchers included critical thinking skills, behavior and attitude. DigComp (2018) is one of the most well-known digital competence frameworks. Consequently, its corresponding instrument attracted a lot of attention. Recently, the UK Essential Digital Skills (2019) proposed a new instrument. Similarly, Eurostat (2019) regularly surveys the ICT usage in households and by individuals. In the next Table 1, we give examples items of these instruments.
However, the existing instruments do not consider the full spectrum of digital competence. New digital technologies have emerged and skills related to these new innovations should be considered too. For example, social media and mobile technologies have spread all over the world. Furthermore, digital competence is a multidimensional concept that includes not only technical skills, but also critical thinking, problem solving as well as self-reflection, creativity, openness and social responsibility, among others. Therefore, in this paper we propose a new digital competence instrument that incorporates such innovative skills.
Keywords: Assessment, Digital Competence, Digital Skills, Education, Evaluation.