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Examining the contemporary digital divide of university students with specific reference to students with special educational needs
Lebeničnik, Maja (Author), Istenič Starčič, Andreja (Author)

URLURL - Source URL, Visit https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/bjet.12920 This link opens in a new window

Abstract
The contemporary digital divide is characterised by the uneven distribution of access to information communication technology (ICT), originating in the different motivation, physical access and skills of users. We synthesised existing theories and frameworks to develop and then empirically validate a theoretical model to predict university students' use of online learning resources (OLRs) at the crossroads of formal and informal learning. Because access to digital content may be a bigger issue for students with special educational needs (SEN), we also examined OLR use among this group. Fifty-six students with SEN and 1642 mainstream students participated in the survey. Our main conclusions are as follows. In the whole sample, personal socio-cognitive factors (beliefs, self-efficacy) are the only significant predictors of OLR use. The results suggest that motivational and skills-related differences between students contribute more to the digital divide than do either differences related to unpleasant environmental conditions (eg, inaccessibility, high prices, etc.) or personal context (eg, study-fit, learning preferences, etc.). Separate regressions show that beliefs were significant predictors for both SEN students and their peers, while self-efficacy was a significant predictor for the mainstream students only. Measuring unpleasant environmental factors as a continuum (environmental and contextual barriers) explained OLRs better than solely differentiating between SEN and mainstream students.The contemporary digital divide is characterised by the uneven distribution of access to information communication technology (ICT), originating in the different motivation, physical access and skills of users. We synthesised existing theories and frameworks to develop and then empirically validate a theoretical model to predict university students' use of online learning resources (OLRs) at the crossroads of formal and informal learning. Because access to digital content may be a bigger issue for students with special educational needs (SEN), we also examined OLR use among this group. Fifty-six students with SEN and 1642 mainstream students participated in the survey. Our main conclusions are as follows. In the whole sample, personal socio-cognitive factors (beliefs, self-efficacy) are the only significant predictors of OLR use. The results suggest that motivational and skills-related differences between students contribute more to the digital divide than do either differences related to unpleasant environmental conditions (eg, inaccessibility, high prices, etc.) or personal context (eg, study-fit, learning preferences, etc.). Separate regressions show that beliefs were significant predictors for both SEN students and their peers, while self-efficacy was a significant predictor for the mainstream students only. Measuring unpleasant environmental factors as a continuum (environmental and contextual barriers) explained OLRs better than solely differentiating between SEN and mainstream students.

Language:English
Keywords:higher education, Slovenia, computer assisted leraning, teaching, on-line learning resources, digital divide, accessibility, special educational needs, social cognitive theory
Work type:Scientific work (r2)
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FGG - Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering
Year:2020
Number of pages:str. 1-20
Numbering:Letn. 0, št. 0
UDC:004.5: 378
ISSN on article:1467-8535
DOI:10.1111/bjet.12920 Link is opened in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:9100897 Link is opened in a new window
License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
This work is available under this license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 International
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Downloads:53
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Document is financed by a project

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije (ARRS)
Project no.:6316-3/2011-784 - mentor MR
Name:

Secondary language

Language:Slovenian
Keywords:visokošolsko izobraževanje, Slovenija, računalniško podprto učenje, poučevanje, spletni učni viri, digitalni razkorak, dostopnost, posebne izobraževalne potrebe, socialno kognitivna teorija

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