Date Approved

2-9-2016

Date Posted

9-14-2016

Degree Type

Campus Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

College of Technology

Committee Member

John Dugger, Ph.D., Committee Chair

Committee Member

Konnie Kustron, J.D.

Committee Member

Tierney A. Orfgen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael McVey, Ed.D.

Abstract

This research effort conceptualized, developed, implemented, and examined the psychometric properties of an Information & Communication Technology (ICT) literacy assessment instrument designed for students entering college. This process began with the development of a working definition of the ICT literacy based on the literature and the input of a panel of experts regarding the proposed literacy sub-constructs and the individual test items. A pilot test was conducted to identify areas for improvement. Once these improvements were incorporated, the final assessment instrument was administered to the freshmen class at a private Midwestern comprehensive university with religious affiliation.

The psychometric aspects of the assessment instrument were analyzed based in the field test results. Four hypotheses were used to further examine the field test data. The first hypothesis tested the ICT literacy dimensions or sub-constructs that were derived from the literature and refined with assistance of the panel of experts. Three additional hypotheses examined assessment results through selected demographic aspects of the participants including gender, a socioeconomic indicator, and their self-reported high-school GPA.

The results of the field test indicated that ICT literacy may be complex, but it can be measured. The developed items that formed the assessment instrument fell within good psychometric bounds. This was not the case with the dimensions or sub-constructs, since they were not supported by the results of a confirmatory factor analysis or materialize through an exploratory factor analysis. This analysis did suggest different factors that have been included in the resulting proposed Digital Communication and Information Scale (DCITS).

The ICT Literacy assessment instrument field test scores were analyzed through the demographic information provided by the participants. The assessment results revealed that female participants performed better than male participants. The participants from lower socioeconomic levels, as indicated by eligibility for subsidized lunches, received lower assessment scores. And finally, the participants with higher GPAs received higher scores on the ICT literacy assessment.

This research effort has shown that ICT literacy assessment is possible and can provide insight for educators and guide future research. Suggested alternative dimensions were proposed (DCITS) that differed from those proposed in the related literature. Future iterations of this ICT literacy assessment instrument or development of similar instruments is warranted to continue to explore this important topic.

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