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​​Assessing Digital Competency of Postsecondary Students, Instructors and Staff in Rural, Remote Northern Ontario

​Project contacts: Jackie Pichette (HEQCO) and Roland Van Oostveen (UOIT)

As technology plays an increasingly prominent role in the classroom, strong digital literacy skills are becoming vital to student success.

Online learning is often cited as a way of expanding the reach of education and making it more accessible to everyone but are there specific skills needed in order to succeed in online learning environments? This project aims to answer this question by attempting to identify, understand and measure the digital skills needed for success specifically in online learning environments within remote northern communities.

The project will use a tool called the Digital Competency Profiler (DCP) that has already been developed, validated, tested and used internationally to discover more about the digital skills of students, faculty and staff at institutions including Northern College, Royal Roads University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The project will examine differences in digital use/confidence across groups, whether certain technologies are more prevalent than others and will also further validate the DCP by simultaneously administering two validated digital competency tests.

The importance of digital skills will only continue to grow having been identified by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and the Conference Board of Canada as required for future success. A project such as this one has many potential benefits to measure and determine the skills and competencies necessary when interacting with technologies.

Materials and Outcomes

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​Throughout the course of this project, updates and final reports will be posted here.​