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Title: University Teachers and Students’ Digital Competence: A Case Study of Gansu Agricultural University in China
Authors: Zhao, Y.
Keywords: Digital competence
higher education
university teachers
university students
Issue Date: 23-Jun-2022
Publisher: Grupo GRIAL
Abstract: Living today in the knowledge society allows us to be aware of the changes in the structure of society, the connections between countries and the acquisition of knowledge, as well as the ever-growing technological development and penetration into every aspect of our life. The outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) has further propelled the revolution in education. The educational model has changed and with it comes a variety of challenges. Teachers and students are required to be equipped with adequate digital competence and the ability to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the Internet proficiently, especially in higher education. Consequently, the gap of digital competence is widened, not only between developed and developing countries, but also within the same country due to the imbalance of economic growth, such as the huge gap between the east and west of China. It is of great necessity to enhance the digital competence to better meet the challenges, to narrow the digital gap and to adapt to this knowledge society as well as to the new learning environment. The main purposes of this thesis are: firstly, to present the definition of digital competence in the higher education, to indicate the dimensions commonly used to assess university teachers and students’ digital competence, to determine the state of research in this field, and to identify the areas for further research through a systematic literature review and a mapping study. Secondly, to carry out an empirical study on university teachers and students at Gansu Agricultural University in the west of China. For in-service university teachers, the focus was on the exploration of their digital competence, the use of ICTs and their attitudes towards the use of ICTs in education. For university students, especially for those freshmen and senior students, the emphasis was placed on students’ digital competence and their attitudes towards ICTs; and their availability of technological resources, their potential for digital competence, and previous training related to ICTs and digital competence were covered as well. Moreover, the factors influencing digital competence were examined to determine its development needs.
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