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      Digital Literacy: An Investigation into Perceived Competencies of Open Distance Learning Students in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

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            Abstract

            The aim of this study was to investigate and describe the perceived digital literacy competencies of open distance learning students at the University of South Africa in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. In this study, I examined whether there is a statistically significant relationship between the independent variables, attitudes towards digital technology for academic purposes, use of the Learner Management System, attendance at regional digital literacy workshops, and the dependent variable, perceived digital literacy competencies. In this study, I employed the new conceptual framework of e-skills for digital inclusion by Pokpas to investigate the perceived digital literacy competencies of the students. I used a quantitative research approach which is used to examine relationships between variables and statistical procedures to analyse the data. The study concluded that most students have high self-perceived digital literacy competencies. Statistically significant positive relationships were found between attitude towards digital technology for educational purposes, use of the Learner Management System, attendance at regional digital literacy workshops and perceived digital literacy competencies. Recommendations were made to revisit the marketing strategy, the offering of digital literacy workshops, and the admission policy and to include a digital literacy competency assessment test for all students. The study recommended further research to test the actual digital literacy competencies of the students, emphasising the importance for all students to be digitally literate. This is not only for achieving academic success but also for being able to operate effectively and efficiently in the digital society and being prepared for the 4IR.

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            UnisaRxiv
            UNISA Press
            13 July 2022
            Affiliations
            [1 ] University of South Africa
            Author notes
            Article
            10.25159/UnisaRxiv/000031.v1
            3c2a972e-14da-4c45-899b-cecae1b6f888

            This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0 , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at www.scienceopen.com .


            The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
            Education,Computer science
            attitude towards digital technology,digital literacy,digital literacy workshops,learner management systems,open distance learning ,digital technology

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