University of Oulu

Digital competence assessment across generations : study of a Finnish sample

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Author: Shinwari, Fawad1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 36
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : F. Shinwari, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-08-22
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Vuopala, Essi
Reviewer: Laru, Jari
Vuopala, Essi


Digital technologies along with the free navigation of internet is rapidly changing our lives. Considering the importance of digital technologies for socio-economic success, acquiring digital competences have become important in knowledge societies. In addition, the European Commission presents a framework of digital competence for citizens by means of combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes, through technology, to perform tasks, solve problems, communicate, manage information, collaborate, create and share content effectively, appropriately, securely, critically, creatively, independently and ethically. Based on the European Framework (DigComp) a self-assessment tool Digital competency wheel is used for this quantitative study to measure the individuals’ perceptions toward digital competence. With a sample of 197 individuals from different generations in Finland, this study aims to provide empirical evidence that the generational technological abilities are diverse. The data in this study show that “Net generation” also coined as Digital natives, have obtained the highest level of digital competence; nevertheless, when looking at the performance of all the investigated groups, slight inter-generational difference has been found in the case of problem solving, whereas programming has been found as the least developed competency among these groups. Considering the usefulness and importance of digital competence for learning, this difference is minimal, with no universal applicability. Based on the results, the study concludes that digital competence is very much distributed across generations; this also contribute to inter generational learning that may enhance technological skills across generations. Therefore, the research in this field needs to be strengthen and the digital competence should be assessed more deeply on a large scale.

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Copyright information: © Fawad Shinwari, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.