University of Oregon

IT Snapshot: Students' Digital Literacy


This article is the sixth in the weekly series, IT Snapshots. New articles are published every Friday. Currently, IT Snapshots is exploring how UO students use technology.

In the last IT Snapshot, we examined how students self-identify their skill level in using common software.

This week we see how students self-identify on tasks that are considered key components of digital literacy:

  • the effective and efficient search for information
  • the evaluation of the reliability and credibility of online sources of information
  • the understanding of ethical/legal issues surrounding the access to and use of digital information

Based on the survey results, it appears that students are comfortable searching for information but are less confident in their ability to evaluate the quality of information returned by those searches. On the question of understanding ethical and legal issues, a vast majority of students—78.5 percent—rate themselves as fairly or very knowledgable.


Chart of students' digital literacy

In 2009, the University of Oregon began participating in the ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology. Today's data were gathered in the 2010 Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology. For a complete set of ECAR charts, see IT Snapshot of UO Student Technology Use.