Chapter 2 Digital Competences of Students

How They Are Assessed and What They Can Contribute to Study Success

In: Transformation Fast and Slow

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Students are often assumed to be “digital natives”, i.e., to be competent in the use of digital technologies. However, observations in the teaching context show that students do not (or cannot) necessarily transfer skills acquired in their leisure time to the study context. To provide concepts for developing appropriate teaching/learning quality and for the efficient use of corresponding technologies, a database is required to document students’ digital competences. We therefore refer to the European Reference Framework DigComp2.1 as a conceptual basis as well as selected results from surveys of several large universities in Germany. These conceptualise a new self-report questionnaire to assess digital competences. In this chapter, we first address the question how precisely digital competences can be assessed? Second, we stress the significance of digital competences in the first year of higher education under pandemic conditions. While it has been proven that self-efficacy is a predictor of study success, satisfaction and dropout intentions, this chapter attempts to examine the extent to which digital competences mediate this relationship when students experience their first year in higher education only in a virtual environment. For this purpose, we conducted a longitudinal study spanning the first year in higher education. Ultimately, a recording of digital competences serves as the basis for quality-enhancing concepts for higher education teaching to coordinate the sensible use of digital teaching/learning technologies with existing competences or to promote the acquisition of missing competences.

Transformation Fast and Slow

Digitalisation, Quality and Trust in Higher Education