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Digital skills of teachers and learners. the investigation and connection of both perspectives
Digital skills of teachers and learners. the investigation and connection of both perspectives
Teachers are responsible for teaching digital skills to learners by integrating them into the curriculum, prompting researchers to call for a close examination of the impact of teachers' digital skills on learners' digital skills (Lachner et al. 2019; Lorenz et al., 2019; Lucas et al., 2021; Schmid et al., 2021). However, in order to examine this relationship in more detail, this dissertation would first need to examine in depth the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use as well as the valid measurement of teachers' digital skills, as this has not yet been sufficiently implemented in empirical educational research. Research regarding digital skills of teachers and learners has become increasingly important, especially in light of the COVID–19 pandemic and the accompanying global school closures. Nevertheless, there are some areas of teachers' and learners' digital skills that demand clarification. Accordingly, few researchers have addressed the problems particularly in the areas of 1) the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use, as school closures made the use of digital media in home and school daily life inevitable, 2) the measurement of teachers' digital skills to gain knowledge in educational science and to develop targeted interventions to promote teachers' digital skills, and 3) the impact of teachers' digital skills on learners' digital skills. Accordingly, as outlined in this dissertation, three studies were conducted to gain insights into the highlighted research areas. In the first study in this dissertation, we examined how learners used digital media before and during the COVID–19 pandemic. International mean comparisons suggest that learners rarely used digital media in school for school-related purposes (Schaumburg et al., 2019), suggesting that the digital media use is not yet central to everyday school life. However, given the global school closures due to COVID–19 pandemic in the spring/summer of 2020 and the accompanying imperative for learners and teachers to use digital media for school-related purposes, it is reasonable to assume that the COVID–19 pandemic has influenced learners' digital media use. The assumption of the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use is particularly interesting, as previous research has shown that purposeful digital media use can have a positive impact on learners' digital skills (Senkbeil, 2017), which is also an indispensable premise for successful participation in later professional life (Fraillon et al., 2020). While learners reported using digital media heterogeneously in relation to school and private contexts before the COVID–19 pandemic in 2019(N = 643), we asked learners in secondary schools in Bavaria before and during the COVID–19 pandemic (N = 644) and the accompanying school closure in spring 2020 via a representative telephone survey to what extent they use digital media for both social and school purposes. Learners were classified into different profiles based on their digital media use responses using Latent Profile Analysis. Our results show that learners' digital media use became more homogeneous in terms of school-related purposes during the COVID–19 pandemic in 2020. Specifically, learners increasingly reported using digital media for school-related purposes, such as researching on the Internet or learning. This may suggest that learners' digital skills may also have developed positively during the COVID–19 pandemic. However, our results also show that learners from low-education families (B = 0.79, p <.05) are particularly at risk of being left behind by the even faster pace of digitization, as learners from low-education families were particularly likely to be represented in profiles that reported using digital media for social rather than school activities, which may have a negative impact on learners' digital skills (Senkbeil, 2017). Research on teachers' digital skills has also gained much momentum, especially since the onset of the COVID–19 pandemic. However, a closer look at research on teachers' digital skills reveals that research often examines teachers' self-efficacy in technological knowledge, i.e., knowledge and skills with and about using digital media (Lachner et al., 2019). The establishment of self-assessment instruments is widely recognized in educational science, based on the assumption that inferences can be made from teachers' self-efficacy with regard to their actual technological knowledge (Hatlevik & Hatlevik, 2018). Nevertheless, recent studies show that the results between self-assessments and objective assessment measures of teachers' technological knowledge are weakly to poorly correlated, suggesting a systematic bias in self-assessments (Parry et al., 2021; Baier & Kunter, 2020; Drummond & Sweeny, 2017). At the same time, knowledge of teachers' actual, objectively measured digital skills professional knowledge is essential, especially in light of the COVID -19 pandemic and related distance learning, to determine appropriate interventions to target teachers´ digital skills. However, for a variety of reasons, such as the scope of the test and the acceptability of test takers, using objective assessment measures may not be sufficiently feasible in practice in every case. Accordingly, the first study in this dissertation addresses the question of the extent to which self-assessment instruments can be designed to minimize the extent of possible bias. Meta-analytic findings have already shown that self-assessment results correlate more strongly with objective measures of assessment when self-assessment instruments include concrete context-specific information (Talsma et al., 2018). By providing context-specific information, such as concrete scenarios in self-assessment instruments, subjects are provided with a concrete context, potentially avoiding systematic bias in self-assessments due to the absence of contextual information. The results show that the scenario-based self-assessment regarding the subcomponent, operating and using digital media (β = 0.25, SE = 0.13, p =.05) significantly predicts the objective assessment of technological knowledge (R2 =0.23) of N = 75 (prospective) teachers. In summary, scenario-based self-assessment may be an appropriate tool for getting closer to the results of the objective assessment measures. Overall, the results suggest that, especially for technical operational skills, the contextual information helped subjects to assess their own skills more accurately, so that over- or underestimation of subjects' skills or knowledge can be prevented by the scenario-based self-assessment (Sailer et al., 2021a). While research is needed on measuring teachers' digital skills and the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use, scholars also call for investigating the "connection" between teachers' digital skills and learners' digital skills (e.g., Guggemos & Seufert, 2021). With the integration of digital skills into curricula (e.g., Siddiq et al., 2016), teachers have the responsibility to foster learners´ digital skills. The third study in this dissertation examines the extent to which teachers' digital skills (n = 220), mediated by their professional knowledge regarding the high-quality use of digital media in instruction, affects students' digital skills(n = 1620). The results of multilevel analysis show that neither teachers' digital skills (b = -.08, t(692) = 1.66 .01, p >.05) nor teachers' professional knowledge regarding the high-quality use of digital media in instruction (b = -0.05, t(690) = -1.83 p >.05) have a significant impact on students' digital skills. Overall, the results of this dissertation suggest a lasting impact of the COVID -19 pandemic on learners' use of digital media, which should be considered in further research in the future. Furthermore, the use of digital media in the classroom is an important determinant of the advancement of learners' digital skills. Although no significant effect of teachers' professional knowledge of digital skills on learners' digital skills was found, the results of the three studies in this dissertation nevertheless indicate that the use of digital media in the classroom should be promoted so that teachers in the future establish student-centered use of digital media in the classroom to meet the requirements of curricula that demand that learners and teachers be prepared for teaching and learning in the digital society.
Digital skills, teachers, learners, secondary education, COVID-19 Pandemic
Kastorff, Tamara
2022
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Kastorff, Tamara (2022): Digital skills of teachers and learners: the investigation and connection of both perspectives. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences
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Abstract

Teachers are responsible for teaching digital skills to learners by integrating them into the curriculum, prompting researchers to call for a close examination of the impact of teachers' digital skills on learners' digital skills (Lachner et al. 2019; Lorenz et al., 2019; Lucas et al., 2021; Schmid et al., 2021). However, in order to examine this relationship in more detail, this dissertation would first need to examine in depth the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use as well as the valid measurement of teachers' digital skills, as this has not yet been sufficiently implemented in empirical educational research. Research regarding digital skills of teachers and learners has become increasingly important, especially in light of the COVID–19 pandemic and the accompanying global school closures. Nevertheless, there are some areas of teachers' and learners' digital skills that demand clarification. Accordingly, few researchers have addressed the problems particularly in the areas of 1) the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use, as school closures made the use of digital media in home and school daily life inevitable, 2) the measurement of teachers' digital skills to gain knowledge in educational science and to develop targeted interventions to promote teachers' digital skills, and 3) the impact of teachers' digital skills on learners' digital skills. Accordingly, as outlined in this dissertation, three studies were conducted to gain insights into the highlighted research areas. In the first study in this dissertation, we examined how learners used digital media before and during the COVID–19 pandemic. International mean comparisons suggest that learners rarely used digital media in school for school-related purposes (Schaumburg et al., 2019), suggesting that the digital media use is not yet central to everyday school life. However, given the global school closures due to COVID–19 pandemic in the spring/summer of 2020 and the accompanying imperative for learners and teachers to use digital media for school-related purposes, it is reasonable to assume that the COVID–19 pandemic has influenced learners' digital media use. The assumption of the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use is particularly interesting, as previous research has shown that purposeful digital media use can have a positive impact on learners' digital skills (Senkbeil, 2017), which is also an indispensable premise for successful participation in later professional life (Fraillon et al., 2020). While learners reported using digital media heterogeneously in relation to school and private contexts before the COVID–19 pandemic in 2019(N = 643), we asked learners in secondary schools in Bavaria before and during the COVID–19 pandemic (N = 644) and the accompanying school closure in spring 2020 via a representative telephone survey to what extent they use digital media for both social and school purposes. Learners were classified into different profiles based on their digital media use responses using Latent Profile Analysis. Our results show that learners' digital media use became more homogeneous in terms of school-related purposes during the COVID–19 pandemic in 2020. Specifically, learners increasingly reported using digital media for school-related purposes, such as researching on the Internet or learning. This may suggest that learners' digital skills may also have developed positively during the COVID–19 pandemic. However, our results also show that learners from low-education families (B = 0.79, p <.05) are particularly at risk of being left behind by the even faster pace of digitization, as learners from low-education families were particularly likely to be represented in profiles that reported using digital media for social rather than school activities, which may have a negative impact on learners' digital skills (Senkbeil, 2017). Research on teachers' digital skills has also gained much momentum, especially since the onset of the COVID–19 pandemic. However, a closer look at research on teachers' digital skills reveals that research often examines teachers' self-efficacy in technological knowledge, i.e., knowledge and skills with and about using digital media (Lachner et al., 2019). The establishment of self-assessment instruments is widely recognized in educational science, based on the assumption that inferences can be made from teachers' self-efficacy with regard to their actual technological knowledge (Hatlevik & Hatlevik, 2018). Nevertheless, recent studies show that the results between self-assessments and objective assessment measures of teachers' technological knowledge are weakly to poorly correlated, suggesting a systematic bias in self-assessments (Parry et al., 2021; Baier & Kunter, 2020; Drummond & Sweeny, 2017). At the same time, knowledge of teachers' actual, objectively measured digital skills professional knowledge is essential, especially in light of the COVID -19 pandemic and related distance learning, to determine appropriate interventions to target teachers´ digital skills. However, for a variety of reasons, such as the scope of the test and the acceptability of test takers, using objective assessment measures may not be sufficiently feasible in practice in every case. Accordingly, the first study in this dissertation addresses the question of the extent to which self-assessment instruments can be designed to minimize the extent of possible bias. Meta-analytic findings have already shown that self-assessment results correlate more strongly with objective measures of assessment when self-assessment instruments include concrete context-specific information (Talsma et al., 2018). By providing context-specific information, such as concrete scenarios in self-assessment instruments, subjects are provided with a concrete context, potentially avoiding systematic bias in self-assessments due to the absence of contextual information. The results show that the scenario-based self-assessment regarding the subcomponent, operating and using digital media (β = 0.25, SE = 0.13, p =.05) significantly predicts the objective assessment of technological knowledge (R2 =0.23) of N = 75 (prospective) teachers. In summary, scenario-based self-assessment may be an appropriate tool for getting closer to the results of the objective assessment measures. Overall, the results suggest that, especially for technical operational skills, the contextual information helped subjects to assess their own skills more accurately, so that over- or underestimation of subjects' skills or knowledge can be prevented by the scenario-based self-assessment (Sailer et al., 2021a). While research is needed on measuring teachers' digital skills and the impact of the COVID–19 pandemic on learners' digital media use, scholars also call for investigating the "connection" between teachers' digital skills and learners' digital skills (e.g., Guggemos & Seufert, 2021). With the integration of digital skills into curricula (e.g., Siddiq et al., 2016), teachers have the responsibility to foster learners´ digital skills. The third study in this dissertation examines the extent to which teachers' digital skills (n = 220), mediated by their professional knowledge regarding the high-quality use of digital media in instruction, affects students' digital skills(n = 1620). The results of multilevel analysis show that neither teachers' digital skills (b = -.08, t(692) = 1.66 .01, p >.05) nor teachers' professional knowledge regarding the high-quality use of digital media in instruction (b = -0.05, t(690) = -1.83 p >.05) have a significant impact on students' digital skills. Overall, the results of this dissertation suggest a lasting impact of the COVID -19 pandemic on learners' use of digital media, which should be considered in further research in the future. Furthermore, the use of digital media in the classroom is an important determinant of the advancement of learners' digital skills. Although no significant effect of teachers' professional knowledge of digital skills on learners' digital skills was found, the results of the three studies in this dissertation nevertheless indicate that the use of digital media in the classroom should be promoted so that teachers in the future establish student-centered use of digital media in the classroom to meet the requirements of curricula that demand that learners and teachers be prepared for teaching and learning in the digital society.