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Student trends in C & IT literacy

Barton, Karen and McCann, M. (2003) Student trends in C & IT literacy. In: eLit 2003 Conference, 2003-06-11 - 2003-06-13. (Unpublished)

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Glasgow Caledonian University has been running a basic ICT skills competency qualification for new students since 1999. This programme has been designed around a common 'Baseline' of skills agreed with several other Scottish Higher Education Institutions. GCU is, however, one of only two institutions in Scotland where attainment of this qualification is a compulsory requirement for all graduating students. The need to deal with the large number of students involved and their corresponding wide range of skills means that the philosophy behind our approach is based on a 'mixed economy' of provision in order to maximise flexibility for students and the effectiveness of delivery of the programme. To achieve this, students complete an on-line, pre-course self-evaluation of their ICT Skills. The results of the self-evaluation are reported back to the students immediately and, at the same time, stored in the University student record system where they can be accessed by academic staff and used for streaming students into groups of similar ability. Alternatively, the results can be used to provide a uniquely tailored programme of study for individual students. This paper will analyse the self-evaluation results for the most recent intake of students and explore whether factors such as area of study, age, gender, etc appear to have any bearing on the skills students claim to possess on entry to University.The general level of training required across the intake will also be analysed, and compared to results obtained from previous years to discover if there are any emerging trends in students' ICT skills on entry, and what implications this may have for the agreed Baseline standard.