Perceptions of Student Computer Skills

The Chronicle of Higher Education summarized a study by North Carolina Central University, in which students’ perceptions of their own computer skills were tested.

It basically suggests that students are more confident in their ability to perform basic to advanced computer skill (word processing, PowerPoint, and Excel) than what they can actually perform. Out of the 171 undergraduates tested, 81 percent of students believed they had average stills in PowerPoint, which they did. This was the most accurate perception. However, when working with spreadsheets, 69 percent of students thought they had an average skill level with spreadsheets, but could not perform basic and advanced tasks. Slightly better was their perceived word processing skills: 75 percent perceived a high skill level, while performing 12 out of the 13 basic tasks (e.g. changing the font), five out of the 10 moderately difficult tasks (e.g. word counts), and none of the advanced tasks (e.g. copying and pasting items from the clipboard).

The take home message is that students may think they can perform certain computer skills, but are actually unable.

Read the original report


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on July 21, 2009, in Education, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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