This research was supported by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to Portland State University (LG-06-11-0340-11).
Information literacy, Computer-assisted instruction, Digital divide -- United States -- Case studies
For many, developing digital literacy requires overcoming a variety of barriers beyond access to a networked computer. Particularly among underserved populations, structure and support are needed to build the cognitive and technical abilities that constitute digital literacy. This research-focused presentation explores a self-paced, tutor-facilitated learning model implemented in community based organizations, workforce centers, libraries, and other settings around the United States. The blended learning model provided an online learning platform and curriculum including self-selected learning goals and knowledge checks, while in-person tutors encouraged learners’ discovery and persistence. Analysis of qualitative data from learner and tutor interviews, and quantitative data from the learning platform, demonstrates that this blend of online materials and tutor support helped move individuals from “fear to fascination” in learning vital digital literacy skills. Our findings indicate that many learners gained confidence and a sense of self-efficacy as a result of the digital literacy acquisition process supported by this learning model. Confidence and a sense of self-efficacy bolster independent lifelong and lifewide learning as learners integrate their new digital literacy skills into their everyday lives.
Pendell, K., Withers, E., Castek, J. Pizzolato, D., Jacobs, G., & Reder, S. (2015). Fear to Fascination: Learner Confidence and Blended Instruction for Digital Literacy Acquisition. Paper presented at Technology, Knowledge, and Society Conference, Berkeley, CA.