Net knowledge: Performance of new college students on an Internet skills proficiency test
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Citation:O'Hanlon, Nancy. "Net knowledge: Performance of new college students on an Internet skills proficiency test," Internet and Higher Education 5, no. 1 (2002): 55-66.
This article reviews recent data on computing and information literacy (research) skills of new college students and describes results from an Internet skills proficiency test administered to several groups of freshmen during the 2000 summer orientation at The Ohio State University. While students often self-report a high level of skill, tests as well as anecdotal evidence may not support this assertion. Further, technological preparedness varies by race, class, gender, and academic background. Only 9% of the Ohio State freshmen taking a three-part proficiency test achieved a passing score of 70% on the entire test. More of these students (30%) passed the first part on use of Internet tools; their performance was poorest (16%) on the second part, searching skills. College administrators must not assume student competence, but rather, should systematically assess incoming students and provide a variety of learning opportunities. Appendix provides most difficult test questions.
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