Assessing the Graphic Questionnaire Used in Digital Literacy Training

Elena Maceviciute, Thomas D. Wilson, Zinaida Manžuch
Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology  •  Volume 16  •  2019  •  pp. 113-126
Aim/Purpose: To capture digital training experiences, the paper introduces a novel data collection method – a graphic questionnaire. It aims to demonstrate the opportunities and limitations of this tool for collecting feedback from socially disadvantaged participants of digital literacy training about their progress.

Background: In training of digital skills for disadvantaged audiences through informal educational interventions, it is important to get sufficient knowledge on factors that lead to their progress in the course of training. There are many tools to measure the achievements of formal education participants, but assessing the effectiveness of informal digital skills training is researched less. The paper introduces a small-scale case study of the training programme aimed at the developing of reading and digital skills among the participants from three socially disadvantaged groups – people with hearing impairments, children from low income families, and elderly persons. The impact of the training on participants was evaluated using different tools, including a short graphic questionnaire to capture the perceptions of the participants after each training.

Methodology: We performed a thematic analysis of graphic questionnaires collected after each training session to determine how the students perceived their progress in developing literacy and digital skills.
Contribution The findings of the paper can assist in designing assessment of digital literacy programmes that focus not only on final results, but also on the process of gaining digital skills and important factors that facilitate progress.

Findings: The graphic questionnaire allowed the researchers to get insights into the perception of acquired skills and progressive achievements of the participants through rich self-reports of attitudes, knowledge gained, and activities during training sessions. However, the graphic questionnaire format did not allow the collection of data about social interaction and cooperation that could be important in learning.

Recommendations for Practitioners: Graphic questionnaires are useful and easy-to-use tools for getting rich contextual information about the attitudes, behaviour, and acquisition of knowledge in digital literacy training. They can be used in applied assessments of digital literacy training in various settings. Their simplicity can appeal to respondents; however, in the long-run interest of respondents in continuing self-reports should be sustained by additional measures.

Recommendations for Researchers: Researcher may explore the variety of simple and attractive research instruments, such as “honeycomb” questionnaires and similar, to facilitate data collection and saturate feedback with significant perception of personal experiences in gaining digital literacy skills.

Impact on Society: Designing effective digital literacy programmes, including engaging self-assessment methods and tools, aimed at socially disadvantaged people will contribute to their digital inclusion and to solving the issues of digital divide.

Future Research: Exploration of diverse research methods and expanding the research toolset in assessing digital literacy training could advance our understanding of important processes and factors in gaining digital skills.
digital literacy, digital divide, graphic questionnaire, elderly persons, people with hearing impairment, children, assessment
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