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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Computer Ownership and Usage as Predictors of Computer Literacy of South African Students
Authors:Blignaut, Pieter
Dednam, Engela
Nkalai, Tlholohelo
Periodical:Perspectives on Global Development and Technology (ISSN 1569-1500)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:information technology
higher education
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/15691497-12341411
Abstract:Most of our first-year students were born after 1995 and belong to the generation of 'digital natives'. They are perceived as being comfortable with technology and active on social media for a large part of every day. However, students at the University of the Free State (UFS) come from diverse backgrounds and the typical characteristics of their contemporaries do not necessarily apply to them. Students completed questionnaires about their experience with and exposure to various software applications before commencement of the first computer literacy module at the mentioned institution. Students' performance in three formal assessments during the semester were used as dependent variable to determine whether prior ownership and exposure to computers gave them an advantage over their peers who did not have access to computers. Students owning a computer or who had access to someone else's computer performed significantly better than those without access to a computer. The Internet and MS Word were found to be among the most used applications prior to entering a university, and they also proved to be predictive of the performance of students in a computer literacy module throughout the semester. The amount of usage did, however, not make any significant difference with regard to the students' performance.