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The current state and influential factors in the development of digital literacy in Thailand’s higher education

Kulthida Tuamsuk (Department of Information and Communication, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand)
Mega Subramaniam (College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the current state and influential factors in the development of digital literacy of the students in Thailand’s higher education institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative research method was applied with a survey conducted to collect information from the target group that consisted of administrators, lecturers and students of 116 Thai universities. Respondents included 81 administrators, 500 lecturers and 1,000 students.

Findings

The findings revealed that 61.73 per cent of the universities set digital literacy as an undergraduate program policy, 30.86 per cent set it as a student development policy, while 12.35 per cent do not have any policy in this regard. In total, 40.74 per cent of the universities establish digital literacy as the required graduates’ trait, and 22.22 per cent establish it as a graduate’s identity. The study of factors related to digital literacy development showed that the respondents see that all of the factors affect students’ digital literacy development at a high level, including infrastructures, human resources, students’ awareness, external environments, development process, university’s policy and academic management.

Originality/value

In Thailand, universities have seen the importance of information literacy development for students at a certain level. However, the concepts of information literacy and digital literacy differ. While information literacy mainly comprises technical skill and information management skill, digital literacy is composed of technical skill, cognitive skill and emotional-social skills. This paper presents the first research on digital literacy development in Thai higher education.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is supported by Khon Kaen University, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Fund.

Citation

Tuamsuk, K. and Subramaniam, M. (2017), "The current state and influential factors in the development of digital literacy in Thailand’s higher education", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 118 No. 5/6, pp. 235-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-11-2016-0076

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited