Measures and References: Digital Literacy

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Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

North Star Basic Computer Skills Assessment (Vanek, 2014): This online assessment evaluates a learner's ability to navigate both basic computer functions and online spaces. Successful completion of this test provides learners with a certificate to use for employment opportunities.

PIAAC Digital Problem Solving Measure: The [Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)][5] provides an online self-assessment for learners to measure Digital Literacy skills. Items in the measure prompt learners to navigate online environments to complete tasks.


Ackerman, R., & Goldsmith, M. (2011). Metacognitive regulation of text learning: On screen versus on paper. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 17(1), 18-32.

Al-Wabil, A., Zaphiris, P., & Wilson, S. (2007, July). Web navigation for individuals with dyslexia: an exploratory study. In_ International conference on Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction_ (pp. 593-602). Springer.

Bergson-Shilcock, A. (2020). Boosting digital literacy in the workplace. Washington, DC: National Skills Coalition. Retrieved from:

Burin, D. I., Irrazabal, N., Ricle, I. I., Saux, G., & Barreyro, J. P. (2018). Self-reported internet skills, previous knowledge and working memory in text comprehension in E-learning. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 15(1), 1-16.

Chiang, M. H. (2020). Exploring the effects of digital storytelling: A case study of adult L2 writers in Taiwan. IAFOR Journal of Education, 8(1), 65-82.

Coyne, S. M., Padilla-Walker, L. M., & Howard, E. (2013). Emerging in a digital world: A decade review of media use, effects, and gratifications in emerging adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 1(2), 125-137.

de Souza, B. C., & Rangel Jr, J. F. L. B. (2015). Speed of processing and creativity in the Digital Age. Business Creativity and the Creative Economy, 1(1), 13-21.

DeStefano, D., & LeFevre, J. A. (2007). Cognitive load in hypertext reading: A review. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(3), 1616-1641.

Digital US Coalition. (2020, May). Building a digitally resilient workforce: Creating on-ramps to opportunity. Digital US. Retrieved from:

Diviani, N., van den Putte, B., Giani, S., & van Weert, J. C. (2015). Low health literacy and evaluation of online health information: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(5), e112.

Dommes, A., Chevalier, A., & Lia, S. (2011). The role of cognitive flexibility and vocabulary abilities of younger and older users in searching for information on the web. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25(5), 717-726.

Eshet-Alkali, Y., & Amichai-Hamburger, Y. (2004). Experiments in digital literacy. Cyberpsychology and Behavior, 7(4), 421-429.

Eshet-Alkalai, Y., & Chajut, E. (2009). Changes over time in digital literacy. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(6), 713-715.

Graesser, A.C., Halpern, D.F., & Hakel, M. (2007). 25 principles of learning. Washington, DC: Taskforce on Lifelong Learning at Work and at Home.

Graesser, A.C., Wiley, J., Goldman, S.R., O'Reilly, T., Jeon, M., & McDaniel, B. (2007). SEEK Web tutor: Fostering a critical stance while exploring the causes of volcanic eruption. Metacognition and Learning, 2(2-3), 89-105.

Gurchiek, K. (2020, February 24) Digital skills gap hits all levels of job market. SHRM.

Hao, Q., Barnes, B., Wright, E., & Branch, R. M. (2017). The influence of achievement goals on online help seeking of computer science students. British Journal of Educational Technology, 48(6), 1273-1283.

Hao, Q., Wright, E., Barnes, B., & Branch, R. M. (2016). What are the most important predictors of computer science students' online help-seeking behaviors?. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 467-474.

Hong, Y. A., & Cho, J. (2017). Has the digital health divide widened? Trends of health-related internet use among older adults from 2003 to 2011. Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72(5), 856-863.

Johnson, G. M. (2008). Verbal and visual reasoning in relation to patterns of Internet use. Internet Research, 18(4), 382-392.

Laberge, J. C., & Scialfa, C. T. (2005). Predictors of web navigation performance in a life span sample of adults. Human Factors, 47(2), 289-302.

Martinez-Alcala, C. I., Rosales-Lagarde, A., Alonso-Lavernia, M. D. L. Á., Ramirez-Salvador, J. Á., Jimenez-Rodriguez, B., Cepeda-Rebollar, R. M., ... & Agis-Juarez, R. A. (2018). Digital inclusion in older adults: A comparison between face-to-face and blended digital literacy workshops. Frontiers in ICT, 5, 21.

Moisala, M. (2017). Brain activations related to attention and working memory and their association with technology-mediated activities. Dissertationes Scholae Doctoralis Ad Sanitatem Investigandam Universitatis Helsinkiensis.

Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitaskers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(37), 15583-15587.

Park, J., Yang, J., & Hsieh, Y. C. (2014). University level second language readers' online reading and comprehension strategies._ Language Learning & Technology, 18_(3), 148-172.

Perera Muthupoltotage, U., & Gardner, L. (2018). Digital literacy and self-regulated learning: Testing reciprocal relationships with longitudinal data. AMCIS.

PIAAC Expert Group in Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments. (2009). PIAAC problem solving in technology-rich environments: A conceptual framework. OECD Education Working Papers, No. 36. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Quinn, K. (2018). Cognitive effects of social media use: A case of older adults. Social Media + Society, 4(3), 1-9.

Ralph, B. C., Thomson, D. R., Seli, P., Carriere, J. S., & Smilek, D. (2015). Media multitasking and behavioral measures of sustained attention. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 77(2), 390-401.

Saade, R. G., & Kira, D. (2009). Computer anxiety in e-learning: The effect of computer self-efficacy. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 8(1), 177-191.

Sage, K., Augustine, H., Shand, H., Bakner, K., & Rayne, S. (2019). Reading from print, computer, and tablet: Equivalent learning in the digital age. Education and Information Technologies, 24(4), 2477-2502.

Sage, K., Piazzini, M., Downey IV, J.C. & Masilela, L (2020) Reading from print, laptop computer, and e-reader: Differences and similarities for college students' learning. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 1-20.

Smythe, S., & Breshears, S. (2017). Complicating access: Digital inequality and adult learning in a public access computing space. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 29(1), 67-81.

U.S. Department of Education. Highlights of the 2017 U.S. PIAAC Results Web Report (NCES 2020-777). Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from:

Van Ingen, E., & Matzat, U. (2018). Inequality in mobilizing online help after a negative life event: the role of education, digital skills, and capital-enhancing Internet use. Information, Communication & Society, 21(4), 481-498.

Wangberg, S. C., Andreassen, H. K., Prokosch, H. U., Santana, S. M. V., Sørensen, T., & Chronaki, C. E. (2008). Relations between Internet use, socio-economic status (SES), social support and subjective health. Health Promotion International, 23(1), 70-77.

Xavier, A. J., D'orsi, E., De Oliveira, C. M., Orrell, M., Demakakos, P., Biddulph, J. P., & Marmot, M. G. (2014). English longitudinal study of aging: Can internet/e-mail use reduce cognitive decline? Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 69(9), 1117-1121.

Yoon, H., Jang, Y., Vaughan, P. W., & Garcia, M. (2020). Older adults' Internet use for health information: Digital divide by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 39(1), 105-110.

Zhang, S., & Duke, N. K. (2008). Strategies for Internet reading with different reading purposes: A descriptive study of twelve good Internet readers. Journal of Literacy Research, 40(1), 128-162.