College faculty, students disagree on each other's digital literacy levels – survey

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Students and faculty at higher education institutions don’t see eye to eye when it comes to digital literacy, according to a recent survey from the company Videoblocks.

Among over 300 respondents to the survey, 45 percent of students perceive themselves as “highly digitally literate,” but only 14 percent of faculty would agree with that statement. Meanwhile, 49 percent of faculty thought that they were in the same category, while only 23 percent of students thought so.

Over 90 percent of faculty thought that using digital media in classes improved the learning outcomes of students, and about 75 percent of students said that multimedia helped them stay engaged in the curriculum. But faculty and students still confronted barriers to effectively implement digital media in class.

Lack of access, training and funding were among the “biggest frustrations with digital media in higher education,” according to the survey.

The analysis was conducted by Videoblocks, a company that provides online subscriptions to stock videos, graphics and music. The results showed that digital media help improve teaching and learning, but both faculty and students still need to learn how to incorporate audio and video materials in their classes. Students and faculty are also often confused about digital media copyright policies.

While 31 percent of students thought that they were very knowledgeable about copyright and fair use of digital media, only 5 percent of faculty agreed, and 23 percent reported that their students had no knowledge about this topic at all.

Respondents were split evenly between educators and students, and associated with more than 12 academic majors, including liberal arts, business, science and engineering.

About one-third of college instructors and one-fifth of students use resources provided by their institutions. Faculty and students mainly use resources from digital media license-based services like Creative Commons and online materials that don’t require copyright.

Respondents also said that copyright could be confusing, and searching for relevant and downloadable materials was time consuming.

“I know I am uninformed about digital copyright,” wrote one of the respondents in the survey. “I am not sure how to learn more and where to find appropriate [digital media].”

Reach the reporter at yizhu.wang@edscoop.com and follow her on Twitter @yizhuevy and @edscoop_news.

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