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Measuring the level of Internet skills among Dutch seniors : a comparison between the computer and the tablet

Stegeman, A.G.M. (2014) Measuring the level of Internet skills among Dutch seniors : a comparison between the computer and the tablet.

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Abstract:Because the Internet expands to other devices such as the tablet, the Internet skill measures have to revise. In this study the level of Internet skills among Dutch seniors is measured by comparing the level of Internet skills between two devices: the computer and the tablet. The society sees seniors as the sub-population that has a lower level of Internet skills than the younger generation. This thought is reinforced by the fact that seniors have weak self-efficacy beliefs of their own Internet skills and therefore they feel uncomfortable using the Internet. In March and April 2014 performance tests were conducted to measure the level of Internet skills of seniors (N=40). Seniors had to make two assignments on the computer and two assignments on the tablet. On both devices the assignments were used to measure the four Internet skills: 1. the operational Internet skills, 2. the formal Internet skills, 3. the information Internet skills and 4. the strategic Internet skills. After the performance tests the seniors were asked to fill in a short questionnaire, which gathered some background information of the respondents, such as age, Internet experience, and participation in an Internet course. The results of the research showed that the level of Internet skills of seniors is relatively high. Seniors scored a significantly higher level of Internet skills on the computer than on the tablet. On the tablet most problems occurred during the operational Internet skills tasks. The participants explained that they never used proceedings like ‘saving a file on the home screen’ on the tablet before. On the computer seniors had in particular problems with the information Internet skills assignment. A reason for this was that more sponsored results were shown in Google on the computer than on the tablet. To improve their level of Internet skills seniors have to practice their operational Internet skills and their skills for information searching. If seniors improve their Internet skills, the level of self-efficacy of seniors will grow, they will be less dependent on others, and they will feel less uncertain about their Internet behavior.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/66052
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