Examining Digital Literacy Competences and Learning Habits of Open and Distance Learners

 

The purpose of the study is to examine digital literacy competences and learning habits of learners enrolled in the open and distance education system of Anadolu University in Turkey. Data were gathered from 20.172 open and distance learners through a survey which included four parts: demographic information, abilities to use digital technologies, learning habits, preferences in using digital technologies for learning purposes. Principal Component Factor Analysis was applied in order to group and classify the attitudes and statements of the learners in their personal learning preferences, problem solving skills, project work skills, and abilities to use digital tools for learning purposes. Their personal learning preferences produced five factors: visual, auditory, dependent, collaborative, and reading-writing learning styles. According to the results of the study, learners believe that they have problem solving and project working skills to deal with educational difficulties. However, they seem to have only basic competences of digital literacy and the skills to use information and communication technologies at a basic level. They need training on how to use digital tools more efficiently for learning purposes. Further research is needed to explore how to increase the use of digital tools for the purpose of effective learning and also how to design learning environments to improve digital literacy of open and distance learners