Makiko Miwa, Emi Nishina, Masaaki Kurosu, Hideaki Takahashi, Yoshitomo Yaginuma, Yoko Hirose, and Toshio Akimitsu
Faculty of Liberal Arts, The Open University of Japan

Background. In 2010, the Open University of Japan began offering a one-semester face-to-face digital literacy (DL) training course at each of its 50 study centers to help elderly students use personal computers (PC) and the Internet for study. A series of checklists was completed by students before and after each DL training course to assess their achievement.
Objectives. This study identified the degree to which students’ perceived information and communication technology (ICT) skills had changed one to three years after completion of the DL training course. It revealed which skills were retained and which skills declined.
Methods. A survey questionnaire was sent to 2,112 students who took the DL training course and we received 1,153 responses. Questions focused on students’ daily use of a PC and the Internet, and opportunities to learn DL skills after the training course. The same items were used in a checklist to assess ICT skills, and the two sets of data were compared to identify the level of retention of 18 ICT skills.
Results. Overall, scores for 16 of the 18 ICT skills declined. It was found that students who used a PC and the Internet more frequently and those who continued learning by self-instruction or peer learning in the community retained their ICT skills.
Contributions. Visualization of changing patterns in ICT skills helped identify insufficient elements of the DL training course. This information is useful in refining course content and in planning post-course support for DL training attendees.

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Cite: Miwa, M., Nishina, E., Kurosu, M., Takahashi, H., Yaginuma, Y., Hirose, Y., & Akimitsu, T. (2017). Changing patterns of perceived ICT skill levels of elderly learners in a digital literacy training course. LIBRES, 27(1), 13-25.