Journal of Information Technology Education vol:11 issue:1 pages:1-25
Taking into account that universities assume students will have at least some basic knowledge of the use of computers and the Internet, we hypothesize that the command of ICT skills by freshmen could have an influence on their educational attainment. To test this hypothesis an online
questionnaire was used, which was answered by a representative sample of 1,529 freshmen studying at a large university. Two explanatory models were developed. First, using regression analysis the predictive power of the academic pathways model for the educational attainment of freshmen was tested. Second, the personal knowledge management model was developed in order to discover whether ICT competences contribute to the prediction of educational attainment and, if so, to what extent. Educational attainment was measured in terms of persistence of study choice at the end of the academic year, attained study efficiency at the end of the academic year, and GPA
(Grade Point Average) at the end of the academic year. Three types of ICT skills were included in the second model: ICT social contact skills, basic ICT skills, and maintenance skills. Four factors are very powerful in predicting a student’s educational attainment: the GPA in secondary school, the number of hours spent weekly on the study of maths in secondary school, the study of classical
languages in secondary school, and any ambivalent feelings about the chosen study subject.
Contrary to our expectations, ICT social contact skills and basic ICT skills do not provide a better prediction of educational attainment, whereas maintenance skills do; however, the latter predict a lower attainment.