In the UK and across Europe many policies have been developed to improve individuals' Internet access and skills to ensure they can fully participate in all aspects of the information society. At the same time, a great deal of academic work has been conducted which has led to detailed knowledge about who is and who is not digitally included.
As the Internet becomes an increasingly embedded part of everyday life for many people, research on digital inclusion has been criticized. There are concerns about the lack of strong theoretical developments within the field and the limitations of the survey measures typically used in this research domain. In this project, we have aimed to address these criticisms through developing theoretically informed survey measures of people's digital skills, engagement with the Internet, and the tangible outcomes this Internet use has in their lives.
This was achieved via:
- A systematic review of the literature to develop the scales
- Conducting cognitive interviews in the UK and the Netherlands to refine the scales
- Online survey pilot tests of the instrument in the UK and in the Netherlands with a representative sample of Internet users to test the internal validity of the scales
- Conducting a full nationally representative survey of Internet users in the Netherlands to test the scales for both internal and external validity of the scales
Van Deursen, A.J.A.M., Helsper, E.J., & Eynon, R. (2014). Measuring Digital Skills: From Digital Skills to Tangible Outcomes Project Report. Okford, UK: University of Oxford for the Oxford Internet Institute.