Exploring the Impact of Digital Limitations on Digital Effectiveness for Students in a Virtual Learning Environment

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University of Alabama Libraries

Virtual learning has grown to become a needed and viable option for teaching and learning in secondary education settings. Students and teachers can engage and share with each other within a few clicks. As virtual learning grows as a popular option to share learning experiences using computers and the Internet, the problem surrounding inequalities of access still plague our society. Those inequalities are formally known as the digital divide. As Internet access and the use of information technology have increased, the topic of the digital divide has evolved to focus on addressing digital limitations of access, behavior, and cognition and how they affect digital effectiveness. Using data from participants in the supplemental virtual learning program in Alabama, this study examined how access to Internet and computer technology, behavioral limitations of personal attitudes and motivations, and cognitive limitations of personal experiences and capabilities affect the digital effectiveness of their virtual learning experience. Results showed that there are relationships between certain demographic variables to access limitations, behavioral limitations, and cognitive limitations. Results also showed that there are relationships between digital limitations and how those limitations affect students’ perceptions in their virtual learning environment.

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digital effectiveness, digital limitations, K-12, virtual learning