Development of a Survey-Based Tool to Measure Digital Literacy for Arabic Internet Users: A New Model of Assessment

Susan Dun
Dina Mutassem, Hazar Eskandar, Motasem Kalaji
Collaborating Institution: Qatar University
Funding: Qatar National Research Fund (UREP)

The primary goal of this study is to create a tool for an assessment of Internet digital literacy among Arabic-language Internet users in Qatar. This digital literacy tool will help both researchers and educators better understand the types of deficits Arabic-language Internet users may have and design programs to eliminate those deficits. Such tools exist for English-language Internet users, and they have led to interventions to overcome digital divides. For Arabic Web users, however, no such tool currently exists. By developing this tool, the researchers will also provide policy makers with the information they need to ensure that Qatari citizens and residents can take full advantage of available electronic resources.

The study will sample Arabic-speaking users of the Internet who regularly conduct searches in Arabic. Their Internet searching strategies on assigned tasks will be observed, and they will be asked them to complete a survey that measures their knowledge of the Internet. These responses will be correlated with their ability to successfully complete the Internet-searching tasks as well as their efficiency in doing so. The project will result in the first reliable tool for measuring the digital literacy levels of Arabic-speaking Internet users.