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Article Dans Une Revue Frontiers in Psychology Année : 2023

Diagnosing Homo Digitalis: towards a standardized assessment for digital tool competencies


In the 21st century, digital devices have become integral to our daily lives. Still, practical assessments designed to evaluate an individual's digital tool competencies are absent. The present study introduces the "Digital Tools Test" ("DIGI"), specifically designed for the evaluation of one's proficiency in handling common applications and functions of smartphones and tablets. The DIGI assessment has been primarily tailored for prospective use among older adults and neurological patients with the latter frequently suffering from so-called apraxia, which potentially also affects the handling of digital tools. Similar to traditional tool use tests that assess tool-selection and tool-action processes, the DIGI assessment evaluates an individual's ability to select an appropriate application for a given task (e.g. creating a new contact), their capacity to navigate within the chosen application and their competence in executing precise and accurate movements, such as swiping. We tested the implementation of the DIGI in a group of 16 healthy adults aged 18 to 28 years and 16 healthy adults aged 60 to 74 years. All participants were able to withstand the assessment and reported good acceptance. The results revealed a significant performance disparity, with older adults displaying notably lower proficiency in the DIGI. The DIGI performance of older adults exhibited a correlation with their ability to employ a set of novel mechanical tools, but not with their ability to handle a set of familiar common tools. There was no such correlation for the younger group. In conclusion, this study introduces an innovative assessment tool aimed at evaluating common digital tool competencies. Our preliminary results demonstrate good acceptance and reveal expected group differences. For current cohorts of older adults, the results seem to indicate that the ability to use novel tools may aid digital tool use. In the next step, the psychometric properties of the DIGI assessment should be evaluated in larger and more diverse samples. The advancement of digital tool competency assessments and rehabilitation strategies is essential when we aim at facilitating societal inclusion and participation for individuals in affected populations.
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Dates et versions

hal-04356482 , version 1 (08-01-2024)




Sarah Stoll, Isabel Bauer, Karen Hopfer, Judith Lamberty, Verena Lunz, et al.. Diagnosing Homo Digitalis: towards a standardized assessment for digital tool competencies. Frontiers in Psychology, In press, Frontiers in Psychology, 14, ⟨10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1270437⟩. ⟨hal-04356482⟩
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