Design and validation of data literacy assessment tool for graduate students

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Knowledge and Information Science

2 Department of Knowledge and Information Science/University of Tabriz



Aim: The present study was conducted in order to develop a standard assessment tool for measuring the data literacy of post-graduate students using a descriptive-survey method. It seems that considering the educational, research and theoretical gaps in this regard, the results of this research can be evaluated as a breakthrough in measuring data literacy competencies.

Methodology: In order to prepare the initial questionnaire to measure the students' opinions in order to prepare the final data literacy assessment tool, relevant sources regarding the qualifications and competences of the students in terms of data literacy were examined and some of the most important ones were extracted from among them. In the next step, to measure the formal and content validity, the designed questions were given to the professors of the Knowledge and Information Science departments and some other experts. After obtaining the minimum content validity indicators of the initial questionnaire, in order to check its reliability, it was distributed among 27 students of the Faculty of Educational Sciences and Psychology. Cronbach's alpha coefficient calculated for this initial questionnaire was calculated as 0.91. After obtaining the minimum content validity indicators of the questions, and checking it in terms of reliability index, for the final development of assessment tool based on the opinions of graduate students, this questionnaire was given to 363 University of Tabriz post-graduate students who were selected by stratified random sampling. Exploratory factor analysis test was used to analyze the data and identify important and essential dimensions of the data literacy assessment tool.

Findings: The result of the factor analysis of the research data in order to design and validate the data literacy assessment tool for post-graduate students, reducing 20 indicators or variables to 4 factors or indicators including 1) understanding the data, 2) collecting, organizing and evaluating the data, 3)analysis and interpretation of the data , 4) Data sharing is based on legal and citation issues.

Conclusion: This structure covers a total of 58% of the variance of data literacy and indicates that the factor analysis and the studied variables are satisfactory. Therefore, it is suggested to use this assessment tool to measure the level of data literacy of post-graduate students. The results of this research showed that the effective tool used to measure the level of data literacy of postgraduate students should include indicators such as understanding the concept of data and factors related to it; Getting to know the principles, concepts and tools used in collecting, organizing and evaluating data; Familiarity with the principles, methods and tools used in data analysis, and interpretation, as well as familiarity with the concept of data sharing, as well as legal and citation issues which are necessary for the responsible and legal use of research data.

This tool, which has 20 criteria, can be used as one of the tools used to measure and analyze the data level of post-graduate students in this regard, and a basis for students' self-evaluation and technical and skill evaluations used in universities and higher education institutions.

In fact, the results of this research showed that data literacy with the mentioned dimensions, in addition to its inherent importance in domestic and international literature, has also been recognized among graduate students. On the other hand, the study of different aspects of data literacy also shows that data literacy is not limited to data collection, organization and evaluation skills; And data analysis and interpretation, but attitude issues regarding data that has shown itself in the form of data comprehension skills or sharing skills considering legal and citation issues that indicate the fair and ethical use of data that is generally freely shared. On the other hand, as seen in the literature review, data literacy with the dimensions and items identified in this research should be added as a supplement to information literacy courses and should be taught to students and researchers with the focus of libraries, librarians and information science and epistemology specialists.


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