Window to the Future of Human Capacity

Understanding and improving the development of digital citizenship
from childhood to early adulthood


Learning and Assessment for Digital Citizenship

Project Brief

Learning and Assessment for Digital Citizenship is an interdisciplinary research project to study the impact of digital media on the everyday life of children and youth, and on their development as citizens in an increasingly technology-intensive and globally-connected world. This is a longitudinal project study cohort study involving 4 age cohorts: 7-10, 11-14, 15-18, 19-22, with main data collection to be conducted in the second half of 2018 and 2020. This is the first education-focused project awarded under the Theme-based Research Scheme of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, an indication of the importance of the theme and the quality of the research proposal.

The project brings together an interdisciplinary team of local researchers at the University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as well as international experts, from fields including education, humanities, information science and computer engineering. The theoretical contributions and the tools and instruments developed through the project will have significant impact on educational policy and practice, parent education, social policy, as well as the e-learning industry.

In order to understand the development of learners growing up in a highly connected and technologically sophisticated world, this study employs a range of innovative research methods to gain holistic and authentic understanding of students’ learning contexts and outcomes, which would not be achievable using conventional methods alone. The range of research components include:

  1. Assessment and survey: Assessment of key 21st century skills, including digital literacy, self-regulation and collaborative problem solving; Survey on students' personal, family and school background.
  2. Understanding students' learning lives within and outside of school using mobile and wearable devices: Participants will be invited to wear a digital devices such as smart watches to automatically collect data about their daily activities, physical (such as movement, exercise and sleep) and digital (e.g. time spent on various computer applications, social media, etc. for learning and entertainment).
  3. Collaborative problem solving games tournaments: The study will organize inter-school game tournaments to study students’ behavior and learning outcomes when engaging in collaborative problem solving game situations.
  4. Understanding students' learning environments using location and interaction tracking: Students will be invited to wear an indoor location sensor in the form of a badge and be video-/audio-taped while attending classes during a selected time period. The badge and video-/audio- data will be de-identified and machine analyzed for activity and interaction patterns.

We hope to set up channels to communicate our research findings to the wider community during this five year project (2016-2021), and explore partnership with different sectors on translating the findings to benefit society.