Current Levels of Internet Skills

  • Jan A. G. M. van Dijk
  • Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)


In chapter 2, we elaborated six types of Internet skills that the general Internet user needs to participate in an online environment. These skills are important because an increasing number of organizations in society are moving their services online and expect that all of their consumers, citizens, workers, and students have sufficient skills to use them. Unfortunately, this assumption is often unfounded. In fact, an insufficient level of Internet skills makes these services unavailable, especially when they are offered as an alternative to traditional offline services. In this chapter, we gather and present empirical evidence on the levels of command that the general Internet user population currently hold concerning the six types of Internet skills. The goal is to identify potential bottlenecks in these skills in order to define specific policies to cope with the shortcomings observed.


Social Network Site Internet User Performance Test Search Query Collective Intelligence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Further Reading

  1. Van Deursen, A. (2010). Internet skills, vital assets in an information society. Enschede: University of Twente.Google Scholar
  2. PhD dissertation that lies at the base of this book. Detailed results of the performance tests are provided.Google Scholar
  3. Goldin, C., & Katz, L. F. (2008). The race between education and technology. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University.Google Scholar
  4. An historical analysis of the coevolution of educational attainment and wage structures.Google Scholar
  5. Schradie, J. (2011). The digital production gap: The digital divide and Web 2.0 collide. Poetics, 34(4–5), 221–235.Google Scholar
  6. Digital inequality research with a focus on production to examine who is creating digital content for the public sphere. The results point to a class- based gap among producers of online content.Google Scholar
  7. Litt, E. (2012). Measuring users’ Internet skills: A review of past assessments and a look towards the future. New media and society, 15(4), 612–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. A literature overview on measurements of everyday users’ basic Internet skills.Google Scholar
  9. Walraven, A., Brand-Gruwel, S., & Boshuizen, H. P. A. (2008). Information-problem solving: A review of problems students encounter and instructional solutions. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(3), 623–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Another review, this time to determine what kinds of problems are encountered when using the Internet for searching information.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jan A. G. M. van Dijk and Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan A. G. M. van Dijk
  • Alexander J. A. M. van Deursen

There are no affiliations available

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