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Factors Influencing Digital Competence: A Focus Group Study From the Perspective of the Medical College Students

Sanita Litiņa1,2, Anika Miltuze1, Karīna Svētiņa1,2
1 University of Latvia, Latvia
2 Red Cross Medical College of Riga Stradins University

Abstract. Over the last decade, learning and working in medicine has been increasingly influenced by digital tools. Today’s medical students are growing up in a digital age where digital tools and devices are a regular part of professional life. The development of digital competence is crucial for healthcare education, as healthcare professionals will be the ones helping orientate patients in digital healthcare systems and tools. This study aims to explore the opinions and experiences of medical college students regarding the factors influencing digital competence. Four focus group discussions were organised, with 26 medical college students in total in various study programmes in December 2021. The interviews were conducted in Latvian and transcribed by the lead researcher. Thematic analysis of the focus group discussions identified four main themes to be associated with the factors influencing digital competence: personal factors (self-confidence in using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), attitudes towards ICTs, prior training on ICTs, motivation), learning design (online, blended learning), lecturers’ digital competence and external aspects (family support, Covid-19 pandemic). This study presented results that could also be helpful for other universities to promote targeted development and improvement of digital competence of their students.

Keywords: digital competence, focus group, healthcare education, information technology, students’ perspective

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2022. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2022. 1135 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-911-1