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Conceptualising Digital Competency for ICT Specialists

Alla Anohina-Naumeca1, Anda Āboliņa2
1 Riga Technical university, Latvia
2 University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. A competency-based approach to education has become central in discussing and assessing the quality of education. Competency is vital for any individual to cope successfully with challenging tasks in his/her professional, social and private life and achieve the goals set. In order to practically implement the approach in higher education institutions, it is necessary to understand what competencies are required by the labour market and what their structure is, as well as to select or develop models or frameworks for describing these competencies. One of the most relevant competencies in the modern world is digital competence which implies knowledge and skills to use information and communication technology (ICT) to achieve professional, social and personal goals. Although the need for developing digital competence is actual for specialists in any field, the definition of its structure for ICT professionals is mainly ignored. Therefore, it can hinder the development of quality educational programs and prevent graduates from being equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. This study applies a systematic literature review to answer three research questions concerning the types and structure of digital competence of ICT professionals, the developed models and frameworks of digital and professional competence of ICT specialists, and the representation of digital competence in the existing competence frameworks and models. The research results offer the conceptualisation of digital competence for ICT specialists. It includes transversal digital competence, general professional digital competence, and specific professional digital competence, together with indicating an appropriate framework for each of the competence types mentioned.

Keywords: competence framework, digital competence, higher education, ICT professionals, systematic literature review

This research was supported by the project “Assessment of Competences of Higher Education Students and Dynamics of Their Development in the Study Process” (ESF project Development and Implementation of the Education Quality Monitoring System) (Project agreement no. ESS2022/422).

Alla Anohina-Naumeca is an Associate Professor at Riga Technical University with more than 20 years of experience in teaching in the field of computer science. She obtained a doctoral degree in information technology in 2007 from Riga Technical university, Latvia. She defended her second PhD in pedagogy in 2018 at the University of Latvia. Her main scientific interest are computer science, artificial intelligence, education, and educational software. She has more than 70 publications, most indexed in Scopus and Web of Science.

Anda Āboliņa is a PhD candidate in education sciences. She works as a research assistant at the Faculty of Education, Psychology, and Art, at the University of Latvia and also as a programming engineer and lecturer at Rezekne Academy of Technologies (Latvia), teaching study courses such as “Processing of sensor data”, “Methodology of computer science”, and “Teaching Methodology of Programming”. Her primary areas of scientific interest include computer science, the Internet of Things, programming, and education.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2023. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2023. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2023. 796 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-36-116-6