An Assessment of Computer Awareness and Literacy among Entry-Level Sri Lankan Undergraduates: A Case Study

Thilaksha Tharanganie


As the demand for the computer literate is increasing at a rapid pace, possessing of computer skills is an important asset for a university student. Thus having a good computer knowledge improves the quality of their study programs. This paper discusses a case where information is collected through a survey to assess the computer knowledge of entering freshmen in five Faculties (Science, Arts, Management & Finance, Law and Medicine) of the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. A survey is conducted among 300 new entrants of the above Faculties. A descriptive analysis is used to identify the patterns of computer usage. It is found that 60% are computer aware while only 47% are computer literate. Moreover, males in general outperformed females in both computer awareness and computer literacy. In association analysis using chi-square test, it is found that the two binary response variables computer awareness and computer literacy are associated with each other. Therefore rather than using two separate logistic models for the above two binary response variables, modeling the effect of the explanatory variables jointly on the two responses using a generalized logit model is expected to yield better results. Hence, the two variables are combined into one, with 4 levels and a generalized logit model is fitted to this nominal multi-category response variable. The final model suggests that the response variable is dependent on the factors, usage of internet, monthly family income level, methods of obtaining computer knowledge, and locations of obtaining computer knowledge.


Computer awareness; Computer literacy; Nominal categorical data; Generalized Logit model

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