Exploring the Digital Divide in Open Education: A Comparative Analysis of Undergraduate Students

Creative Commons License


INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF RESEARCH IN OPEN AND DISTRIBUTED LEARNING, vol.25, no.1, pp.109-126, 2024 (SSCI) identifier identifier


In the 21st century, the widespread use of information technologies has made access to technology, technology usage skills, and the quality of technology services increasingly important. However, the digital divide-defined as a lack of access to telecommunications-remains a significant issue that separates developed countries from developing countries. This study aimed to explore the digital divide in open education by comparing the digital divide levels of first term and last term or graduate students enrolled in the Anadolu University Open Education System. The study also examined how factors such as gender, age, income level, and employment status impact digital competency by comparing the digital divide scores of participants in these groups. The findings of the study suggest that first-term students have higher levels of digital competency than final-term students. The study also found that males, people aged 30-40, those with high incomes, and those working in the private sector had the highest digital competency scores. These results can be used to inform the development and implementation of open and distance learning programs to reduce the digital divide, as well as to identify specific groups that may be at a disadvantage in terms of digital competency.