This study evaluates the reliability of self-assessment as a measure of computer competence. This evaluation is carried out in response to recent research which has employed self-reported ratings as the sole indicator of students’ computer competence. To evaluate the reliability of self-assessed computer competence, the scores achieved by students in self-assessed computer competence tests are compared with scores achieved in objective tests. The results reveal a statistically significantly over-estimation of computer competence among the students surveyed. Furthermore, reported pre-university computer experience in terms of home and school use and formal IT education does not affect this result. The findings call into question the validity of using self-assessment as a measure of computer competence. More generally, the study also provides an up-to-date picture of self-reported computer usage and IT experience among pre-university students from New Zealand and South-east Asia and contrasts these findings with those from previous research.
Ballantine, J., McCourt Larres, P., & Oyelere, P. (2007). Computer usage and the validity of self-assessed computer competence among first-year business students. Computers and Education, 49(4), 976-990. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2005.12.001