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The Means and the End Teaching Digital Literacy to Nonprofit Students

Alicia Schatteman, Li-Yin Liu


For their future career, nonprofit students need to attain the necessary skills and knowledge to leverage the power of technology appropriately to serve their communities. As faculty, we need to design our courses to improve the digital literacy of our students and therefore improve their ability to effectively communicate, manage, and lead public service organizations. This article examines an undergraduate course called Community Organizations in a Digital World that responds to the new demands for innovations in nonprofit organizations. We present the overall course design, including assignments, and the findings of a pretest and a posttest of individual student digital literacy and student reflections on their digital literacy. Based on the two-stage survey, students’ digital literacy significantly improved when they completed the course. Moreover, students appreciated the importance and the difficulty of using social media in their future career. They also recognized the effect of algorithms and social justice issues of accessing technology. This evidence demonstrates the active learning exercises used in this course successfully improved students’ digital literacy.

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technology; digital literacy; nonprofit education

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