Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Educational Technology, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Assessment and Measurement, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Background and Objective: The educational system, each decade, faces special audience as learners. These students have special educational characteristics, needs, interests, and preferences that significantly improve the policies, quantity, and quality of the educational system services. The emergence of a generational phenomenon in academic discourses are addressed with themes such as "students of this period of time" and issues such as the differences between the students of the current period of time and the past with respect to motivation, scientific perseverance, academic interests, and academic ethics. The subject of the differences between the learners of one period and another is referred to as the generation gap. Generational issues are one of the most important themes in the field of education, especially higher education. In the early years of the 21st century, some theories about the new generation entering universities were proposed stating that these learners have certain characteristics due to their birth and growth in the age of technology. Labels such as Digital Natives, Millennial, Network Generation, and Digital Learner have been set. The present study aims to validate the Digital Native Characteristics Scale (DNAS).
Methods: Regarding to the issue of validity consideration in electronic versions of the instruments; therefore, electronic and printed versions of this scale validated by descriptive-survey method. The population included 7320 undergraduate students of Birjand University who were studying in the academic year 2017-2018. The number of samples in the present study was 374 students who selected from 10 faculties of Birjand University based on the table of sample size of Krejcie and Morgan and using cluster sampling method. The sampling method was such that one class was randomly selected in each faculty, and about 50% of the class population randomly completed the Digital Natives Measurement Scale  electronically and the other 50% in print.
Findings: The results of exploratory factor analysis showed that both electronic and printed versions had satisfactory validity and reliability. The scale revealed 4 features for digital natives, including: (1) grow up with technology; (2) reliance on the graphic in communication; (3) multitasking; and (4) instant feedback. The electronic version and printed version explained 65.71% and 62.43% of the variance respectively. The total reliability was obtained by Cronbach alpha for the electronic and printed version were α = 0.89 and α = 0.91 respectively. All four identified components in both print and electronic versions had optimum reliability.
Conclusion: Comparing the psychometric characteristics of the two electronic and printed formats in the present study did not show a significant difference between these versions. According to the research findings that have confirmed the construct validity and reliability of this scale, this instrument can be used in future research for the purpose of measuring the characteristics of digital natives in Iranian culture and at the academic community. However, pre-university courses it require more research. Also, this instrument can be used for educational design and teaching purposes by educational designers and can be used to adapt the training to the characteristics of this generation. Despite the optimal validity and reliability of the scale in this research, it is recommended that new instruments be designed and validated in future research considering the findings of the present study and using generational theories in Iran.


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©2020 The author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, as long as the original authors and source are cited. No permission is required from the authors or the publishers. 

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