Assessing digital nativeness in pre-service teachers: Analysis of the Digital Natives Assessment Scale and implications for practice

Matthew L. Wilson, Kennesaw State University
Jacob A. Hall, SUNY Cortland
David J. Mulder, Dordt University


Digital native, the term ubiquitously used to describe contemporary learners, is fraught with debate over its meaning and measurement. The Digital Natives Assessment Scale (DNAS) was developed and validated to measure digital nativeness. This study extends the DNAS validation discussion with data from 178 participants in three teacher preparation programs in the United States. Confirmatory factor analysis results indicate the data fully fit neither Teo’s validated 21-item, 4-factor model, nor a theorized 30-item, 4-factor model. Further analyses showed the DNAS may not address the factors of digital nativeness. Discussion contributes dialog to the ongoing and growing critique of the construct. Future research within educational technology and beyond should focus on alternative conceptualizations of contemporary learners and educators.