Digital footprints of university students

Author: Faisal Mubarak A Alhamami

Alhamami, Faisal Mubarak A, 2020 Digital footprints of university students, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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Digital footprints create a personal digital identity for each person from the use of different applications and devices. The personal digital footprint can be utilized to get information about an individual’s behaviour. Universities are now looking for approaches to analyze the students’ digital footprints to improve their experience and enhance university services. This thesis explores a case study of students’ digital footprints. It aims to find out what students’ digital footprints are. It also aims to find out how and why students leave the digital footprints behind. The review of literature helped in understanding concepts of digital footprints, the different types and their sources. Usecase examples have been used to better understand the concept of digital footprints. A qualitative research method and a exploratory case study methodology have been adopted from Phondej et al. approach. To collect data, two systemized reviews of literature based on the keywords, “Digital footprint” and Student have been conducted. This study findings indicated that there are two methods that students' internet usage can be classified, these are active and passive methods of creating digital footprints. This means that students do not use the internet with same levels of knowledge, and they should be informed of the types of digital footprints they leave behind as well as their implications. The findings also provided categories of negative and positive impacts of student online activities, and these will assist the Flinders Campus Mental Wellness project to understand the virtual ecosystem of devices and applications.

Keywords: Digital Footprints, students, social media

Subject: Computer Science thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Professor Trish Williams