'Digital Natives' require basic digital literacy skills. The IAFOR International Conference on Technology in the Classroom
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This paper discusses a Digital Academic Literacy (DAL) Programme at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). It highlights the programme's response to and alignment with emerging South African Higher Education (HE) national policy imperatives and discourses which include, the effective integration of ICTs for teaching-and-learning; and the need to increase and continue large-scale targeted work. This specific student development programme is deliberated within a paradoxical context, where on the one hand there are claims by Marc Prensky that the Digital Natives use of ICTs are significantly increased from their predecessors; and on the other hand, many of these Digital Natives still require basic digital literacy training and support. The study highlights how gaining the necessary ICT support, better equips students to cope academically while, attaining skills which enhance employability. The researchers discuss the exponential growth of the DAL Programme, catering to first year students across departments, as well as the need for further expansion to accommodate all students who lack the necessary digital literacy skills to succeed at university. A mixed-method approach is adopted, using both quantitative and qualitative evidence. Data was retrieved from the intranet of the Centre for Innovative Education and Communication Technologies (CIECT) as well as, via an internet-based online survey. Other data includes student assessment results after engagement in the DAL Programme as well as, contributions by field experts. Moreover, the researchers highlight the importance of critical change management processes to ensure the sustainability and quality of the programme.