Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Peter Aiken

Second Advisor

Richard Redmond


In this ubiquitous computing society, most students are required to be proficient in computer skills to compete in today’s global job market. These computer skills usually include skills in business productivity applications. Assessing those skills is normally accomplished by hands-on skills exams, which can become onerous and costly. This study explored whether a combination of a computer self-efficacy (CSE) survey, cognitive questions, and skill-based questions could indeed be a valid alternative to a hands-on skills exam. The findings of this study indicate some types of questions may be better predictors of performance on the hands-on skills exam, and some combinations of survey items and questions may be viable alternatives to hands-on skills exams. As a result of this research, schools and companies could adapt these indirect and direct assessments to their situation to perform their own study or assess the skills of their students/employees.


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