We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate in the social and behavioural sciences with a strong quantitative background for the interdisciplinary project "Joint relations of digital literacy, time use, and academic performance in primary and secondary education".
The aim of the project is to investigate how digital literacy and time use (how much time is spent on different activities during the day) affect students' academic performance using longitudinal data.
The PhD project has a large interdisciplinary supervision team consisting of (in alphabetical order) Prof. Dr Andries van der Ark (Methods and Statistics), Dr Brenda Jansen (Developmental Psychology), Dr Minh Hao Nguyen (Communication Science), and Dr Bieke Schreurs (Educational Science). The position is embedded in the new research-priority area Youth Digitality of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. You will be a member of the Programme Group Developmental Psychology in the Department of Psychology. Yet, you are encouraged to join research meetings of Communication Science, Educational Science, and Methods and Statistics as well.The project
In the digital age, digital literacy is a prerequisite for learning primary academic skills such as language and arithmetic. On the one hand, engaging in digital activities during leisure time might facilitate the development of digital literacy, and in turn benefiting the development of academic skills, as children can take better advantage of digital learning programs. On the other hand, engaging in digital activities leaves less time for other activities that may contribute to academic development such as sleeping sufficiently, studying, and reflecting. This project investigates the complex reciprocal relation of digital-literacy development, academic development, and time use for primary and secondary-school students. First, an adaptive maximum-performance digital-literacy test is constructed for reliable and valid measurement of digital literacy. Second, a method for modelling and measuring students' time use is developed. Third, an in-depth analysis of the multivariate reciprocal relation among digital literacy, academic performance and time use is conducted on longitudinal cohort data, to empirically test scientific hypotheses on this joint relationship, as well as popular beliefs, such as that screen time is detrimental to academic development. Finally, to facilitate widespread use of our developed digital-literacy test, the digital-literacy test and the time-use measures are implemented in an online practice programme, which allows students to practise their digital-literacy skills in an attractive gaming environment, at their own level.
The project is one of three projects of the research-priority area Youth Digitality that start in September 2023. These three projects collaborate and obtain their data from a joint cohort study, using Dutch students aged between 10 and 18 years.You will:
- complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
- gain knowledge of the field through literature survey, discussion with team members, and internal lab meetings;
- contribute to the design of experiments and perform experiments;
- analyse and interpret results of experiments;
- present results at local, national and international scientific meetings;
- assist in teaching (10% of your time) undergraduates and Master's students and co-supervise junior scientists (MSc/BSc students).