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The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of digital literacy on college students’ academic performance. This paper seeks to contribute to the existing body of knowledge and practice by providing an evidence-based framework for understanding how digital literacy affects student success in higher education.
To do so, this research will rely on a combination of theoretical frameworks: (1) Social Cognitive Theory; (2) Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK); and (3) Connectivism Learning Theory. These theoretical perspectives are well established within the field of educational technologies and provide a comprehensive model for exploring the ways in which access to digital resources, skills with technology, and cognitive processes all intersect to impact college student learning outcomes.
Social Cognitive Theory asserts that individuals can learn through observation or direct instruction from others, however behaviors related to learning are strengthened through reinforcement if successful (Bandura 1977). TPACK combines pedagogical strategies with technological integration in order to create effective teaching practices that promote active learning and support instructional objectives (Mishra & Koehler 2017). Connectivism Learning Theory posits that knowledge is encoded across networks rather than individual sources, thus highlighting the importance of connecting learners with information sources via computer-mediated communication such as e-mail, forums, blogs and social media sites (Siemens 2005). By utilizing these three distinct but overlapping theories we can gain a more holistic view into how engagement with digital tools may enhance student success in higher education settings.

Connecting these theories together helps us understand why it is important for colleges and universities to be able to provide digitally literate students who have developed the necessary skills needed for success within their respective fields. It also provides insight into how educators can use technology as part of their teaching strategies in order to design effective learning experiences that foster critical thinking skills while preparing college students for future careers. Furthermore, this research will also consider factors such as economic status as well as other variables relevant when discussing access levels among different demographic groups which may help further explain possible discrepancies between those who have access versus those who do not.
In sum, this research aims at exploring the relationship between digital literacy acquisition levels amongst college students and various measures commonly used within academia when assessing student progress such GPA scores or test results. Through combining existing theoretical frameworks mentioned above along with additional variables related specifically towards understanding socioeconomic disparities we seek better comprehend how digital inclusion may positively influence potential gains within academic contexts such graduation rates or job placement opportunities following completion of such programs leading towards greater overall experiences during postsecondary studies

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