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Objective: The ability to use digital resources is important for medical students. In order to use digital resources, they need the capabilities of digital technology utilizing, which is referred to as "digital literacy. However, how much effectively students can use these facilities is a subject that needs to be addressed. So, the present study intended to investigate the digital literacy level of students of the Allied medical sciences of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional study was performed at the Faculty of Allied medical sciences of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in academic year of 2016-2017 using a researcher-made questionnaire containing 23 closed questions in four sections. A total of 115 students in three educational grades: bachelor, master and the PhD grade were included in this study. Z-test was used to evaluate the relationship between internet skills and students' academic achievements if any exist.
Results: Almost half of the students (51.3%) have not completed any computer courses regarding basic ICT skills. The findings showed that 41.2% of PhD students are aware of digital literacy concept; meanwhile, only 11% of bachelor students and 20.6% of master ones knew the actual meaning of this concept. The use of public search engines was a favorite alternative for finding specialized terminologies at all grades. Furthermore, there was a significant difference between the level of familiarity with the Internet and the students' grade (p≤0.05).
Conclusion: Digital literacy training courses can enhance digital literacy skills significantly. Most students agreed with the inclusion of digital literacy courses in their curriculum. Therefore, they should be supported by educators and librarians in order to effectively use the Internet and information technology as well as to overcome the problems of finding and using information to gain academic achievement.