Digital capability is critical to learning, living and working in the C21st. The specific role of higher education, as laid out by successive UK Governments, is to equip a generation of learners with high level skills for the global knowledge economy and – more recently – lead a national recovery based around digital industries (Livingstone and Hope 2011).
Students too expect that higher education will equip them for employment in a digital economy, and for participation in a digitally-mediated society. NSS returns show that ICT facilities and support services are being more harshly judged, as students who have grown up digital – and experienced e-learning during school – expect higher standards of provision. There is evidence from the introduction of student fees in the UK that ICT provision is a factor affecting where students will choose to study (JISC/IPSOS MORI 2008).
The evidence from more than 75 proposals to the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme is that the digital learning experience is also being used as a marker of institutional distinctiveness. Universities need rethink their offer, from induction to graduation and into research careers, in terms of the digital experiences students have and the digital practices they encounter (Beetham et al, 2009).
This session will introduce tools for auditing and developing digital capability at an institutional and departmental level, including student-facing surveys, competence frameworks mapped to professional body standards, and models of organisational change. Participants will also explore a number of different models for becoming a successful digital institution, based on the outcomes of previous JISC work.
Beetham, H., Littlejohn, A. and McGill, L. (2009) Thriving in the Twenty-First Century: Report of the Learning Literacies in a Digital Age project. JISC. Available online at: http://www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/llida/LLiDAReportJune2009.pdf
JISC/IPSOS MORI (2008) Great Expectations of ICT:
How Higher Education Institutions are measuring up. Available online at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/jiscgreatexpectationsfinalreportjune08.pdf
Livingstone, I. and Hope, A. (2011) Next Gen: transforming the UK into the world’s leading talent hub for the video games and visual effects industries, Nesta. Available online at: http://www.nesta.org.uk/home1/assets/documents/next_gen_video_games_and_vfx_skills_review
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