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Developing digital literacies in undergraduate students: SADL

Presentation by Maria Bell and Andra Fry, Library, London School of Economics and Political Science at ALISS meeting, Senate House, 1 July 2015

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Developing digital literacies in undergraduate students: SADL

  1. 1. ALISS July 2015 Developing digital literacies in undergraduate students: SADL project Maria Bell @bellmari & Andra Fry @andrafry Library, London School of Economics and Political Science @LSESADL
  2. 2. SADL: project aims • To learn from students on existing skills. • To support students to improve their skills and provide peer support. • To seek advice and opinions from student ambassadors to ensure existing and new resources are fit for purpose • To share best practice on embedding digital and information literacies into the curriculum with the teaching learning community at LSE
  3. 3. Why digital literacy? JISC definition: “By digital literacy we mean those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society: for example, the skills to use digital tools to undertake academic research, writing and critical thinking; as part of personal development planning; and as a way of showcasing achievements.”
  4. 4. The SADL Project 2013-2015 Collaboration:  Library  Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI)  Teaching and Learning Centre  Student Union  IT Training 4 academic departments –  20 from Social Policy & Statistics 2013/14  40 students (many first years) from Social Policy, Statistics, Law, International Relations 2014/15 Four senior ambassadors 2014/15: involved in designing, delivering and evaluating
  5. 5. Role of Senior Ambassadors • Gave feedback on workshop content • Guided and worked with students in workshops • Gave feedback on sessions • Led student projects • Involved in external conferences/events
  6. 6. Recruitment and rewards
  7. 7. Research practices findings “I think I am good at research to the extent that I can find lots of resources and get the relevant articles instead of going aimless and overwhelmed by the information. My weakness is that I am still lack of all kinds of tools and knowledge of websites to do a good job on very scholarly research.” “I go on to Moodle to find if there are any relevant links that Professors have posted online. If there are recommended articles that are in the library, I will search for it. Otherwise, I will google scholarly articles to see if anything has been written about it.” “Researching my first essays, I used google scholar - it doesn't involve much learning, the simplicity is what makes it a useful first step.” “I think it's comprehensive, but sometimes it's hard to find to narrow it down and to find the most relevant information.” “I scan the title and abstract to assess which are the most relevant.” “Mostly use one from amongst the top 5 of the Google hits. But mostly on the relevance of the url and the first few lines that can be read on google hits page.”
  8. 8. Two hour workshops on: 1. Finding information, 2. Reading and research, 3. Managing and sharing information 4. Managing your digital identity and the digital future Group project for final event All resources on project website: Workshop overview
  9. 9. How do you approach an assignment? Workshop 2: reading and writing in your discipline?
  10. 10. Workshop 3: Managing and sharing information How do you keep up to date, manage your information?
  11. 11. Workshop 4: Managing your digital identity Digital Footprint: why does it matter?
  12. 12. SADL: Key findings 2014  Project collecting rich data about student practices  Challenged assumptions and generalisations  Low awareness of existing resources and support  Contrasts between disciplines - Statistics students don’t tend to use Library resources - Social Policy students read extensively  Sharing – valued being part of the network but unsure about where and how to share information  Student ambassador role needed more structure  But students were enthusiastic, willing to support others and wanted to improve their digital literacies
  13. 13. Evaluation and impact study 2015 • Currently undertaking an extensive review of SADL examine: – Key benefits and value to students and staff • Impact of student learning – Scalability and sustainability – Relationship with other initiatives at LSE • Data collection via survey and interviews • Report due in July / August 2015
  14. 14. Evaluation Data collected from: • Student survey • Interviews with: –Students –Academics from departments –SU –Teaching staff
  15. 15. “there should be more incentive to write blogs” “Enjoyed getting hands on and going out to speak to the people. This is where I felt most like an ambassador”. “Prior to this workshop I had little exposure to using the Library catalogue or google scholar. Very insightful and have since gone on to use both resources”. “Senior was really good, always at meetings, answered questions, motivated us. Really got the ball rolling and got us working”. “The role is kinda blurry sometimes. We go to workshops and we tell people about it but no one really listens”. “I really enjoyed hearing what everyone else had to say, that was where I learnt the most”. The atmosphere was “like a community not like a classroom, all learning together”. the role of the student ambassador needs more work “Many students didn't know what it is, need more clarity on what it is, what digital literacy involves”. The course has taught me to be more structured in the essay writing process “I‘m now much more focused and I know what I'm doing” Findings from interviews to date
  16. 16. What are we learning?  Developing relationships with students takes time and need to build trust  Workshops require:  Clear aims & objectives but flexibility  A lot of preparation time  A suitable learning space  Valuable staff development – new techniques, activities, student/staff collaboration  Clarity of expectations about ambassador role  Need support/buy-in from academic departments
  17. 17. What worked? • Recruitment and incentives • Email and face to face comms • Most workshop content & format • Senior ambassadors • Request for more structure / clearer role • Blogging • Peer support for students beyond SADL • Group project What went less well?
  18. 18. Student partnerships • Students can be empowered e.g. presenting at conferences with staff, developing new skills • Students benefit from sharing their experience beyond their institution • Working with other students • But consider how much support, guidance and structure they need Student partnership toolkit (from Jisc) Key focus of Jisc Change Agents Network • Building student engagement • Students as partners • Students as producers
  19. 19. Sustaining SADL….. Our biggest challenges: – Scaling up: Reaching all undergraduate students at LSE – Developing the peer learning aspects of SADL – Keeping it student-led and student focused
  20. 20. Further reading • Bell, Maria and Moon, Darren and Secker, Jane (2012) Undergraduate support at LSE: the ANCIL report. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. Available at: • HEA (2014) Framework for partnership in learning and teaching. York, Higher Education Academy. Available at: • LSE SADL Project website and resources (2014) Available at: • Secker, Jane, Karnad, Arun , Bell, Maria, Wilkinson, Ellen and Provencher, Claudine (2014) Student ambassadors for digital literacy (SADL): project final report. Learning Technology and Innovation , London, UK. Available at: