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Researching digital literacy


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Invited opening talk for University of Brighton Pedagogic Research Conference, February 2017

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Researching digital literacy

  1. 1. Researching digital literacy within an institutional context Professor Rhona Sharpe Oxford Brookes University, UK University of Brighton February 2017 @rjsharpe
  2. 2. My interests Learner experience research Developing effective learners Developing digital leaders
  3. 3. Effective learners for a digital age
  4. 4. The Net Generation?
  5. 5. Finding out what learners actually do Student experience
  6. 6. § Careful, empirical examination of what learners actually do is largely absent’ (Oliver, 2015, p. 367)
  7. 7. Researching digital literacy within an institutional context 1.  Difference. Learner experiences vary considerably. How can we talk about difference in a meaningful way? 2.  Design. How can we design learning experiences that develop the practices and attributes of successful learners? 3.  Data. How can we keep track of how we are doing in developing digital literacy?
  8. 8. Understanding difference: FE Digital Student Project Desk research Focus groups Consultation events 23 sector reports 8 peer reviewed articles 25 case studies 7 institutional documents 220 learners 12 focus groups 6 further education colleges 6 consultation events 300 delegates Loads of post-its
  9. 9. Data collection methods Learner profile Card sort
  10. 10. The Learner and their Context, Becta Chris Davies and Rebecca Eynon Unconnected vulnerable Mainstream pragmatist Intensive specialist enthusiast
  11. 11. For the unconnected and vulnerable Their experience is access-led “They’re [the Chromebooks] not that good.They’re probably good if you know how to work them properly but I know they’re not that difficult but none of us have been told how to use it.” (Focus group 3, Level 2 learner)
  12. 12. For the intensive and specialist enthusiast Their experience is learner-led “I think we learn more from one another than we do from the tutors.” (Focus Group 6, Level 2)
  13. 13. For the mainstream pragmatists Their experience is tutor-led Because basically our lessons revolve around usingYouTube, just in Sociology, we do the lesson outside of school and then bring it in, so the social media actually really helps with learning. (Focus Group 5,A Level)
  14. 14. unconnected vulnerable Access-led Assessment of skills is ongoing mainstream pragmatists Tutor-led Pedagogy –led Institution-led Technology used to develop criticality, self- management intensive and specialist enthusiasts Learner-led Technology-led Social digital literacy practices are valued and new practices made explicit Learners   who  are:   Experience     the  digital   environment   as:   Best   supported   where:  
  15. 15. The ways that most learners use technology in support of their studies is … predominately influenced by the course. What do you do to develop digital literacies in your courses?
  16. 16. Developing the practices and attributes of successful learners for a digital age •  Are intentional, self-aware, manage boundaries and distractions and have good information literacy skills (self regulated learning) •  Personalise their learning environment to suit their needs (meta-cognition) •  Are engaged participants (social, collaborative) •  Use technology to present themselves and their work to different audiences (identity) •  Are confident and agile with their technology use (experimentation)Sharpe & Beetham (2010) Bennett (2014)
  17. 17. The functional access, skills and practices necessary to become a confident, agile adopter of a range of technologies for personal, academic and professional use Oxford Brookes University (2010) Strategy for Enhancing the Student Experience. Developing digital literacies within a course
  18. 18. ‘Literacy’  implies  socially  and   culturally  situated  prac<ces,  o>en   highly  dependent  on  the  context   in  which  they  are  carried  out.   (Beetham  &  Oliver,  2010)   “The  use  of  the  term  literacy  implies   a  broader  form  of  educa<on  about   media  that  is  not  restricted  to   mechanical  skills  or  narrow  forms  of   func<onal  competence.  It  suggests  a   more  rounded,  humanis<c   concep<on’    (Buckingham,  2007)  
  19. 19. Digital literacy as a graduate attribute A digitally literate learner is flexible and reflective, confident and capable of selecting appropriate tools and software for effective scholarship and research (Liverpool) Confident users of advanced technologies... exploiting the rich sources of connectivity digital working allows (Wolverhampton University) To be effective global citizens and interact in a networked society (Leeds Metropolitan University)
  20. 20. Embedding  graduate  attributes   into  the  curriculum   Academic literacy Research literacy Critical self-awareness and ersonal literacy Digital and information literacy Active citizenship
  21. 21. Why graduate attributes? “Every undergraduate programme will include the development of the five graduate attributes” •  Graduate Attributes Roadshows Awareness raising •  Graduate Attributes in Action website •  Case studies •  Mapping tools •  Screencasts Programme mapping •  Programme specification •  Mapping document •  Narrative Documentation
  22. 22. A.  Plan for the inclusion of ICT resources within the teaching of classes of primary-aged children B.  Application of IT skills within a technical or commercial environment, particularly CAD systems and data transfer between such systems. C.  Gather, organise and deploy a variety of digital sources pertaining to the subject. D.  Present to an audience using appropriate media. E.  Evaluate the role of assistive technologies in the development of xx practice. Evaluation Part 1 Staff Engagement How is digital literacy defined within the disciplines? With your neighbour, can you identify the disciplines?
  23. 23. Teaching Practices Collection
  24. 24. Quick plug for 53 book Prioritise: activities to get started" Participate: encourage contribution Personalise: make learning personal" Progress: encourage time on task" Present: activities for lifelong learning"
  25. 25. Ensure new business models meet (and manage) learners’ expectations 92% satisfaction withVLE Students value: Ability to access materials and contact tutors out of class time Students dissatisfied: Downtime Inconsistency in use How are we doing? Brookes Barometer
  26. 26. 1.  How much has your coursework emphasised the following mental activities? 2.  How often have you done each of the following? 3.  How much has your experience at this institution contributed to your knowledge, skills and personal development in these areas? Engagement questions
  27. 27. Engagement questions
  28. 28. How are we doing? Brookes Survey of Student Engagement 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Critically evaluating digital sources of information Used technology to collaborate with others or engage with online communities Used technology to reflect on and record your learning? ] Using technology in innovative or creative ways 2014 2016
  29. 29. How often have you? - used technology to reflect on and record you learning - collaborate with others
  30. 30. Graduate Attributes as a measure of learning gain Learning gain in Active Citizenship Strategic Excellence project ABC Learning Gains project with OU and Surrey