Developing digital literacies


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Presentation summarising the findings of the two-year Developing Digital Literacies programme, which looked at strategic approaches to supporting staff, students and managers in universities and colleges in making the most of digital opportunities

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  • Strategic approach – senior champion; review strategies; align digital aspirations with any other key drivers; review current support
  • Contextualise digital literacies for services and disciplines and be clear what it means for your institution overallCreate opportunities for digital issues to be discussed across policy arenasGenerally requires a lot of pushing on all fronts/ keeping lots of balls in the air!Useful if digital literacies can be linked with another strategic priorityGreat to get it into strategies – but needs to be the right strategy, and needs to be implementedImportant to have evidence of the need for changeImportance of senior manager buy-inWider institutional changes can provide opportunities for embedding
  • Digital study practices are largely established in the first yearEven proficient users of technology need help with academic applications
  • Exeter and Greenwich:Exeter Cascade:17 student interns: post-graduate researchersDigital innovators and emerging subject specialists who can influence undergraduates and staffUndertake programme of personal developmentActing as co-researchersLeading digital literacy development in their academic settingGreenwich – Digital literacies in transitionEngaging UG students as part of the project research teamDeveloping students, then supporting them in carrying out research on eg student views and skillsProducing materials to support other students•Partnership with students as digital pioneers one of many forms of student engagement•All too easy for these initiatives to be subservient to the dominant ethos of consumerism: market research for product enhancement•Staff and students have complementary skills for DL development•Opportunity for new transformative roles for students across disciplines: negotiation of roles, outcomes, deliverables; role switching can increase critical self-awareness and confidence, creating desire to effect changeDigital literacy just the vehicle•Paid or voluntary?•Three models in cluster group:•1.  Voluntary and paid - individual learning journeys, e.g. Exeter - Cascade•PGs not prepared to be involved without funding (unlike UGs), but can be highly sophisticated agents for change and appreciate cross-disciplinary sharing of their personal literacies.2.  Voluntary, unpaid, and accredited/endorsed, e.g. Oxford Brookes - InStePP•Mainly UG, incentives are work experience and consultancy skills3.  Voluntary, embedded, e.g. Bath - PriDE•Students in Faculty Learning Communities, analysing project data, building self-assessment tools as part of dissertation, jointly steering/managing project, etc.•All have merits, all are valid. Much depends on ethos of the institution, nature of the students and timing. All can lead to lasting, high impact changes.Q: How should institutions decide which forms of partnership will work best?•Beyond DIY•Student culture of 'DIY professional web skills and literacies', i.e. work it out for themselves, without guidance or training. OK for some but not for all.•Staff may lack confidence and may not see DL as integral part of professional practice.Shared anxiety about acquiring and practising new professional digital literacies and skills.•'Doing It Together'How we can we further develop and sustain the ethos of sharing digital skills and expertise?•Students are individuals and when working in the capacity of change agents this needs to be recognised, through recruitment, management and reward.•Have to adapt to the students that are currently being engaged•How do we promote 'transferability' and 'recognition' of change agents aligned to the outputs and outcomes they are trying to deliver?•Students on Shadow Module (Technology-dependent form of study run by students in parallel to the core curriculum) motivated to try out and adopt technology for learning in small, collaborative groups. Informal, vicarious support.••More effective than using extrinsic drivers to engage with technology, e.g. ECDL, if disconnected from meaningful practice.Q: How can we ensure that DL development in the curriculum is intrinsically motivating to students and staff?
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  • Developing digital literacies

    1. 1. Sarah Davies, Jisc Developing digital literacies08/04/2014
    2. 2. What are your digital literacy challenges? » What are you trying to achieve in the area of digital literacies? » If you could approach the digital literacy oracle and ask one question, what would it be? » Share it at 08/04/2014 Experts meeting 2 CC-BY Science Museum London
    3. 3. Some key messages on developing digital literacies Discuss digital issues Strategic approach Review current support Develop staff skills Embed in curriculum Students as partners Promote digital identity Parallel activities 17/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 3
    4. 4. Lessons learned in developing digital literacies » Institutional policy and process » Organisational culture and attitudes » Developing a supportive infrastructure » Professional services and student support » Developing digital practices in the curriculum » Developing academic staff » Developing students’ digital literacies » Students as change agents 08/04/2014 Experts meeting 4
    5. 5. Institutional policy and process Discuss digital Evidence Strategies Senior champion Reviews and process Context Parallel activities 17/04/2014 Developing Digital Literacies slide 5
    6. 6. Organisational cultures and attitudes »What influences senior managers, academics, professional staff, students? »Impact of organisational change »Link with other drivers or initiatives »Let the medium be the message »Communities of practice »Mini-projects »Wide range of stakeholders 08/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 6
    7. 7. Developing a supportive infrastructure » Wifi is king » Personal devices and services can be used effectively for educational purposes » But ‘bring your own device’ is not yet fully supported in infrastructure & culture » Students have different needs, digital practices and identities – flexible tasks and environments » Dialogue between IT teams and lecturers, researchers and students 08/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 7 CCphilcampbellonFlickr
    8. 8. Professional services and student support »Raise awareness of digital tools and practices »Time for professional development and networking »Professional identity, accreditation and recognition »Models or frameworks may help »‘Just in time’ integrated student support 08/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 8
    9. 9. Developing digital practices in the curriculum »Digital practices for academic success are subject specific and best practised in a disciplinary context »Subject-specific digital attributes? »Curriculum design is key – embed digital into quality mechanisms and graduate attributes »Academic vs general technologies »How digitally skilled do teaching staff need to be? »Digital learning activities should be creative and appropriately assessed 08/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 9
    10. 10. Developing academic staff »Developing professional digital identity is motivator »Digital practices for research and collaboration »Need examples of good practice, relevant to discipline »Need time, space and support »Models or practical approaches? »Reflective practice is scary but powerful »Cohorts can share ideas and develop into communities of practice 08/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 10
    11. 11. Developing students’ digital literacies » Student confidence is usually ahead of their capability › Diagnostic/audit tools are useful – eg » Different types and levels of guidance needed › Most learners need some help » Opportunities to learn from peers » Motivated by developing an online professional identity » Tutor practices and course requirements are crucial » Integrate digital literacy into course and study skills 11/03/2014 Developing digital literacies 11
    12. 12. Students as change agents » Staff-student partnerships are powerful in driving change. » Sharing complementary skills » Models of engagement » Student roles: researchers, ambassadors, designers/developers, representatives and champions » Great development opportunity for students » Able to innovate as they understand user needs and have less stake in status quo 08/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 12
    13. 13. Developing digital literacies infokit » Practical guidance, tools and approaches from the Jisc Developing digital literacies programme and beyond » ‘Top-down’ strategic considerations involved in developing digital literacies across an institution » ‘On the ground’ view of what this means in practice for many different role groups » Available at » Give us feedback at 11/03/2014 13
    14. 14. Workshop tables A & B: Staff development for digital literacies See also the guide to the UKPSF in the digital university at C & D: Embedding digital activities in the curriculum E & F: Digital support throughout the student journey Also have a look at relevant sections of the infokit at 17/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 14
    15. 15. What else could Jisc do to help you in this area? »Additional guidance? »Examples and case studies? »Rich media? »Printed resources? »Individual advice and guidance? »Other ideas… 17/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 15
    16. 16. Find out more… 17/04/2014 Developing digital literacies 16 Developing digital literacies Sarah Davies Head of Change – student experience Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND