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Sustaining student ambassadors: developing digital literacies in undergraduate students


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Presentation on Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy (SADL) programme at LSE, at European Conference on Information Literacy 2015

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Sustaining student ambassadors: developing digital literacies in undergraduate students

  1. 1. Sustaining student ambassadors: developing digital literacies in undergraduate students Jane Secker @jsecker & Maria Bell @bellmari London School of Economics and Political Science ECIL 2015, Tallinn, Estonia 19-23 October 2015
  2. 2. Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy (SADL) Undergraduate | Collaborative | Peer support Now in it’s third year at LSE Project > Programme Find and evaluate | Reading and academic practices | Manage and share | Your digital footprint
  3. 3. In brief: SADL Project aims • To understand students’ existing digital and information literacy (DIL) skills. • To explore how best to support students to improve their DIL skills and provide peer support.
  4. 4. • Doubled the cohort • Extended to 4 departments • 4 workshops in 2 terms (+ celebration event) • Introduced group projects • Introduced Seniors Ambassadors SADL 2014-15
  5. 5. SADL Senior Ambassadors • Completed SADL 2013-14 • Work alongside staff • Give feedback on workshop content • Guide and support students in workshops • Give feedback on sessions • Lead student projects
  6. 6. Evaluation and impact study 2014 • Employed a research assistant • Used Kirkpatrick evaluation method – 4 levels • Data collection methods: – Pre and post-survey, interviews with stakeholders – Other metrics • Examined: – Key benefits and value to students and staff – Impact on students’ digital literacy, their academic practices, their career, their attitude to study at LSE – Scalability and sustainability of project
  7. 7. SADL: the impact on students “I am glad I joined SADL because I wouldn't have known anything about copyright or any qualitative skills if I didn't. So in terms of study skills that really helped me a lot like research and managing information and things. It helped me through my second year”
  8. 8. Key findings • Digital Literacy skills highly valued: for study, personal lives and employability • Students gained / valued more than tech skills • Value of collaborative teaching style • Impact on students significant (particularly Senior Ambassadors) • Important staff development benefits • Academic staff need to be more engaged
  9. 9. Recommendations and conclusions • We cannot expand the programme to teach every undergraduate in this way • Using peer support allows for expansion but also increases student engagement • We need to sustained communication and multiple channels to reach students and staff • Academic staff need a greater understanding of the value of digital literacy and how to teach it in the context of their discipline • More Library and Learning Technology staff should be involved in the programme
  10. 10. “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”. 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” Our students have their say..
  11. 11. Student partnerships • Students can be empowered • Sharing experiences beyond their institution • Working with other students (not just Students’ Union) • A more ‘real’ student voice • Your champions! • Found Jisc student partnership toolkit helpful and support of Change Agents Network • Tensions: freedom vs support, guidance and structure
  12. 12. Going forward “For partnership to be embedded and sustained beyond documents, projects and initiatives, it needs to become part of the culture and ethos of the institution” HEA framework for partnership in learning and teaching in higher education (2014)
  13. 13. SADL 2015-16 • Recruiting across LSE but places limited to 50 1st and 2nd year undergraduates • Recruited 9 Senior Ambassadors to support the cohort • Recruitment campaign closes 23rd October • Welcome event 28th October – 4 workshops and celebration
  14. 14. Sustaining SADL….. Our biggest challenges: – Scaling up: Reaching all undergraduate students – Developing the peer learning aspects of SADL so students are empowered by supported – Keeping it student-led and student focused – Ongoing funding and staffing
  15. 15. Any questions? Follow the SADL Story! @LSESADL
  16. 16. Further reading • Lau, Doriane, Secker, Jane and Bell, Maria (2015) Student ambassadors for digital literacy (SADL): evaluation & impact report. Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI), London, UK. Available at: • LSE SADL Project website and resources (2014) Available at: • HEA (2014) Framework for partnership in learning and teaching. York, Higher Education Academy. 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: • SEDA conference (November 2014) Opportunities and challenges for academic development in a post-digital age– Mark J.P. Kerrigan, Director of Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Anglia Ruskin University keynote on behalf of the Change Agents Network. • 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: