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Developing Computing and Information Literacy Skills on an Award Basis. Marion Hall Faculty of Health & Social Care. Aim . Integrate computing (ICT) and information literacy (IL) skills into HSC awards such that:. Skills are taught in the context of the course

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developing computing and information literacy skills on an award basis
Developing Computing and Information Literacy Skills on an Award Basis

Marion Hall

Faculty of Health & Social Care



Integrate computing (ICT)and information literacy (IL) skills into HSC awards such that:

  • Skills are taught in the context of the course
  • There is minimal repetition between courses
  • Students progress from L1 → L2 → L3
  • Students can demonstrate acquisition of specific skills by the end of the award


HSC awards need to deliver ICT/IL skills:

  • To support academic requirements of course
  • To meet professional and QAA standards
  • Because employers – and students – want them


  • Award-based skills development in place in ‘professional’ programmes (Social Work/Nursing)
    • external requirements for award
      • General Social Care Council – ECDL
      • NHS – Knowledge + Skills Framework
    • more straightforward to implement
      • relatively fixed progression through courses
      • limited choice of courses
  • Now developing strategy for award-based skills teaching in HSC programme


  • K101 (part of all HSC awards)
    • remade 2008 - now teaches basic ICT/IL skills
  • Skills Working Group
    • devised strategy for skills development
    • identified ICT/IL skills sets for L2+L3 (see handout)
    • working with CTs to implement L2 strategy
  • HSC Resource Bank (HSCRB)
    • online repository of shared resources
    • generic skills activities
    • see


  • Build on skills developed at previous level
  • Use HSCRB skills activities
    • updated centrally so less work for CTs
    • where possible, they allow use of example from course
    • accessible to all students at any time
  • Provide skills diagnostic at each level to direct student to ‘catch up’ activities if necessary
  • Integrate skills learning in context of course
  • Assess skills so that demonstrable – but take ‘light touch’ approach

Basis of skills list

  • The OU’s undergraduate levels framework (developed by COBE)
  • Guidance from the Library’s Information Literacy Unit
  • Subject Benchmark statements
  • The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework
  • Skills Councils websites and publications, including Skills for Health and Skills for Care and Development
  • Employer requirements
  • Skills developed in HSC degrees provided at other universities

(See handout for details)


Skill groups

Skills can be divided into 3 groups:

  • Core skills - important academic skills and/or skills employers want, such as:
    • literature/information search and evaluation
    • word processing
    • spreadsheets
  • Basic skills – needed to acquire core skills, such as:
    • using and managing toolbars and menus
    • understanding how the internet works
  • Optional tools - benefit student but not essential, such as:
    • bibliographic software like Refworks
    • word-processing tools like spelling check, highlighting
    • Windows tools like search, shortcuts


  • Core skills - need to be demonstrable, so must be assessed
  • Basic skills - no need to assess since can’t acquire core skills without them
  • Optional tools – no need to assess because can still achieve necessary outcome without them:
    • can do reference list without Refworks
    • essay can have good spelling without Word spelling check
  • Assessment based on outcome not process
    • if TMA in Word, assume have word-processing skills
    • no need to test in detail how actually use software
  • Assessment based on final link in chain
    • if have to learn skill A before they can learn skill B, only need to assess skill B

L2 strategy

  • Three core L2 courses being remade as two: K217 + K218
  • Deliver L2 skills set in both
  • All students take K217 or K218, few will take both
  • Assume skills taught in K101
  • Approx 21 hrs study time for L2 skills activities from HSC Resource Bank
  • Allow time in first week to catch up/revise equivalent K101 skills, also via HSCRB activities

Level 2 LOs

  • Plan/carry out/refine web search for information/publications
  • Evaluate information on web
  • Download PDFs, images, tables, etc from web
  • Create PowerPoint presentations
  • Create diagrams using drawing software
  • Use spreadsheets for simple calculations and to create graphs and charts
  • Produce professionally formatted and styled word-processed documents

K217 production

  • Health, social care & wellbeing
  • First presentation October 2010
  • 60 points
  • 5 Blocks
  • One TMA per Block
  • ECA (project) not exam
  • Activities in online learning guide

K217 skills

  • Each activity:
    • sets context of task in relation to course content (e.g. find information about particular policy)
    • directs student to HSCRB activity to get relevant skills if necessary (e.g. how to search internet)
    • then brings them back to course context to complete task (e.g. discuss policy implications)
    • output of activity may feed into assignment (e.g. incorporate information they find into TMA)
  • Can bypass HSCRB activity if already have necessary skills
  • About 30-60 min per week ICT/IL skills
  • Core skills are necessary to complete ECA


If you are interested in finding out more, please contact:

Marion HallChair, Skills Working GroupFaculty of Health & Social Care

ext 55136