Digital Literacies as a Postgraduate Attribute http://diglitpga.jiscinvolve.org/
Project overview • Lesley Gourlay (Academic Writing Centre), Martin Oliver (Learning Technologies Unit), Gwyneth Price (Library), Susan McGrath (Students’ Union), Jude Frasman • plus Mary Stiasny (Associate Director for Learning, Teaching and International) • “Our focus is on students’ experiences of digital literacy in their interaction with the institution.”
Concepts and theory • We’re not adopting a definition • Digital literacy is a set of social achievements, not an absolute category • We will, however, be informed by definitions • An emerging project position • Post-humanism; actor network theory – used to understand and frame what we see • How do people ‘do’ things that are, recognisably, digitally literate? …and where, and with what…?
Project structure • Baselining phase • Review existing institutional data (iGraduate survey of student experience) • Focus groups • Ethnographic study of ‘doing’ digital literacy • Pilot/Case Study phase • Likely academic writing centre, library, staff support, module teaching • Organisational readiness for change • Pilot/evaluate/embed (…not convinced it’s this logical)
Activity to date • Review of iGraduate data • Filtering for digital literacy statements • Categorisation • Learning and teaching, admin, library, living, IT infrastructure • LiDA pyramid: identity, practices, skills, access • Focus groups • Experiences of practices, but also moments of exclusion
Planned activity: ‘ethnographic’ studies • Understanding students’ experiences • ANT-like study; “follow the actors” (Latour, 1987) • Longitudinal, ideally exploring development (interviews at start, mid-point, end) • Multimodal data generated (photos, audio memos, screen grabs as well as text, interviews) • ‘Cultural probes’ e.g. settings where learning happens • How do learners achieve their digital literacy? • What are the ontological politics of this?
Now, how do we support this? • Four pilots – to be specified by baselining, but likely to include… • Writing / production of academic texts in a digitally literate way • Library / consumption of academic texts in a digitally literate way • Staff development / development of academic practices to recognise and support digital literacies • Teaching / reconciliation and differentiation between academic and other digital literacies
Organisational change • Still being pinned down • Scepticism about the neat logic of ‘baseline, pilot, evaluate, embed’ • Helping people (teachers, professional staff, managers, students) position themselves (and be recognised) as being digitally literate • What motivates them to be seen in this way? How can we help them do it? What happens as a result?