Developing Digital Literacies in UK HE and FEwork funded by the JISC 2008-2012 Helen Beetham Programme synthesis consultant
What do we mean by digital literacy? By digital literacies we mean the sum of capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society.In HE/FE this might involve using digital tools: to undertake academic research; for writing and critical thinking; to collect and analyse data; in professional practices; in personal development planning; to showcase achievements.
academic and learning practices What kind of capabilities? information and media practices socio-technical practices rapidly changing commercial and social drivers informal learning rapid obsolescence slower changing cultural and institutional inertia formal learning lifelong development
What kind of capabilities? • ICT/Computer Literacythe ability to adopt, adapt and use digital devices, applications and services in pursuit of scholarly and educational goals. • Information Literacy: the ability to find, interpret, evaluate, manipulate, share and record information, especially scholarly and educational information • Media Literacy: the ability to critically read and creatively produce academic and professional communications in a range of media. • Communication and Collaboration: the ability to participate in digital networks and working groups of scholarship, research and learning • Learning Skills: the ability to study and learn effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal • Digital scholarship:the ability to participate in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems
What does higher and further learning uniquely contribute? Digital Literacy Identity development
Digital Literacy Digital literacy as anaspect of the student experience • 2008 Learners' experiences of e-learning programme • Students inhabit digitally-saturated personal/social worlds • Technology choices are critical to identity and experience • They expect 24/7 access to course information BUT • Students struggle to transpose digital skills to study tasks • Academic staff skills/confidence and curriculum-based activities are critical • Even within programmes of study students vary widely 2008/10 Student expectations studies • Prospective students unclear about the role technology could play in learning at University • Positive about using technology when educational benefits are clear • ICT access and facilities becoming a factor in student choice
Digital Literacy Digital literacy as situated knowledge practices • 2009/10 Learning literacies in a digital age (LLiDA) studyPractices that underpin effective learning in a digital age: • are meaningful in the context of academic disciplines • are an aspect of emerging identity • require a confident but also a critical attitude to ICT • are creative/productive as well as critical/assimilative • are both formal and informal (and blur these boundaries) • emerge in meaningful activities in which technologies support the purpose authentically • change continuously as values, practices and institutions of knowledge change www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/llida
Digital Literacy Digital literacy as an institutional responsibility • Learners need meaningful learning experiences in which technology is intrinsic, including their own technologies • Different subject areas demand and support different kinds of digital capability • Support is fragmented • Digital agendas are diverse and poorly defined, especially 'employability' • Staff often lackconfidence tosupport studentseffectively • Entitlement vsenhancementagendas www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/llida
Developing Digital Literacies #jiscdiglit 2011/13 funded programme promoting the development of coherent, inclusive and holistic institutional strategies and approaches for developing digital literacies in UK further and higher education University of Greenwich University of the Arts London University of Exeter Coleg Llandrillo University of Plymouth University of Reading University of Bath University College London Oxford Brookes University Cardiff University Worcester College Institute of Education Plus ten sector bodies: ALDinHE, ALT, AUA, HEDG, ODHE, SCAP, SCONUL, SDF, SEDA, Vitae www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/developingdigitalliteracies/
1. Institutional audit 1. Policy and strategy (public messages) 2. Infrastructure (networks, buildings, spaces, hardware, software, data services, IT support) 3. Support (professional services) 4. Practices (e.g. curriculum design, teaching, learning, research, KT, admin.) 5. Expertise (courses, frameworks, IAG, sharing, development opps, recognition and reward) 6. Culture (expectations, understanding, values, needs, attitudes, beliefs)
Findings: 'forward thinking institutions are'... 1. Joining up strategies 2. Investing in infrastructure: mobile, data envmt, streaming media, cloud, VREs, BYOD 3. Developing digital capabilities of teaching staff and professional services (professional services) 4. Innovating core processes: curriculum design, quality enhancement, RKT, teaching admin... 5. Sharing expertise: recognising and rewarding pioneers including students 6. Challenging expectations, understanding, values, needs, attitudes, beliefs
Motives for engaging in the DL agenda New social practicesDigital mediaUbiquitous ICTStudent expectations Employability Graduate attributes Digital reputation Digital capital/digital divide Individual aspirations Personal digital practices Organisational priorities Educational digital practices Efficiency in core processes Capacity building Global markets Borderless institutions New modes of participation Perceived vfm Digital scholarshipOpen publishing/open dataDigital academic mediaUbiquitous knowledge/data
2. Emerging themes Digital literacies for further and higher education are: • Multiple and complex • Hybrid – academic practice + digital know-how • Based in subject areas: disciplines, vocations, professions • Both generic and subject/role-specific • Aspects of personal style – ownership, choice, performance of identity • Acquired and developed as needed – best practiced in authentic contexts • Often acquired from close peers if generic, but • likely to require formal support if specialised
Digital capability is... The claims of top departments to be pushing the boundaries of research require a sustained engagement with digital scholarship. The claims of top teaching universities to offer a personal, relevant and engaging learning experience demand sustained innovation in methods. Neither is possible unless universities rethink their offer... in terms of the digital experiences students have and the digital practices they encounter (Beetham et al, 2009).
Further resources JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme: Developing Digital Literacies on the Design Studio SEDA page on the Design Studio Baselining Digital Literacies page Learning Literacies in a Digital Age (original audit study)