Developing digital literacies webinars

We are holding a series of webinars to disseminate and discuss the work of the Developing digital literacies projects. Each webinar will last up to an hour and will discuss an aspect of the programme’s work. The webinars are free and open to all, but please sign up to let us know you’re coming, and to get the right link to join. (If you’re not available on these dates, note that we will be recording the webinars, and making them available from here.)

The following webinars are confirmed:

Current issues and approaches in developing digital literacy
Tuesday 12 February, 13.00-14.00
This webinar will discuss what digital literacies are and why it is important for universities and colleges to develop the digital literacies of their students and staff. We will look at some of the issues to consider when planning an institutional approach to developing digital literacies, and projects from Jisc’s Developing Digital Literacies programme will highlight some of the approaches that they have found effective in their own contexts.
Sign up for this webinar

Rising to the digital literacy challenge in further education
Thursday 28 February, 11:00-12:00
This webinar, organised in conjunction with the Jisc regional support centres, provides three different perspectives on how to address the challenge of staff development needs in order to ensure that digital literacies are embedded across the organisation. The two Developing digital literacies projects based in FE colleges, WORDLE and PADDLE, will be speaking at the event.
Sign up for this webinar (note: sign up is via the RSC page for this event.)

Implementing the UKPSF in the digital university
Wednesday 17 April, 13.00-14.00
This webinar offers a guide to implementing the UK professional standards framework in the digital university. We look at how post-graduate certificates in teaching and learning in higher education (PGCertHE) courses and CPD processes are adapting to digital technologies, both in their design and operation and in the educational practices for which the PGCertHEs are preparing staff. We introduce a new wiki including case studies of technology-informed practice, indexed against the UKPSF areas of activity, core knowledge and values.
Sign up for this webinar

Other webinars will be added to this page as the dates are confirmed, including:

Developing Digital Literacies programme meeting

We had a busy day on Tuesday at the Developing Digital Literacies programme meeting, looking at the wealth of resources projects and associations are producing, and trying to plan ahead for how these will work together as a programme output.

It didn’t get off to the best of starts: to lose one morning presenter may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. Helen, our synthesis consultant, was lost in transit, and Jay, our evaluation consulant, was stuck in traffic, but thankfully Jay arrived before Myles and I had finished our introductions, and was able to step in and put a useful marketing slant on some of the work the programme support team have been doing around project outputs and messages, in terms of how to get these messages heard and how they help institutions address challenges. Slides

The main activity of the morning was an hour-long ‘trade fair’, at which the projects and professional associations involved in the programme displayed two of their outputs and shopped for others’ outputs which were useful to them. Everyone had plenty of interesting outputs to show, and a real interest in others’ work, and the activity generated a good buzz, as well as some useful collaborations. This is my first experience of working with lots of professional associations within an innovation programme, and I found their outputs, approaches and insights from their members really useful. I was only sorry I didn’t have a chance to get round to talk to all of the projects and associations.

I was interested to see what the panel discussion on digital literacy frameworks would offer: I’m normally very suspicious of any project who says they’re building a ‘framework’, as the term can cover a multitude of sins. However, I found the discussion of these digital literacy-related frameworks for professional development really useful. It was interesting to see that not many of the projects were using such frameworks, but those which had had found them useful as a starting point for discussions. The panellists all seemed to take a pragmatic view of frameworks, and there was general agreement with David Baume (SEDA) who stressed that the usefulness of frameworks lies in their use as climbing frames – take the bits that interest you and use them to get you where you want, rather than following them slavishly. I’ve certainly found such frameworks useful in getting my head round the digital literacy work, though as a couple of delegates warned, we need to be careful that they don’t perpetuate an over-homogenised view of the area – or the mistaken assumption of a common language or common practice where in fact these don’t exist.

After lunch delegates worked on the ‘promise’ and pack of resources the programme was making in four (or five) key areas: employability; self-assessment and self-development materials; the digitally literate organisation (and digitally literate senior management, which may or may not be the same thing); and tools for teaching and curriculum teams. The detailed outcomes are still on flip-chart paper and post-its, and will feature in a future post, but generally project outputs seemed to meet the promise in these areas fairly well, except for employability, where more work is needed to think through what the messages are here and what sort of outputs are most relevant. We also need to engage relevant professional organisations. Slides from the afternoon session.

Helen has updated the Design Studio pages to reflect the outputs coming out of the projects; see in particular staff development materials; materials designed for students; and organisational development materials.

Thanks very much to Dr Bex Lewis for creating the story of the day using storify.

Another remembrance of summer

In another of our series of blog posts reflecting on the SEDA summer school, Denise Sweeney finds that the experience has given her insights and tactics to take back to her day job, and introduced her to a network of like-minded people. Denise’s blog post

SEDA summer school reflections

I’ve been pulling together more blog posts from the people JISC sponsored to attend the SEDA summer school.

For Barbara Newland, the summer school was a useful prompt to consider how the blended learning policies she draws up impact on individual academics and learning technologists. She also found time to complete a draft project plan inspired by the summer school, which she will discuss with colleagues back at the ranch. Barbara’s blog post

Jane Secker found the summer school particularly useful, and produced a great series of blog posts about the event. Highlights for her were: a sense of professional identity as a learning technologist and a greater understanding of her role as a change agent; greater appreciation of all the things that need to be in place to translate a strategy to meaningful action on the ground; and lots of personal learning points. Jane’s blog posts

Jane O’Neill found much of the content and format useful, and came away with some useful questions to keep teams focussed on the final outcomes of projects: What would it look like if we were successful? What would people be doing differently? What would the impact be on the students? Jane’s blog post

Daniel Clark chose to focus on staff digital literacies, and used his experiences at the SEDA summer school to inform the development of the University of Kent’s e-Learning Summer School, to give staff a chance to share effective practice with technology and learn in context, in a supportive and hands-on environment. Daniel’s blog post

Overall, recurrent themes among the summer school bloggers were the usefulness of techniques such as action learning sets, reflections on their own practice, plans to incorporate changes into any staff and educational development they run, greater appreciation of change management and the impact of change on individuals. Ideas about whether ‘digital’ is really different (our own Lawrie Phipps) and on the benefits and challenges of open practice (Lindsay Jordan, DIAL project) also seem to have resonated.

Three wheels on my wagon, and other tales from the SEDA summer school

Our next summer school blog post is from Jakki Sheridan-Ross, who will dispel any illusions you may have had about the SEDA summer school being a bit of a jolly. I advise a cup of tea and a deep breath before launching into her post, which reflects on the whole (exhausting) summer school experience, and how powerful certain group activities and peer discussion can be. Her work is focussed on how hard it is to stop people in universities reinventing the wheel, especially when they’re not sure how many wheels they need…

Jakki’s blog post on the SEDA Digital Literacy Summer School 2012.

Summer school reflections

As part of the Developing Digital Literacies programme, JISC part-funded 12 scholarship places at the 2012 SEDA summer school, ‘Academic Development for the Digital University’. The people who took up these scholarships have been blogging their reflections from the event. Emma King, Learning and Development Advisor at the University of Warwick, reflects in her blog post on the importance of having confidence in your convictions when delivering staff development events.

New JISC Developing Digital Literacies briefing paper

JISC Developing Digital Literacies briefing paper

The JISC e-Learning team are pleased to announce a new briefing paper as part of the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme. This is available in PDF format and can be downloaded from the following link:

Many thanks to Sarah Payton (@notyap) for her efforts in pulling this together.

Crystallising Evaluation Designs – A Reality Check for Developing Digital Literacies

by Jay Dempster, JISC Evaluation Associate

DL evaluation visuals

The JISC Developing Digital Literacies Programme team has been supporting its institutional projects to design and undertake a holistic evaluation. Projects are thinking critically about the nature, types and value of evidence as early indicators of change and several projects now have some useful visual representations of their project’s sphere of influence and evaluation strategy. A summary produced this month is now available from the JISC Design Studio at:

Structuring & mapping evaluation

The point is to reach a stage in designing the evaluation where we can clearly articulate and plan an integrated methodology that informs and drives a project towards its intended outcomes. Projects that have achieved a clearly structured evaluation strategy have:

  1. defined the purpose and outputs of each component;
  2. considered their stakeholder interests & involvement at each stage;
  3. identified (often in consultation with stakeholders) some early indicators of progress towards intended outcomes as well as potential measures of impact/success;
  4. selected appropriate methods/timing for gathering and analysing data;
  5. integrated ways to capture unintended/unexpected outcomes;
  6. identified opportunities to act upon emerging findings (e.g. report/consult/revise), as well as to disseminate final outcomes.

Iterative, adaptive methodologies for evaluation are not easy, yet are a good fit for the these kinds of complex change initiatives. Approaches projects are taking in developing digital literacies across institutions include:

What is meant by ‘evidence’?

Building into the evaluation ways to capture evidence both from explicit, formal data-gathering activities with stakeholders and from informal, reflective practices on the project’s day-to-day activities can offer a continuous development & review cycle that is immensely beneficial to building an evidence base.

However, it can be unclear to projects what is meant by ‘evidence’ in the context of multi-directional interactions and diverse stakeholder interests. We have first considered who the evidence is aimed at and second, to clarify its specific value to them.

This is where evaluation can feed into dissemination, and vice versa, both being based upon an acute awareness of one’s target audience (direct and indirect beneficiaries/stakeholders) and leading to an appropriate and effective “message to market match” for dissemination.

In the recent evaluation support webinar for projects, we asked participants to consider the extent to which you can rehearse their ‘evidence interpretation’ BEFORE they collect it, for instance, by exploring:

Who are your different stakeholders and what are they most likely to be interested in?

What questions or concerns might they have?

What form of information/evidence is most likely to suit their needs?

An evaluation reality-check

We prefaced this with an  ‘evaluation reality-check’ questionnaire, which proved a useful tool both for projects’ self-reflection and for the support team to capture a snapshot of where projects are with an overall design for their evaluations. What can we learn from these collective strategies, how useful is the data that is being collected?

By projects sharing and discussing their evaluation strategies, we are developing a collective sense of how projects are identifying, using and refining their indicators and measures for the development of digital literacies in relation to intended aims . We are also conscious of the need to build in mechanisms for capturing unexpected outcomes.

Through representing evaluation designs visually and reflecting on useful indicators and measures of change, we are seeing greater clarity in how projects are implementing their evaluation plans. Working with the grain of those very processes they aim to support for developing digital literacies in their target groups, our intention is that:

[VIDEO] JISC Developing Digital Literacies projects’ updates

(click here if video not embedded!)

At last week’s JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme meeting, funded projects were asked to produce a short video showing their progress to date.

These were excellent as can be seen by viewing them via the video playlist above! Project blogs can be found at

(note that Greenwich’s video will be included in the playlist shortly)

[RECORDING] A History of Digital Literacy in the UK and EU

YouTube Preview Image

We were delighted to last week welcome Tabetha Newman and Sarah Payton to run a free, public webinar as part of the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme.

In addition to being able to watch the recording within Blackboard Collaborate, we’ve also exported the webinar as video and audio files along with the chat transcript. You can find these below:

Speaker icon Listen to recording

Blackboard icon Watch recording (Blackboard Collaborate)

PDF icon Read chat transcript

Bonus: You may find this blog post by Tabetha helpful about digital literacy in the EU

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