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.

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.

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:

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/briefingpapers/2012/developing-digital-literacies.aspx

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: http://bit.ly/designstudio-dlevaluation.

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:

[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

[RECORDING] Mozilla and web literacies



Last Friday we were privileged to have Erin Knight and Michelle Levesque from Mozilla 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. Please do let us know if you find them useful!

Speaker icon Listen to recording

Blackboard icon Watch recording (Blackboard Collaborate)

YouTube Watch recording (YouTube)

PDF icon Read chat transcript

Update: Erin Knight has added her reflections (and answers to some questions that came up) on her blog.

JISC on Air: Digital Literacy – delivering the agenda within colleges and universities

Podcast iconJISC has a series of bi-monthly ‘radio shows’ (podcasts) for busy senior managers called JISC on Air. These shows offer insight and inspiration by revealing the ways institutions address key challenges in learning, teaching and course management with the help of digital technologies.

The latest episode of JISC on Air features people and projects involved in the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme:

In the sixth episode of our online radio programmes – JISC On Air – we are exploring how universities and colleges can help teaching staff, researchers, support and administrative staff to develop their digital literacies – those capabilities which prepare an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society. In part two of the show, we will be looking at how digital literacy underpins the academic success and employability of students.

Listen to the show by clicking here.

Image CC BY derrickkwa

[PRESENTATION] Improving Digital Capability through Digital Literacies

Doug Belshaw presented at the PELeCON conference informing delegates about the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme. His presentation can be found below:




Download the handout from the session here.

Book now: two further (free!) JISC Digital Literacies webinars

Me and My Bokeh posse

After the very successful Digital Residents and Visitors webinar last December and the Outcomes from JISC ALLE project in January, we are delighted to announce two further public webinars:

Book now! (and please do share via networks and groups who may find these of interest)

Image CC BY-NC-SA ecstaticist

[RESOURCES] JISC at the AUA conference 2012

Professional Behaviours

Myles Danson is a JISC Programme Manager involved in the Associations strand of the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme. At this week’s conference for the Association of University Administrators (AUA) he ran a session with JISC infoNet Director Patrick Bellis.

The session featured a section entitled What skills do we need for the digital age? The future of the departmental administrator which included some useful resources that readers may find useful. In particular the group work around ‘capabilities for the digitally literate administrator’ looks to have had useful outputs.

Read the post: https://myles.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/04/03/jisc-at-association-of-university-administrators-aua-2012/

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