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.

[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

JISC Developing Digital Literacies projects blog roundup

Blog definition

Digital literacy vs. Information literacy

In an interesting post on Reading’s Digitally Ready blog, Helen Hathaway notes that ‘digital literacy’ often has a functional skills definition:

Much of the discussion on “digital literacy” seems to look at the plumbing of digital tools rather than the quality of the information flowing through them, or the nuts and bolts of technology rather than what it is supporting – and neglect the notion of literacy. For me being digitally literate means having all the cognitive skills of information literacy PLUS the technical skills to make good use of resources PLUS a dimension of creativity in outputs which are difficult to achieve through the written word and an immediacy and step change in communication whether as a learner, teacher, support staff or creator.

Project as programme?

Chris Follows at the University of the Arts’ DIAL blog reflects on the growth of their JISC-funded Developing Digital Literacies project into a university-wide programme:

The DIAL project was always going to be bigger than a project and by acknowledging this and looking at DIAL as a potential UAL programme we can better build a case for developing a UAL wide digital strategy and sustainability plans to develop and maintain progressive digital practice at UAL. So DIAL will run as a programme and do its best to acknowledge as wide a spectrum of issues as possible although it can not address everything. DIAL will concentrate supporting a small number of DIAL project groups, these focused mostly ‘grassroots’ projects  will address issues identified in the DIAL project plan, ‘Open education at UAL’ is one of DIAL’s first pilot groups

University College London presentation

Representatives from the UCL Digital Department project gave a presentation last week on their work thus far. Their slides can be found before:

All of the blogs for those projects involved in the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme can be found here.

Image CC BY dougbelshaw

Guardian live chat: Developing digital literacies in Higher Education

Guardian live chat - Developing Digital Literacies in Higher Education

Last Friday a number of those involved with the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme participated in a Guardian live chat online event.

Comments are now closed, but it’s worth going through the whole transcript. Some highlights are included below.

Helen Beetham, a consultant for the JISC Digital Literacies programme commented:

It’s easy to get hung up on terms, and I think we can agree that what we are talking about is the interface of academic and digital practice – and the personal capability to engage in both. For me, ‘literacy’ has some currency as a term for describing foundational capabilities that have a lifelong, lifewide impact.


It’s always useful to have different terms in use – I think it’s a sign of a healthy, developing field of interest!

Sarah Knight re-iterated JISC’s reference point for a definition of ‘digital literacy’:

Digital literacy defines those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society.

Gwen van der Velden raised an interesting issue:

I am struggling to see digitial literacies as a separate subject. I’d rather assume that digital literacy is an embedded characteristic of so much of what we do, that it would be hard to keep it separate.

In terms of simply getting started with digital literacies, Josie Fraser provided some advice:

My top tip is to begin by exploring the ways in which the group are already using mobile and web based technologies. Many of them will already engaging with tech for personal use – Skyping relatives, keeping in touch on Facebook, using mobile phones etc.

Dave White was interested at the point at which we can consider a skill, competence or attribute no longer part of digital literacy:

When does a Digital Literacy become a Traditional Literacy? Is texting a Traditional Literacy yet?

There’s much to read, think about and discuss in the exchanges over at the Guardian live chat. In addition, at least a couple of those involved have blogged about the event:

Preparing the Ground


CC BY Deborah Fitchett

The Stage 2 Roadshows in London and Leeds brought together project representatives from across England – no mean feat given some of the weather conditions a number of participants had had to contend with.

The lists of delegates for the two days gave an interesting overview of the diversity of experiences of participants across the projects.  There were people from further education and higher education, from very large and relatively small organisations, based in urban and rural settings.  Job roles were diverse too with a wide range of areas covered – including web development, marketing, student admissions, registry, lecturing, management information systems, and quality.

Their experiences may have differed in a number of ways but there was a common theme on which there was widespread agreement across the board – the importance of getting the processes right in order to ensure the desired outcomes.

Leo Lyons of University of Kent blogged after the London event that reviewing of current workflows ‘might prove more problematical’ but he felt that, ‘it was good to hear people’s ideas and at least feel we were not alone’.

The chance to talk to colleagues and share ideas and concerns is very valuable and bodes well for other forms of cross-project activity throughout Stage 2.

Projects may find it useful to look at the information on process improvement and review available in the Process Improvement infoKit which is part of JISC infoNet’s wider collection of resources on Organisational Efficiency.  The infoKit includes material on analysing and reviewing processes, and provides tools and techniques to support the activity.

Check out the links below:

Book now: Outcomes from JISC-funded ALLE project session


After the success of the Visitors and Residents session before Christmas, we’re excited to announce another equally-exciting (and free!) session for which booking is now open.

Lyn Greaves from the University of West London will share the findings of the JISC-funded ALLE project. The session will run from 14:00 on Friday 20th January 2012 and Lyn’s overview can be found below:

Whilst there is a wealth of experience across the sector in supporting digital and information literacies with our learners, it is often dispersed and difficult for students most in need to access at the appropriate point in their studies. They need the very skills they are searching for before they can find them. Using the LLiDA findings our response was the development of a digital learning literacy environment.

The literacy environment is comprised of a series of learning objects organised in three parts: the Academic Journey, the Library Learning Journey and Digital Tools for Learning. The literacy environment has been used and evaluated by over 200 first-year business students.

As well as creating new resources, existing interactive materials customised for generic reuse were brought together in a cohesive and structured framework enclosed in a wraparound shell. We will share how we made effective use of ‘best’ pedagogy knowledge and resources to maximise OER potential.

Please do book your place using the following link (and encourage others to do likewise!)

Book now:

Image CC BY kevin dooley

Assessment and Feedback – new JISC programme underway

The JISC Assessment and Feedback programme was launched in October and projects are now well underway. The programme is focused on supporting large-scale changes in assessment and feedback practice, supported by technology, with the aim of enhancing the learning and teaching process and delivering efficiencies and quality improvements. There are three programme strands with projects of different lengths running for the next 3 years:

Strand A is focused around institutional change where 8 project will redesign assessment and feedback practices, making best use of technology to deliver significant change at programme, school or institutional level.
(See Rowin Young’s blog about the strand).

Evidence and Evaluation is the focus of strand B. These 8 projects will evaluate assessment and feedback related innovations which are already underway in a faculty or institution, and report on lessons for the sector.
Rowin’s blog

The four projects in strand C will package a technology innovation in assessment and feedback for re-use (with associated processes and practice), and support its transfer to two or more named external institutions.
Rowin’s blog

You can keep up with the programme through this blog (don’t forget to subscribe to the feeds). All the project blogs are aggregated in Netvibes .

You can also keep up to date with the programme through Twitter #jiscassess and we are also running some open webinars – see the JISC e-Learning webinar calendar for details.

Upcoming (free!) webinars

As part of the following JISC e-Learning programmes we shall be running several webinars that are free and open to interested parties:

The list below gives a flavour of what will be available, but do check often the JISC e-Learning Webinars calendar (also linked to at the bottom of this blog’s sidebar)

Upcoming webinars:

Visitors & Residents project feedback
David White & Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D.
Friday, 9 December 2011, 14:00

Outcomes of ALLE JISC Digital Literacies project
Lyn Greaves
Friday, 20 January 2012, 10:00

Making Assessment Count project
Project team, University of Westminster
Friday, 3 February 2012, 13:00

e-Portfolios to support assessment and feedback
Emma Purnell, University of Wolverhampton & Geoff Rebbeck, Consultant
Friday, 17 February 2012, 13:00

Digital Enhance Patchwork Text Assessment project (DePTA) project
Caroline Macangelo
Friday, 24 February 2012, 13:00

We will flag these up nearer the time and post details of how to book to relevant mailing lists. There are still a few (free) tickets left for the Visitors & Residents session this Friday! 🙂