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Institutional approaches to developing digital literacy (Workshop 0253)


16:20 - 17:20 on Tuesday, 6 September 2011 in 7.73
0253 Institutional approaches to developing digital literacy Rhona Sharpe, Helen Beetham
0253 Institutional approaches to developing digital literacy Rhona Sharpe, Helen Beetham

This workshop focuses on the institutional policies and practices for developing students’ learning in a digital age. The workshop is an opportunity to engage with the case studies of how institutions are enabling effective learning in a digital age, produced by the Supporting Learners in Digital Age (SLiDA) project. This project draws on a developmental framework of effective learning in a digital age (Sharpe & Beetham, 2010), mapping institutional practice against the key stages of the model.

The role of the institution is an important contextual factor in influencing how learners develop the digital literacies to be effective in a digital age. Nine institutions were carefully selected to contribute to the project research questions, and for their established work in translating learner experience research findings into teaching and learning practices. Data were collected over a six month period through multiple interactions including ongoing conversations with a consultant, document sharing, online workshops, and culminating in a site visit where staff, and where possible students, were interviewed.

The resulting case studies demonstrate a range of strategies that institutions are adopting to support learners to develop the access, skills, strategies and attributes they need to learn effectively with technology. Although we uncovered many distinct policies and practices, there were five key aspects that most institutions shared. This workshop will explore the concrete outcomes from a selection of the case studies which have most impact on the development of digital literacy e.g. Abingdon & Witney College has invested in a universal e-learning induction programme, Birkenhead Sixth Form College has made the use of personal devices across the curriculum the central tenet of their approach to supporting learners’ use of technology, and the University of Salford is developing curricula that encompass the development of digital literacies within the context of their distinctive curricula in media, creative arts and business.

In this workshop, participants will use the case studies to explore how institutions can collect their own evidence and make use of existing research, to better understand the extent and valued of their existing practice and any gaps in their institutional provision.