Seeking feedback on digital literacies

What is the problem?

Possessing ‘adequate’ digital literacies in higher education is an issue for both students and teaching staff and is frequently identified in the literature as a problem affecting the quality of eLearning experiences offered by higher education institutions and the learning outcomes experienced by their students.

Digital literacy is a widely used term and encompasses many literacies under the umbrella term e.g. digital information literacies, ICT literacies, multiliteracies etc… Defining the characteristics, competencies and skills will be an important aspect of my research. Digital literacies continue to be a recurring theme of relevance to me throughout my post-graduate studies in education. The NGL module 1 activities and assignment tasks have caused me to reflect on this personally and consider where contributions and changes could be made. The next logical step is to try and identify what type of intervention could be implemented? My literature search is currently focused on finding case studies and examples of interventions that are context relevant.

At this stage I’d like to focus on finding a way to contribute towards improving/developing digital literacies of both students and teaching staff in higher education, specifically a regional university with a diverse student population, a high proportion of non-traditional students with the majority undertaking study online/off-campus. It’s a broad issue – maybe too big for this task? I expect there may be no easy or immediate fix, so I’d like to start by posing this question to my fellow students:

As post graduate students, what approaches or interventions would you like to see at USQ to diagnose and support the development of your digital literacies when commencing/continuing with your studies in higher education?”

Any responses, suggestions and feedback will be welcome.

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11 Responses to Seeking feedback on digital literacies

  1. Paul Size says:

    Hi Deb, I personally have found the USQ online site quite intuitive and have enjoyed the online experience to date. In saying that I think that there are some gaps that could be addressed. For example, I’m not sure but justing thinking out loud but are there any webinars where people could join to discuss any gaps in their digital literacies? I guess there would need to be an approach whereby you collated enough information that could guide you in your proposed intervention. I personally think a range of online communities would be fantastic to assist. For example, just jump onto one and ask anything (in a risk free environment) and have colleagues point you in the right direction. Another idea would be to have say a community where you can get colleagues to review or proof read your material before submission. I’m sure that with the right ideas you could generate a lot of ways of improving digital literacies. My first point of call would be to try to talk to the IT help desk and see if you could get your hands on any analytics around what type of support requests they receive – with that information alone you could tailor a strong intervention.

    Happy to chat more on this.

    cheers,

    paul

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    • debliriges says:

      Thanks for your thoughts on this Paul. In my current project work we do have access to stats from the IT help desk which is helping to inform the development of online support tools for students. As the majority of students are located off campus, identifying the type of support students would find useful is challenging, so thanks for your suggestions. The other hurdle in the institutional setting is to achieve agreement on where support groups would be hosted and accessed from – StudyDesk would be ideal, but then in the EDU8117 situation, this would be different.There are a range of support categories too – technical, information, academic etc. to be considered. Do we aim for an institutional response or a more distributed one, where the individual teaching staff provide access to what they deem most suitable for their discipline? Then there’s the problem of higher education teaching staff also lacking digital literacies – not so in EDU8117!
      Am pleased to hear that you have found the USQ online site quite intuitive. From my student and support teacher roles, I am always viewing the learning environment from dual perspectives and asking what could be done to enhance the online learning and teaching experience.
      Thanks and by the way did you ever check out Sean Scott Photography – he’s been posting the most amazing images from his travels recently?
      Deb

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  2. Hi Deb,

    I read your proposed question quite some time ago but I remember thinking the same as Paul. I have also found the USQ site to be really good, particularly in comparison to a lot of universities that I have come across. As a tutor of many different university students, I come across a lot of different LMS formats and other platforms that the universities use. All in all, I found USQ to be the most innovative. I still don’t like the clunky blackboard, and the fact that it occasionally goes under maintenance but other than that, it is great.

    Another aspect that I find difficult when it comes to providing you with advice is that I don’t usually see students who are digitally illiterate. They also seem very tech savvy but this may just be my perception.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    Regards,
    Annelise

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  3. debliriges says:

    Hi Annelise
    Thanks for your feedback, it’s encouraging to hear your positive comments. I am currently working on a project team to develop and provide online support for students to expand on what is currently available. USQ has many mature age students from a diversity of backgrounds which is why digital literacies are of importance – the literature indicates it can be an issue in any age group though. Are your tech savvy students also confident to use their digital skills for learning as well as personal and social use?
    As far as my DBR proposal goes, I’ve now decided to focus on the problem of teaching staff in higher education lacking digital literacies and identifying a way to contribute towards improving/developing these. I have been working on finding some peer reviewers who can comment on DBR from their experience or research.
    I will aim to read your proposal document over the weekend and provide some feedback.
    All the best
    Deb

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  4. Hi Deb,

    My apologies for the delay, I’ve been trying to get phase 1 of my proposal completed and have been snowed under. 😀

    I think that the change in your proposal is a good idea, and something that is worthwhile. The students that I come across seem to be able to navigate the LMS, use ppt, word and other microsoft applications, and email. I don’t ever hear them comment on issues about a lack of technological skill or too many technological demands in their courses, and I see students from a variety of fields.

    If you do get a chance to read my latest document I would be immensely grateful.

    I wish the best in your research Deb, I know what it’s like. 🙂

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  5. debliriges says:

    Thanks Annelise and apologies for not reading your document as I had planned. My research took me on another path over the weekend, as is often the case. It’s been fruitful though and I am working on incorporating this information into my draft, so will be aiming once again to visit your proposal this weekend. It’s a rather time consuming task this DBR!
    Deb

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  6. debliriges says:

    Hi Annelise
    I plan to be finished in two weeks……if all goes to plan! I can understand how DBR is an ongoing process now and think I will have to keep reminding myself what the parameters are for this task.
    Hope all goes well
    Deb

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  7. Hi Deb,

    I just received your message that you could not edit the page. I have know changed it via my blog. This means that you will need to go to my blog rather than through Diigo to access the new link. Thank you for alerting me to this fact. I hope I’m not too late!

    Your feedback will be very much appreciate once again. 😀

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  8. debliriges says:

    Hi Annelise
    Yes I can see now that ‘comments’ are now available to me – I had accessed via your blog previously. I have found Google docs to be a little tricker to use lately?
    I am working on making my draft 2 link available from my blog by tomorrow, so hope to then have time to provide feedback on your project. I have gone through my developmental draft 1 phase with my two external reviews. Am currently finding the word limit quite challenging though.
    All the best
    Deb

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