Tag Archives: digital literacy

300 – A Scaffolded Approach to Developing Professional Communication and Digital Skills – Sue Beckingham

The professional skills module for first year Computing students has followed a traditional approach not unlike many other subjects. However in one course a module reviewed the syllabus to integrate new digital skills to complement the programme. Students have undertaken a variety of digital communication tasks which they have reflected upon within their digital portfolio in the form of a blog. They have also worked in groups and held online meetings using Skype or Google+ hangouts, recording their meetings using a shared Google doc. A scaffolded approach using social media to develop communication skills has allowed students to reflect on existing skills and the development of new. Within their personal reflective blog the students embedded a digital ‘About Me’ video along with screencasts and screenshots to evidence their online group work. Not only has this helped them to develop new digital skills, they have been able to articulate how these may be of use in the workplace. The articulation of how professional skills can be applied and the confidence to do so is an important and vital aspect of their development.

300 A Scaffolded Approach to Developing Professional Communication and Digital Skills

299 – Space, Place and Interconnectedness: An Evaluation of the Importance of a Considered Digitally Visual Online Presence – Sue Beckingham, David Morrish, Emma Trigg

The aim of this project was to research and develop a deeper awareness of the key and emerging social sites that are relevant to developing a visual and professional identity; the importance of interconnectedness and the significance for our future graduates looking to enter the Creative Sector.  How students develop a professional identity One of the valued SHU graduate attributes we aspire to develop within our graduates is Digital Literacy. This states that as graduates they will be able to work effectively with a range of technology and social media and have the capability to develop a confident online presence. Our project focuses in on the students and future graduates on the creative courses within the Faculty of ACES. The outcomes of our research will help to inform potential enhancements to professional studies within our courses. This project was undertaken with an undergraduate Student in response to the call for Students as Researchers Project which funds students to undertake a small research project in collaboration with staff to improve academic practice and the student experience.

299 Space Place and Interconnectedness

2012 Multiple experiences, multiple modes: engaging learners through the production of educational support resources

Cathy Malone, Oksana Fedotova, Melvyn Ternan, Helen Walmesley, Sam Dorrian, Nathan Elliss and Rachel Clarke

The co-lab is based on a recent collaboration between educational developers and academic staff  teaching on BA Animation, and a small-scale qualitative study evaluating this experience.  Using the preliminary research findings as a starting point, we shall consider the value of introducing audiovisual assessment methods into critical-theoretical modules.  Secondly, we shall consider the ways in which the University services can act as partners in pedagogic interventions, expanding students’ work-based learning opportunities and benefitting from their creative input.  The presentation will be illustrated by short screenings of student work.   

The use of multimedia teaching resources has been well documented, particularly in relation to  online tutorials and demonstrations (Sugar et al 2010).  Theories of multimedia learning suggest several advantages of mixed modality presentations (Moreno and Mayer 1999).  Addressing several modes at once (verbal, audio, visual) increases learner engagement, as well as acting as a welcome ‘just in time’  refresher   (Coutinho and Rocha 2010).    More recently,  there has been a shift towards student-produced digital artefacts,  underpinned  by the constructivist views of learning and the appreciation of the participatory nature of contemporary youth culture.  Acting as decision-makers, producers  and evaluators positions the learners at higher stages of Bloom’s taxonomy (Shafer 2010).  Kress et al (2001) argue that this process has a transformative nature, both due to the learner actively reshaping the available semiotic resources, and in terms of the resulting cognitive shifts.  

The first part of the presentation will focus on the curricular developments applying these ideas to a second-year module, traditionally dealing with theoretical texts and academic essay writing.   The second part of the paper describes the work the students undertook after the end of the module, for a number of University clients, including disabled student support, wellbeing, and study support. 

On presenting the preliminary research findings, the seminar participants will be invited to discuss the pedagogic challenges, operational and resource implications and their potential transferability outside media arts disciplines.  


Coutinho, C. P. and Rocha, A. M. M. (2010) “Examining the use of educational video clips on distance education. “, SITE 2010 : Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, San Diego 

Kress, G., Jewitt, C., Ogborn, J. and Tsatsarelis, C. (2001) Multimodal Teaching and Learning: The Rhetorics of the Science Classroom, Continuum 

Moreno, R., and Mayer, R. E. (1999) “Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: The role of modality and contiguity effects”, Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 

Shafer, K. G. (2010). “The proof is in the screencast”,  Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 10 (4) 

Sugar, W., Brown, A. and Luterbach, K. (2010). “Examining the anatomy of a screencast: Uncovering common elements and instructional strategies” The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11 (3)

C5 – (EN50) 14.20

2012 Information skills target the job market

Claire Abson, Jo Dobson, Emma Finney and Deborah Harrop

This poster will address one important aspect of the ‘futures’ conference theme and is aimed at academic staff, support staff and external customers.  Studying for a degree develops a student’s understanding and knowledge of their subject, but it is the underlying skills they acquire that make them an attractive employee. 

The information seeking and research skills they develop are part and parcel of these very marketable graduate attributes but often they are not explicit, and staff outside LIS are not always clear on the work we undertake with students that is crucial in developing these skills.  The poster will highlight the skills we focus on, how we structure our teaching to develop them and how they fit into the attributes that professional bodies and prospective employers are looking for. 

We will use feedback from the conference, which we will gather in a variety of ways, to develop the poster to re-use with academic and support staff via faculty events and other forums.  For example, we would use a QR code to link to feedback questions via Google docs.  We will also envisage using the final version with students/prospective students/their parents, e.g. at Open Days, through contact with other SLS colleagues in the Careers Service.

(FU20) 14.00

2012 The Digital Frontier: a look at tools beyond the VLE to support learning and teaching

Robin Gissing and Juliun Ryan

Whilst blackboard contains a robust set of tools for learning and teaching, you may be aware that in addition to these there are a vast number of ‘third party’ tools and services available online that offer potential to enhance the learning experience.

This hands-on workshop aims to introduce staff to some of these free and easy to use tools and explore how they can be used to offer new and innovative opportunities to enhance practice through the use of technology.

The workshop’s facilitators argue incorporating such tools constitutes a meaningful opportunity to develop students’ experience, knowledge and understanding of the wider digital landscape. This so-called ‘digital literacy’ is a vital graduate attribute, enabling students to live, learn and work in the 21st century. Its development is something both students and employers alike are increasingly keen to see universities address. Coinciding with the changes to the funding arrangements for students post-2012 we are embarking in an increasingly market driven learning economy. (JISC 2011) and some of these approaches may go some way to enhancing student experience and authenticity.

So, with that in mind, the workshop will provide ideas and specific examples of not only how these tools might be used, but also how one or more of them might be dynamically combined to create new configurations and thus new opportunities for facilitating learning and teaching. An example combination might be; an online interactive presentation tool and combined with a screencasting tool. This might create a video presentation with a more dynamic feel than that of a recorded powerpoint. 

The session will aim to create a social and creative environment for both the presenters and participants, which due to the nature of the session should be accessible to people of all levels of technical skill.

The facilitators will introduce the topics and tools as well as the themes and aims of the session. Attendees will then work together in groups, actively engaging in hands-on exploration of the tools functionalities to inform base pedagogic rationales for the use of those tools.  Attendees are then expected to feed-back to the wider group what they have discovered about the tools.

Attendees will then re-assemble into smaller teams to develop specific examples of how two or more tools can be used in combination in a “building block” approach to essentially develop a new tool which is the combination of 2 or more tools. Feedback of these new tools will then be expressed over a variety of media forms by attendees and the facilitators.


JISC. [online]. 2011. Last accessed 8 March 2012 at: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/developingdigitalliteracies

D4 – (EN19) 15.30

2012 Open Educational Resources (OER) in the context of teacher and education training

 Anna Gruszczynska, Richard Pountney and Nicky Watts

This presentation will draw on early findings of a project “Digital Futures in Teacher Education” currently being undertaken in the Faculty of Development and Society as part of the third phase of the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) UK Open Educational Resources (OER) programme, where OERs are teaching resources freely available online to learners for re-use/repurposing. The presentation will discuss some issues that are emerging as we attempt to embed OER practice within the context of digital literacy in teacher training and programmes such as PGCE and PGCertHE.

The project considers digital literacy to be a blend of ICT, media and information skills and knowledge situated within academic practice contexts while influenced by a wide range of techno-social practices involving communication, collaboration and participation in networks. Overall, the authors of the paper align themselves closely with frameworks which  move from the singular ‘literacy’ to the plural ‘literacies’ which emphasise the sheer diversity of existing accounts of digital literacy (Lankshear and Knobel, 2010). In that context, our engagement with the narratives which have arisen in the context of the project focuses on “the constantly changing practices through which people make traceable meanings using digital technologies” (Gillen and Barton, 2011). 

There is a pressing need for educators to engage with digital literacy issues. Increasingly, the skills and experience that learners (and their teachers) have or need is changing and the baseline is being raised. At the same time, professional development in new pedagogies facilitated by digital technology is still patchy and, in terms of the potential of new social media for learning, relatively unaddressed. Therefore, the presentation will focus on the ways in which OERs can address the opportunities and challenges of creative uses of digital literacy in the context of teacher education training .

The presentation will outline key issues which emerged in the context of our work with PGCE students at participating universities (SHU and University of Sheffield), who shared their understandings of digital literacy through participation in focus groups. The presentation will also discuss our collaboration with the “Digital Literacy and Creativity” project (currently undertaken at University of Bedfordshire) whose aim is to produce an online module ‘Digital Literacy and Creativity’ for accredited PGCertHe programmes, which focuses on the ways digital literacy can be deployed creatively to support teaching, learning and administration.

Importantly, these questions are being addressed through a reflexive approach towards project methodology whose guiding principle is that through reflection, teaching practice can be critically reviewed and better understood in order to articulate a framework for digital literacies which best maps onto the experiences of project participants. Overall, the emphasis on reflexive tasks builds on the body of research which posits teacher inquiry as integral to teacher knowledge about teaching (Cochran-Smith and Lytle 1993). 

Cochran-Smith, M. and Lytle, S. (1993) Inside/outside: Teachers, research, and knowledge. New York: Teachers College Press.

Gillen, J. & Barton, D. (2010). Digital literacies.  A research briefing by the technology enhanced learning phase of the teaching and learning research programme. London: London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London.

Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2010) New Literacies: Everyday Practices and Social Learning (3rd Edition). Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Click to presentation:  Open Educational Resources (OER) in the context of teacher and education training

D7 – (EN11, EN22, EN28, EN56) 15.30