Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

Archive for the ‘Digital Literacy’ Category

Digital Literacy issues in Further Education

Posted by andrewey on November 9, 2011

The following issues were highlighted in a discussion with college staff (as part of the PADDLE project):

Learners are relying increasingly on the use of their own technology for study and for assessment. Learners are therefore sometimes ‘bypassing’ college technology in order to use technology which they are more comfortable with, have personal control of and which is, possibly, more advanced. This raises issues about provision of public wi fi for learners and wi fi access to college networks.

Tutors are allowing the use of the learner’s own technology (for assessment) where it is possible to capture and store the use of such technologies (in line with traditional assessment methods). This raises the issue of the barriers to learning faced by the technology ‘have nots’.

Tutors discussed the pros and cons of using external social media against social media designed specifically for educational use (including Moodle). The general feeling was that learners should be able to use the technologies they are more comfortable with (eg Facebook, Twitter) but that more is needed to be done to educate learners in their effective and safe use. It was recommended, where possible, for learners to create different accounts for educational and personal use.

The issue of the use of social media in the context of work based learning was also discussed. here the observation was made that many employers block the use of social media sites by staff (and therefore work based learners). In this context if was felt the use of education specific social media would therefore be more appropriate.


Posted in Digital Literacy, PADDLE, PEDL | 1 Comment »

What are the barriers to FE students becoming effective learners in a digital world?

Posted by andrewey on November 3, 2011

I’m a panel member at the forthcoming JISC Innovating e-learning conference on Thursday 24 November 2011. I’ll be addressing the following issues:

What are the barriers to FE students becoming effective learners in a digital world and how might we overcome those barriers?

One area for discussion, for example,  is about whether or not learners should be able to use social media to collect/create evidence for assessment.

Comments, ideas or suggestions  welcome

Posted in Digital Literacy | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Simplified Digital Literacy skills audit

Posted by andrewey on August 12, 2011

Having conducted our intial Digital Literacy Skills audit with a number of students – both peer e-guides and their fellow student cohorts – we have significantly revised the initial set of audit questions.

The main issues with the initial audit were:

  • Too many questions – students found the initial 23 questions too long and repetitive (with questions seen as being  to similar)
  • Questions not linked closely enough to training/support materials – the new set of questions is clearly linked to support and training on offer making a much clearer diagnostic tool and providing a more manageable PDP for learners
  • Did not concentrate on core skills – web 2.0 skills were seen as cutting across other Digital Literacy skills and are no longer audited separately
  • Did not differentiate between different skill levels – the initial audit included questions relating to skills at different levels, these were unclear and contributed to learner confusion 

The initial results were surprising in that the weaknesses in Digital Literacy skills identified related to searching for information and effective use of Moodle rather than the expected areas which were Web 2.0, e-safety and use of the College ICT network. However given the survey was conducted in the spring then most students will already have acquired skills in relation to the basic use of ICT, Moodle and a greater awareness of e-safety issues.

The new audit includes only 7 questions but now has two skill levels built in (essential and desirable) with room to expand to a third level (‘nice to have’ skills). If learners positevely respond to the level 1 skills set then they will be prompted with the level 2 questions. Those who score weakly at level 1 will only be presented with those skills questions and corresponding PDP (of suggested training needs).

The initial and revised audit questions are contained in the attached spreadsheet

eGuide Audit v2 criteria

Posted in Digital Literacy, Information Literacy, PEDL | Leave a Comment »