Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CPD4HE: Digital Literacies in disciplinary learning & teaching #delila

Another report from the Developing Educators Learning and Information Literacies for Accreditation (DELILA) project dissemination day in London, UK.
Jane Hughes (an Educational Developer/ Technologist at University College London) talked about her project CPD4HE: Digital Literacies in disciplinary learning & teaching. The website is at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/calt/cpd4he/.
Similarly to DELILA they wanted to convert material into open educational resources. These came from a variety of modules, and were divided into 10 topic headings including: Quality, Values in Higher Education, Designing the Curriculum, Academic Literacies. In terms of the way in which digital literacies were addressed (since the topics are mostly not directly about digital literacies): in some cases the subject coverage included digital literacies (e.g. concerning e-learning, or inquiry based learning), in other cases (if I understood correctly) the teaching, learning & assessment strategies included a digital literacy element.
Four elements that are important in their Postgraduate Certificate in Education for Higher Education course, that the material is of part of, are:
- "Disciplinarity addressed both explicitly and through experiential learning"
- "Digital literacies and e-learning addressed both explicitly and through experiential learning."
- "The individual's experience of teaching is viewed as a resource central to learning
- "The HE teacher viewed as part of a community: interaction with this community is part of learning."
Hughes talked about (my interpretation) the various problems of decontextualising an educational resource, when it starts as part of a carefully designed course. The experiential aspects are ones which the speaker felt became more problematic when you were thinking about making educational resources open. As well as this contextual issue, another issue is the way in which particular resources will be used within a specific tool (e.g. Moodle, a wiki) which has been selected because it is suited for that particular outcome/place in the course.

Therefore they have added some text and audio commentaries to say what the original context was, to help others contextualise the resource into their own course design and practice. In the end, a good number of the resources that they have made open are textual, but they may be textual items describing/ supporting an interactive intervention that involves use of technology (for example, an activity which develops use of networks and mailing lists).

I would say that this decontextualisation/ recontextualisation issue is vital (and challenging) when you are an educator. As well as the website linked above, there is also a blog http://www.ucl.ac.uk/calt/cpd4he/ and they can be followed on twitter at CPD4HE
Photo by Sheila Webber: Waiting for the train this morning

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