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    Archive for the 'Moira’s Meanderings' Category

    It’s off to work we go: the role of universities and employers in developing digital skills for employability.

    By Moira Wright, on 5 May 2016

    Off to workThe next UCL Digital Literacy Special Interest Group will be taking place on June 9th from 2- 5.00 pm  (ticket link at the end this post).

    The report ‘Digital skills for the UK economy’ (ECORYS UK, 2016), strongly suggests that the vast majority of the workforce increasingly need the confidence, skills and competences to use digital resources in the workplace. Although Higher Education institutions provide support for their learners in developing these skills, often at a high level, these efforts may be more focused on enhancing the student experience and achievement within the education environment than on their employability.

    Indications are that workplace skills are better developed outside the traditional functional skills development model designed for the more specific occupations of the past and instead perhaps should focus on real-world learning experiences and novel approaches to help graduates develop the workplace skills needed today. A recent Spectator article about their internships highlighted ‘ If you write well but can’t edit an audio file or make short video (or work out how to) then this internship is probably not for you’ (Nelson et al, 2016) and novel ways of such as interactive infographics instead of CV’s being used to attract prospective employers attention becoming more commonplace such as this example – http://www.rleonardi.com/interactive-resume/.

    Jisc have suggested embedding these skills within ‘connected curricula’ and recognising the lifelong learning aspects of employability as a graduate attribute could be underpinned by technology (JISC, 2015). The recent introduction by QAA of the themes of digital literacy and student partnership in developing employability have highlighted the need for higher education to face up to the challenge of delivering practical support in digital and workplace know-how to enhance graduate attributes (QAA, 2015).

    Adaptability, flexibility, complex problem solving, working in a team and an ability to use an ever increasing range of digital platforms, technologies and environments are the abilities that the modern workplace requires – irrespective of role or career choice.

    Who is responsible for developing these digital skills for employability – the university, the employer or the student?

    This event will explore the issues around technology, digital skills and employability in order to provide an opportunity to reflect on evidence, good practice, challenges and opportunities.

    Programme

    Hugh Mannerings – Academic Lead for Retention & Attainment at Higher Education Academy

    Tobias Buschel – UCL PG student – slack / student projects

    Stephane Goldstein,  Informall – SCONUL 7 Pillars employability lens

    Laura Firmin and Sophia Donaldson – UCL Careers – internships at UCL

    Charlie Inskip – UCL Department of Information Studies

    Please note the programme will be updated in due course with further details about the sessions and is subject to change.


     References:

    ECORYS UK (2016) Digital skills for the UK economy. Available: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/492889/DCMSDigitalSkillsReportJan2016.pdf [ Accessed March 7th 2016]

    Nelson, F., Ross, D., Thompson, D., Chancellor, A. and Beasley-Murray, B. (2016) Internships at the spectator for summer 2016. No CVs, please | coffee house. Available at: http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/03/internships-at-the-spectator-for-summer-2016/ (Accessed: 14 March 2016).

    JISC (2015) Technology for employability. Available: http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6252/4/Technology_for_employability_-_quick_read_report.PDF [Accessed March 7th 2016]

    QAA (2015) Higher Education Review: Themes for 2015-2016. Available:http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/HER-Themes-Guidance-15-16.pdf [Accessed March 7th 2016]

    HM Treasury, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, The Rt Hon George Osborne and The Rt Hon Sajid Javid (2015) Fixing the foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fixing-the-foundations-creating-a-more-prosperous-nation (Accessed: 10 March 2016).

    HEA, Learning and Employability series 1 and 2 (2006) Available at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/id116_employability_in_higher_education_336.pdf (Accessed: 10 March 2016).

    Are we using technology effectively to support student employability?
    Available at: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/digital-education/2016/01/19/are-we-using-technology-effectively-to-support-student-employability/ (Accessed: 22 March 2016).


    Link to registration and tickets via EventbriteIt’s off to work we go: the role of universities and employers in developing digital skills for employability.


    For any queries about this event or the UCL DL SIG please email: moira.wright@ucl.ac.uk


    UPDATE: Slides from the event:

    Hugh Mannering presentation



    Tobias Buschel, UCL Computer Science



    Link below brings you to a video of the presentation for the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference Tobias did about the UCL slack project:

    https://www.ucl.ac.uk/stream/media/swatch?v=13daf5ac3474 (Tobias’s  speech starts at 8:45)


     

    Stephane Goldstein, Informall


     

     

     


     

     

    Sophia Donaldson and Laura Firmin, UCL Careers presentation



    UA-21424697-1 0

    Gingerbread dreams: what happened on the way to UCL?

    By Moira Wright, on 7 March 2016

    A link to the ideal soundtrack to listen to whilst you are reading this this blog is embedded in this image and will open in a new window.

    All the little boxes!

    You can follow the link and listen to my chosen soundtrack[1] whilst reading this blog. The link is embedded in the image above and will open in a new window.

    So why exactly did we ask participants of the workshop run at the UCLU Education conference to build and decorate a cardboard box which explained their digital journey to UCL – asking them to use Lear’s masterpiece – Owl and Pussycat [2] as inspiration for their own story?

    Well, the simple answer was that we wanted to gain insight into the student digital journey to UCL. Faced with survey fatigue from students and our desire to hear what they think we felt this would be a lot more fun to do than another Opinio!

    You can hear what one participant had to say about it all – and make your own mind up about how well the workshop went by following the link below to the UCLU Education Conference YouTube video and a 1.5min interview with a participant sharing feedback and their thoughts about the session.

    …and if you are wondering why I chose the song – well it’s all about challenging conformity 🙂

     


     References and Notes

    [1] Little boxes (2016) in Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boxes (Accessed: 5 March 2016).

    [3]ESL and Popular Culture (2012) The owl and the pussycat ~ poem with text. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSjNk5Fi_6Y (Accessed: 6 March 2016).



    Please click on the image above to see more photographs from this session.

    Digital Literacy: Friend, Foe or Fad?

    By Moira Wright, on 16 December 2015

    The UCL DL SIG invites UCL staff and students to an afternoon of discussion, networking and debate on digital literacy on Thursday January 7th 2016 from 2-4.30pm.

    This event is planned to address the question ‘Digital literacy: friend, foe, or fad?’ through an exploration of the benefits and challenges in the conception, delivery and evaluation of this hot topic. Delegates will be encouraged to reflect on their practices and discuss.

    Highlight of the event is that Helen Beetham, Education Consultant to UK HEI’s and Jisc, will speak. Helen Beetham is an author, researcher and innovator in the field of e-learning, with particular expertise in Higher Education. Since 2004 she has played a leading role in the JISC e-learning programme as an advisor on pedagogic issues. She is an experienced workshop leader and a regular speaker at conferences in the UK and abroad. An edited volume of essays, Rethinking Pedagogy for the Digital Age, was recently published by Routledge. Her areas of research and advisory expertise include: e-learning policy and practice; learners and learning in the digital age; pedagogy and educational theory; design for learning; e-portfolios for learning; academic writing and academic literacies.

    The QAA HER at UCL is upcoming and as part of this they have asked UCL to provide a snapshot of digital literacy activity at UCL. This report is not part of the scored element of the review. Steve Rowett and myself have been conducting interviews to learn more about what is happening at UCL. Some of this work was conducted using Jisc tools and it has uncovered a fabulously rich and varied picture – this event will include some presentations and examples of exciting current practice from UCL staff and students including Diana Lee – hack organiser, blogger, tech society and student, Free Hype – voluntary student society, Professor Martin Oliver and Dr Lesley Gourlay UCL Institute of Education, Dr Viv Jones UCL Department of Geography and Dr Sunny Bains (please use Eventbrite link for tickets below to view the full programme).

    About the UCL DL SIG

    When the UCL E-Champions network was formed a UCL Digital Literacies Special Interest Group (UCL DL SIG) was set up at the same time. The SIG was created for UCL staff to promote the use of technology in learning, provide a platform to ask questions, exchange ideas and also to get support from colleagues beyond E-Learning Environments.

    We’re using the Jisc definition of digital literacy: ‘the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society’ (see link Jisc: Digital Capabilities 6 elements below).


    Refreshments are provided along with time to network.
    Tickets are via Eventbrite (use the password: UCLDLSIG) :

    Click here for tickets and programme details – Digital Literacy:Friend, Foe or Fad?


    Further reading

    Jisc Blog: Building capability for new digital leadership, pedagogy and efficiency

    Jisc: Landscape Review
    Jisc: Frameworks mapped to 6 elements

    Jisc: Digital Capabilities 6 elements, Helen Beetham pdf

    QAA: How we review higher education

    QAA: Higher Education Review: Themes for 2015-16

    Introducing the ‘UCL Student Blog’

    By Moira Wright, on 6 October 2015

    bloggingE-Learning Environments (ELE)  is launching a pilot that gives students the opportunity to write short review blog posts and get them published on a UCL blog page. We’d like to hear from any students and staff interested in taking part.

    The idea is that students review clips or programmes of online resources that are relevant to their studies. These might be TV or radio programmes from BoB (Box of Broadcasts), Lynda.com courses, TED Talks, Khan Academy resources, YouTube videos or any other online resource that may be of interest to others at UCL.

    Staff might even use these resources in class and link to them from their Moodle courses. Staff can also help to tag the posts with keywords relevant to the topics they are teaching.

    Don’t worry if you have never written a blog before. ELE will provide you technical support and training on how to write for the web will be provided via Lynda.com and the ‘Writing for the Web’ course.

    We’d also like to include student reviews of apps to form the ‘My Favourite Apps’ pages.  We think with so many apps around it would be really good to share what people at UCL are using, and why and how they are being used.

    By answering some simple questions, you can write a (really) short review of an app you are using and tell us why you are using it – maybe it has improved your life, helped your learning or saved you money. People can vote and winners of ‘My Favourite App’ will have their review posted on a digital postcard on the front page of UCL Moodle.

    Students can be recognised for this work with HEAR (Higher Education Academic Report) for your blogging (you’ll need to meet the criteria). The HEAR is an electronic transcript of verified academic and non-degree related achievements attached to students record. See the UCL HEAR Information for Students.

    Students could also use this work to form a project for gaining a Jisc ‘Institutional Change Leader’ (ICL) award, accredited by the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA).

    If you are interested in being involved, please complete the form at the bottom of this page.

    Examples of similar programmes being run at other universities and colleges are available in Jess Gramp’s blog posts ‘On the Box‘ and ‘GC Student innovators‘.

    The first post is up and was written by 3rd year UCL Department of English student Ellie Pearce. In the blog called ‘Bentham Returns’ Ellie imagines Jeremy Bentham waking up in the middle of the festival ‘to celebrate all things digital’ UCL digifest which took place in Nov 2014. She has really captured the spirit of JB and we’re sure you’ll be inspired to get working on your own first review and hunting down clips, programmes and library resources. We’re aiming to build a rich archive of film, programme and clip resources in which can be accessed used and added to, over time.

     

    Digital Literacy at UCL

    By Moira Wright, on 24 June 2015

    In my notes for this blog are the headings which include student networking, UCL digifest, partnership working, UCL Teaching and Learning Portal, Westminster Briefing and UCL QAA HER, UCL ChangeMakers and Lego. This list is a somewhat typical of the diverse aspects to my newly created role as Digital Literacy Officer at UCL (I think under 2 years still counts as new?). A lot of ground to cover in this post so will try to be economic with my words (for those that know me – no easy thing).

    Firstly some highlights from the London Digital Student Meet-up (LDSM).

    Early in June a group of 50 students and staff from different institutions in the London area met for a morning at UCL to discuss digital literacy and student engagement projects. LDSM was co-organised by LSE and UCL and aimed to provide a platform for student networking it was open to all students. To ensure a high ratio of students the invite stipulated staff were welcome as long as they were accompanied by students.

    London Digital Student Meetup, June 2015

    The event had come about from attending the Jisc CAN conference in April with 3 UCL students. They had participated as panel members and given elevator pitches on the UCL digifest – which they had all worked on as volunteers. Hold the date for UCL digifest 2016 – February 24-26th

    Feedback from the UCL students had been that meeting other students and hearing about their projects had been one of the main benefits in participating. That, and a conversation during the conference with Dr Jane Secker, Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor from London School of Economics about the limited number of opportunities for students to network convinced us both that an open informal student networking event would pique interest.

    London Digital Student Meetup, June 2015The morning was very informal with a lot of time in the agenda for discussion and networking and a world café table topics and Lego*. From the anecdotal evidence I heard at this event it is clear that student digital literacy projects are proving to be increasingly impactful and insightful for those involved.

    Jane introduced the event with reference to the Jisc six capabilities model. The model is being updated and modified from the seven capability model. The new model (awaiting release) includes wellbeing.

    Peter Chatterton was next up for a talk and group discussion about the Jisc Change Agent Network . There were also updates about the pilot for the SEDA Institutional Change Leader award – which is just about to complete its first iteration this summer – the news is that there are plans are to run it again in the new academic year.

    Helen Beetham then introduced a draft of the new Jisc Benchmarking the student digital experience tool which was made available to participants for consultation. The tool has been designed to provide institutions with a benchmarking framework to help improve the student digital experience – awaiting release – but once complete the tool will then be rolled out to universities via the NUS ‘student voice’ network. The work is part of the Jisc Digital Student project and once launched will really help universities to assess institution provision against existing evidence of student expectations.

    By the end of the morning several things had become apparent to me. And they are, digital literacy must be embedded as a cultural approach in organisations, and is a life-long learning need, that giving ownership to students in this debate is mission critical and joined-up. The other thing was how universal the love of Lego is and how useful a tool it is for engagement*. We have future venues offers from two participants and plans to take them up.

    Work has started on the new Digital Literacy pages for the UCL Teaching and Learning Portal. An exciting first project for the Digital Literacy stream of UCL ChangeMaker projects with students developing content for the student pages. The excellent UCL ChangeMakers programme is making this possible and has just completed its successful pilot year with an impressive list of projects – summaries of UCL ChangeMakers projects are available by following this link . I am really looking forward to working on more digital literacy student projects in the new academic year.

    The Westminster Briefing I attended with Fiona Strawbridge last week in St James was full of useful information for the upcoming QAA Higher Education Review of UCL with the theme Digital Literacy that UCL has self-selected. UCL will present a snapshot of digital literacy at UCL for the review so I was really looking forward to hearing what Gemma Long, Review Manager from QAA had to say. Firstly we heard that the two themes chosen (employability and digital literacy) were chosen as they are ‘areas that are particularly worthy of further analysis or enhancement’ no surprise for anyone – particularly those who had read the House of Lords Select Committee report on Digital Skills which was released in February. QAA seems realistic in where they think universities are in developing digital literacy for their students but the emphasis has to be on staff developing the capabilities and confidence in their own digital skills sufficient to meet the student needs and expectations.

    John Craig, Senior Director Education and Research, HEA talked about the idea of an information society where information expands and becomes more accessible with digitization accelerating this trend and a society that could become victim to Information Obesity “a failure to turn information into knowledge…..as physical obesity is not simply too much food, so information obesity is caused by more than just information overload” (Andrew Whitworth).

    Katherine Ready was next – she is Digital and Information Manager from the Open University shared the really excellent open resource Being Digital – a collection of short activities designed by the Open University Library Information Literacy group for developing digital and information literacy. You can choose developed Pathways where learning is on a particular theme so you can work your way through a topic and gain a deeper understanding.

    Charlie Inskip from UCL Department of Information Studies then discussed some of the findings from research funded by SCONUL as part of a wider project, Research Information Literacy and Digital Scholarship funded by Research Information Network (RIN). The findings highlighted the importance of teaching, research and technical skills in developing resources and a need for library and information staff to continually develop their digital literacy skills. He concluded that ownership of digital literacies should be shared across and amongst institutions and services and is not the purview of one stakeholder and the ever changing and flexible landscape of digital literacy and an awareness of the continuously changing context is required to successfully meet the current challenge.

     

    Footnote on Lego

    *I had been inspired by a presentation I had seen recently which had introduced me to the concept of ‘Serious Lego Play’ . (Alison James at the CRA conference in Plymouth)

    Also noted on 11th June that the University of Cambridge announced plans to establish a (link to) “LEGO professorship of play in education, development and learning” alongside a research centre, with £4 million of donations from the LEGO Foundation – news must have got out!