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The Digital Department


Developing digital literacies for teaching administrators


TDD at the AUA

By Clive Young, on 19 September 2011

Clive Young, representing the project, spoke alongside Myles Danson of our funders the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) at the AUA West Midlands One-day Conference in Oxford on 14 September. The theme was how we can use technology to make our work easier and more efficient. The session showcased JISC’s continuing work with AUA including a new £1.5 Million programme to explore the skills needed by administrators and managers to work effectively in modern high-tech environments.

Clive introduced The Digital Department project and explained how we  will be working closely with the AUA to establish a sector-wide certification framework.

This was followed by a discussion with the participants (university administrators from throughout the region)  to find out what outcomes they would find useful. These were their ideas

  • Be ambitious “look at everything differently”
  • Involve students – what would they like (demand), also make use of their experience
  • Link to job specifications (standardise for all roles), performance review,
  • How to promote institutional responsibility and role


  • Don’t ignore the emotional side – people become defensive if they think they are ’illiterate’
  • Issue of ‘letting go’, attitudes and processes that work (albeit inefficiently)

  • Make learning ‘organic’ – don’t over-formalise
  • “Make it safe to have a go”
  • Try webinars – expert advice
  • Mentoring, buddies
  • Guides – too many things to learn, how to find “right tool for job”
  • Consider ‘live’ workshops or action learning groups – get people out of the immediate environment and solve problems.

Myles finished the session by providing a useful list of JISC resources to help administrators including;

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