The Digital Department team offered a workshop at the recent AUA conference in Manchester, which was an excellent opportunity to meet and talk to colleagues from other universities and colleges.
The workshop led to interesting discussions on what constitutes digital literacy. Creativity and innovation were seen as important aspects of the digital literacy. Digital literacy needs to be considered at individual and group level, and relates to a range of literacies needed for a person’s job roles. It was noted that many students have very high expectations and assume they have very good digital literacy skills when this is often not the case.
Organisations should get the message out to employees, “this how we work and why we work this way”. A number of organisations try a top down approach to influence what tools are used and how. Colleagues observed that people will always try to find a way around restrictions although it was agreed more autonomy in choosing tools can also cause problems.
It was interesting to get a glimpse as to how the administrative support for degree programmes and modules is organised in a range of universities with some much more centralised than others. The role of teaching administrators varies widely with regard to digital literacy and digital skills support: in some universities they play an important role in supporting staff and student digital literacy while in others this area is the sole responsibility of lecturers and/or a central service.
We are planning to keep in touch with our workshop participants – their input will help us ensure that our project is relevant and useful beyond UCL!