Improving digital literacy skills of staff
To see the sessions running each term you need to follow the link to the workshops and courses (if no sessions are running you can’t see the course details):http://clt.lse.ac.uk/workshops-and-courses/index.php
Type of snapshot
Central services provision e.g. library, learning development, e-learning, ICT
What was the context for this snapshot?
The Digital Literacy Programme run by Centre for Learning Technology.
This is a series of lunchtime workshops open to add staff and PhD students in the School to improve their digital literacy skills. It includes topics such as Blogging for researchers, Writing collaboratively using Wikis and Google docs, Keeping up to date and Twitter: a guide to microblogging. The programme is updated each term and each class is a hour and half long with hands-on activities in computer classrooms. All staff can attend the course and they are also promoted to PhD students. They are free to participants and funded from the CLT budget. It can be useful for the trainer to know is advance which groups of staff are attending so the session can be tailored appropriately. Teaching staff, administrators and researchers often have quite different expectations. It can also be difficult to predict the previous knowledge and experience of those who attend, so trainers need to cater for mixed ability groups.
What kind of learners were involved in accessing this provision or support?
Staff: including administrative staff and academics, PhD students and researchers are all able to attend these classes. In practice, masters students could also book a place and attend a Digital Literacy class.
What skills or literacies were particularly being addressed?
The sessions are deliberately intended to be a mixture of ICT/digital literacy and information literacy, however they are not currently modelled on any competence framework. The programme coordinator was familiar with the SCONUL 7 pillars of information literacy and used this to partly influence the design of the programme.
Who provided the support? How was support provided?
Support was provided by Learning Technologists and liaison librarians
The courses are not assessed or linked to any form of accreditation although feedback forms are distributed at the end of each session and these is analysed when designing the next year’s programme.
Benefits, outcomes, and lessons learned
The sessions aim to provide training and support in areas of emerging technologies, and to help staff use freely available tools in addition to subscription-based library resources. The benefits are an increased awareness of resources and familiarity with new technologies. The difficulties are that staff come to sessions on an optional basis and don’t always attend more than one course. Therefore it is difficult to make any assumptions about any previous knowledge or experience when planning the session.
We have started work jointly with another UK university to plan and design a Digital Literacy programme where staff would sign up for an entire programme rather than take one off sessions. This would enable us to build up skills and knowledge incrementally, but also to include assessment and possibly even accreditation into the programme.