The fun of the Lego building has now moved on to creating a vision for Digital Literacy. The overall purpose of this meeting was to start thinking about TUoS Library’s underpinning values. What are our values? What are we trying to deliver?
By exploring the underpinning values we can start to develop a vision for delivering digital literacy support/training in the Library.
We learnt that a decision has already been made to use the term “Digital Literacy” because this term is more widely understood/used. “Digital Literacy” is a strategic term rather than a visionary one – having a vision is not just about the label. Labels can be constraining. The label should come at the end of the process. We want to move away from Threshold Concepts in the Digital Literacy setting, and focus on the ongoing development of the literacies where there is no threshold as it is a constantly evolving sphere.
Digital is the tool we are using but technology is constantly changing. What gives us stability in a constantly changing world? We need to think about literacies and the Library more widely:
- What is it about libraries that makes them special?
- What drew us to working in libraries?
- What experiences did we have before working in libraries?
We used these questions as a starting point to share our personal journeys that led us to work in TUoS.
We recounted each other’s personal stories and recorded any relevant keywords. For example, we found that many words/terms relating to the Library’s underpinning values came out of our storytelling, such as “continuing professional development”, Education, working with new technologies, etc.
In the second part of the meeting we looked at JISC documentation for developing a vision of digital literacy and looked to answer the questions provided
How does our institutional mission recognise the importance of digital capability?
Our institutional mission doesn’t mention this directly. However, indirectly we mention the Sheffield Graduate (See attribute below)
What learner or graduate attributes do we make it our mission to develop, promote and support in our learners?
In the Sheffield graduate we state that,
“Some student interpretations of this attribute:Familiarity and ability to to use several packages. Knowing how to use different software effectively. Ability to identify how IT can be applied to improve efficiency and solve problems
Do you manage multiple communication tools, e.g. Facebook, blogs, email/s? Have you used MOLE to access and use study materials? Are you a confident user of software for writing, presentation or data analysis? Can you podcast or create other materials for the web and do you file share? Do you know how to find the right information quickly and effectively? Do you know how accurate the information is? Can you evaluate what you have found? If you can say yes, you are well on your way to being information and IT literate.”
(Sheffield Graduate: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/sheffieldgraduate/development)
The Sheffield Graduate also includes Information Literacy as a key aspect. Further to this, the University Library promotes Information Literacy as one of the key aspects of employability when the student has moved on from the University.
What part do digital technologies play in the learning experience at our institution?
These play quite a big part in the learning experience at The University of Sheffield. To the outside world we use MOOCs as an open learning tool and giving back to the community. (http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/moocs/about)
Internally, we use a VLEs, such as MOLE and Minerva, to deliver course materials and interact with students. The library has the e-library where vast materials are available for our students and staff to access 24/7.
How are learners involved in decisions about ICT?
They may be at departmental level when using software and ICT for research, but we do not know of any official channels where students are involved in this decision making. We may ask for user feedback in the library, but details from University wide are not easily available.
How are we helping learners to thrive in a networked social context, where boundaries of many kinds are crossed?
Careers service play an active role in promoting the need to maintain a good online social media profile (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/careers/students/gettingajob/media)
CiCS have information on general information security (http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cics/security/safety)
Do we actively address learners’ expectations about the digital environment and forms of digital learning in which they will be engaged?
We need to know what their expectations are before we can make attempts to address them. The experience varies depending on how the lecturers engage with them. Some departments and faculties are more adept at pushing digital learning than other. It also varies depending on the faculties and the materials needed to reach the aims of the course.
These questions led us to more questions and looking at our users, for example what are their expectations and how do we find out this information?