Project funded ended at the end of July 2013. We can reflect on this as being our most successful project to date in terms of impact on our home institution. The reasons for this, we think, are having sound evidence and an effective plan for change. The key lessons that we learned can benefit any project and are:
Senior manager buy in is essential
Although getting DL included in high level strategy is not a guarantee of impact, no enduring change of this sort is achievable without it. Influencing strategy is impossible unless senior managers can be convinced that your vision has merit. See quotation above.
Evidence, evidence, evidence
Senior managers are influenced by hard evidence. They don’t have time for long reports; a two page executive summary of baseline recommendations – not an original deliverable – was a useful document to have available.
Change can be good
Change can work to a project’s advantage as it creates voids to be filled and frees off otherwise stuck systems.
Use every opportunity
The team used major changes at the institution as an opportunity to input in to the shape and direction of new policies, strategies and processes in the areas of technology, curriculum design and staff recruitment/development. These were all areas identified in the baseline study as being key influences on the degree to which digital literacies would become embedded in the Plymouth student experience.
Use existing networks
Creating something new is risky and brings sustainability problems. Working through existing groups or communities of interest increases the likelihood of having impact beyond the life of the project. Transference of ownership is less problematic when there is a ready made group to continue the work.
All our outputs can be found on this website and in Jisc’s Design Studio together with the Developing Digital Literacies Programme pages.
The project took the opportunity to join forces with the ASTI team at the 2013 Vice Chancellor’s Teaching and Learning Conference. A packed stand contained a wealth of materials and demonstrations all designed to engage and inspire conference-goers.
A series of 10 guides have been developed to support the digital literacies of postgraduate research students. They are aimed at helping researchers to develop the skills and practices that will enable them to engage with the digital world in a safe and effective manner.
The guides have been repurposed for Plymouth University with the kind permission of the Jisc funded Exeter Cascade Project
For more information please click on the image below.
Postgraduate Researcher Digital Skills
The project has created 10 video case studies showing how digital tools can enhance the learning and teaching experience. Each case study is accompanied by a written summary of the approach, tools and skills needed for others to try it in their own context. Topics covered include the use and benefits of podcasts, ePortfolios and eAssessments.
To see a full list of the case studies, please click on the image below.
Podcasting Video Case Study
Bit of sad day at the final meeting for this Programme. We probably won’t get a chance to meet up with programme and cluster colleagues again and it has been good to have them as sounding boards when trying to reflect on our journey. Particular thanks to Andrew Comrie, a great cluster group leader.
In keeping with Joe Nicholls’ (Cardiff Digidol) baking metaphor at http://vimeo.com/53965434, we decided that our project metaphor would be a Battenburg Cake!!! It had 4 distinct areas of work all encapsulated in a covering of digital literacies.
The project attended a very stimulating cluster meeting hosted by the Digidol Project at Cardiff University. Some really good discussions about how to get the right information to the right people at the right time, a tough nut to crack.
Useful session with Jay Dempster on evaluating the projects. Not an easy thing to do when it comes to institutional change, which by its very nature tends to be less immediate than piloting an new innovation. The Logic Model approach to evaluation seems as if it will help us identify outcomes and impact in a structured and organised way.
Yesterday we hosted a meeting for our cluster of JISC projects within the Developing Digital Literacies programme. Projects to attend included Cardiffs DIGIDOL project, Worcesters WORDLE project and PADDLE called in via video conference.
As hosts we began the day discussing how our project had been heavily involved in institutional change. Neil discussed this in legth with input from from Pauline Kneale (Pro-vice chancellor Teaching and Learning) and Mark Stone (Head of UK Partnerships). Following this each project had the opportunity to discuss their progress so far and any issues and concerns.
Overall it was a really useful day and we as a project felt it has given us a nice focus in tying up the project.
Attended a dissemination event for the TEL Research programme - http://tel.ioe.ac.uk/ . The Keynote was delivered by David Willetts, and Charles Clarke chaired and interesting debate about the utility of technology enhanced learning in relation to learning. Of course it being a room full of academics, no one could agree what the question meant, but it did lead to some interesting debate about the success, or otherwise, of technology in transforming the learning experience. Of course from out perspective it all hinged on digital literacies being key learning and employability skills requiring appropriate embedding and support for both staff and students.
Today was our second ‘Talking About iPads’ webinar. Great participation by the ALDinHE members made for a really enjoyable event. Thanks to all involved.
As part of a recent project meeting we created a number of flyers to help productise our outputs.
Digital Literacies and Digital Tools for Busy Academics
Talking about Digital Literacies – 90 minute workshop
Institutional Change – A Soufflé for Success