Effective Learning in the Digital Age

ELESIG ran an event a few months back which reported on a number of projects at Institutions around the UK, that included the student experience at the heart. As I am an ELESIG online facilitator, I attended to gain an insight into the work being undertaken on digital literacies across the country.

Here is a quick recap! The main session for the day reported on the SLIDA project which is a study of how institutions are supporting effective learners in a digital age.  This study also asks institutions about the type of research that has been undertaken. 43 institutions applied and only 10 institutions were selected as this was about developing a variety of case studies. It was quite a lengthy process in finding data from institutions! It was about a co-creation with institutions because the institutions didn’t always want to present in relation to the student experience of elearning.

Three case studies

How is a student enterprise preparing learners for a digital age a Surrey experience

Chris, a final year economics student presented the project Colab an initiative run by SCEPTRE.  Chris talked about how colab has been really useful to develop students commercialisation skills and has turned into a Business for the students. Initially Norman Jackson came up with an idea to develop students enterprise skills and asked some students to help with getting staff to use youtube videos. This then escalated and students from this group started to develop apps for staff in departments etc. This isn’t a curriculum based example but a student driven example. There were about 70 students recruited in the initiative but a range of students attended digital workshops held by colab. This initiative has helped develop professional and lifelong learning skills. Surrey already has enterprise initiatives. All the collab guys are in employment for eg one person got a job through google! CoLab includes a dedicated team of students who as part of their placement year provide staff development workshops, provide technology services for hosting in house and external conferences and respond to emerging technology demands in the university. An execllent initiative to help students develop professional skills!

How do research-informed approaches to learning & teaching support and develop learners in technology-rich environments? Student experience research at Oxford Brookes

Digital Literacy has been placed at the top of the policy agenda at Oxford Brookes. The University’s new strategy for enhancing the student experience requires all undergraduate programmes to develop five graduate attributes one of which is digital & information literacy. To underpin this, a conceptual model is being used to help codify digital literacies at programme level.  Focused on student entitlements has been an enabler. The graduate attributes has helped steer the student experience for healthcare students. This is an example of linking digital literacies at a programme level.

How has the focus on ‘opportunities’ for students influences their experience @ Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton has also identified digital literacy as one of three key attributes and the UG Curriculum has been redesigned to ensure that these attributes are fully embedded within it. A blended learning approach to teaching & learning is core to the implementation of this strategy. The university’s extensive experience and research in blended learning and in the use of eportfolios provided evidence of the student experience at Wolverhampton and for the importance of digital literacy as one of the core attributes. A good example of local research at Wolverhampton which used an appreciative inquiry approach. Fab ikea style poster from student survey identified several themes; technology in learning, sense of belonging,  Social learning environment, Responsive lecturers, Interactive pedagogies, & Cultural diversity.

Really useful examples where there has been a range of initiatives that place the student at the heart of the experience.  This research is now going to be used by the institution to enhance strategies. The SLIDA section is available to view on JISC website.


Lexdis a JISC funded research project  is for those who are using or developing on-line learning materials. All the strategies have been provided by students who have first hand experience of e-learning. They have pulled together handy hints and tips on technologies you can use to make e-learning easier. Any technology that achieves this has been called an Assistive Technology.5 videos are available to view on the ELESIG Ning site

Synote – free automatic transcription for videos (must use)

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