Translate to multiple languages

Subscribe to my Email updates
Enjoy what you've read, make sure you subscribe to my Email Updates

Saturday, July 01, 2017

How do you create a digital university? | The Guardian - Higher education - Education

Photo: Sarah Knight
"Forget investing in digital learning spaces and hoping students will do the rest themselves. What they really want are staff who can share their expertise" notes Sarah Knight, Head of change in the student experience team at Jisc.

Universities shouldn’t assume too much digital know-how among their students. 
Photo: Roy Mehta/Getty Images 

Today’s student typically arrives at university equipped with a smartphone, a tablet, and an intimate knowledge of digital devices. University staff can be forgiven for feeling naïve alongside these tech-savvy “digital natives” - but is this perception of students’ skills based on reality?

At Jisc, the UK’s higher education digital technology agency, we have been researching how we can best support universities. We’ve found there are some common challenges in creating the right environments for digital learning – not least that students’ digital skills are not what they might seem.

Lecturers have told Jisc that we shouldn’t make assumptions about the digital capabilities of students. We wouldn’t expect history students to become overnight experts on Mayan civilisation, so why expect learners to be au fait with the latest research software, simply because they know how to submit their essays online? Not all students have equal access to digital resources.

In fact, the results of our 2017 survey of 22,500 learners showed that only 65% feel they have access to digital training and support when they need it. And our student digital experience tracker, run for the first time in 2016 and this year involving 74 institutions, found that students were most motivated to improve their digital skills when tutors inspired them with their own digital know-how.

Equipping staff with digital skills  
Key to providing the right digital environment are well-trained, fully-engaged members of staff who can design and deliver courses with technology embedded in them. The case study universities which featured in our Jisc digital capabilities guide found that this approach fosters a climate of digital fluency that diffuses throughout the university, from students to chancellors and everyone in between.

For example, Lancaster University is one institution which is leading the way with their dot.everything’ approach, whereby all processes – from student admissions and assessment to requesting travel and managing payroll – are carried out online.
Read more...  

Recommended Reading
Some universities don’t value age and experience enough.
Photo: Alamy Stock Photo
Why don't we value academics' age and experience? 
Academics Anonymous, blog series where academics tell it like it is.

Source: The Guardian