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CPD for digital and information literacies

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Joe Nicholls
12 January 2013

I'm sure like many others participating in this MOOC, I've seen far too many institutional technology initiatives come and go and result in frustration at the missed opportunities because the business change process and staff development wasn't in place either in a timely or appropriate manner.

Professional Services staff play a key mediating role between available services and the requirements of academic staff and students. Their practices are pivotal for promoting organisational change. A coherent CPD programme for Professional Service staff that seeks to develop digital and information literacies in the context of existing practice is of fundamental importance for enabling institution-wide business change.

My assertion is that educational institutions require organisational structures and processes dedicated to the creation and delivery of flexible and agile CPD tailored for Professional Services staff roles. In an ideal world, this would be initiated and driven by a central staff development service through a coordinated programme linked to staff appraisal. At Cardiff University this remains a vision and something to aspire to. Most current staff development opportunities are through voluntary attendance at occasional presentations and workshops, the majority of which are commissioned from external third parties which do little to address the specific challenges and opportunities within the institution. More often than not, what people experience is something that is pre-packaged and removed from context in which they work.

For staff to be able to develop relevant digital and information literacies it is something that has to be done through meaningful practice. The challenge, in busy organisations where people feel time pressured, overwhelmed and reluctant to change what they do, is to find ways of engaging them so that they recognise value and benefit from participating and working to develop their knowledge and skills.

I'm hoping to use this OLDSMOOC opportunity to explore the potential for designing a curriculum to develop the digital and information literacies of staff in Information Services at Cardiff University.

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