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Digital Information Literacy Skills for Health and Social Care

Cloud created by:

Jane Challinor
18 January 2013

1) Brainstorm components of your scenario

 Actors: Charlotte is 18 and has arrived at University straight from school. She has a smart phone and is constantly on Facebook especially to keep in touch with mum and her boyfriend back in Hull. Mum and Dad got her a laptop for Christmas which she uses to do her work on back in the flat she shares with other students.

 Goals: Charlotte wants to study Health and Social Care with the hope of maybe becoming a Social Worker (she was too young to get on the professional course and has not had any relevant work experience). She studied the subject at school and did well in her A levels. Alternatively she might become a counsellor – her ultimate goals are not all that clear. Short term she wants to enjoy the course, make new friends and gain some independence. She is not too worried about student debt.

 Settings: Charlotte attends Uni 3 or 4 days a week – it’s a five minute walk from her flat in a lively city centre location.  The lecture theatres and seminar rooms are well equipped with AV equipment and there is free wi fi everywhere. She likes to study in the library quiet zones as the flat can be a bit noisy. She also likes to get text books out of the library to help with assignments.  In addition she uses the VLE to download lecture notes, check her timetable (and occasionally her Uni email, though that is FULL of spam!). Some lecturers use the VLE to set up Discussions on seminar topics and she quite enjoys doing these exercises. The VLE also provides a link to her reading lists which includes some e-books (though she is not quite sure what these are) and journal articles. There is a library and database search tool in the VLE but she doesn’t know what this is for.

 Objects: (what things are involved?) mobile phone, laptop, overhead projector

Mobile phone, lap top, PCs in the library and IT suites, library books, e-books and journal articles on electronic databases

 Actions:  The first assignment is due and Charlotte needs to do some research on social policy affecting young people. She starts out by googling fairly broadly. She finds some useful websites that talk about social policy and some that talk about social issues affecting young people. She looks up social policy and young people on Wikipedia but draws a blank. She decides to go to the library and find one of the set texts and maybe other books in this area.

 Events: Charlotte reads through the text books and makes notes. When she comes to write her assignment she realises she has not kept any record of the books’ titles or the web addresses she used. She panics and tries to get help from friends on how to reference her work. She recalls that there were some lectures about referencing in the study skills module so she goes back to the VLE to try and download the hand-outs.  The deadline approaches and Charlotte desperately asks a friend for a copy of her assignment to see how she should structure her own. She feels pretty confused and wonders why she is at Uni if she is finding the work so difficult compared to when she was at school.

 Results: Charlotte’s first assignment does not get great marks. It is rushed and deals with the topic superficially. The tutor marks her down for poor academic practice. He also suspects plagiarism but as the assignment is one of 103 handed in as hard copy he can’t back track through them to find the one she copied from, so he lets this pass.

 Your design: The module I am designing aims to teach students how to search for and use information effectively; it helps them to think about how information gets into the web (including information about themselves) and how they can tell if sources are reliable. It also aims to get students to work collaboratively in a legitimate way, sharing ideas, designing their own research problems, creating a resource (on the www) which is well researched, correctly referenced and adds to the knowledge in this area for a specific audience (other students).

It will do this by developing an appropriate assignment task which is group based, introducing students to social networking tools for collaboration (including social bookmarking) and encouraging the development of a Personal Learning Environment.

It will aim to demonstrate the key role social media plays in health and social care – to promote health messages, interact with service users, and facilitate self-help and advocacy groups.

 Tools used for interaction in the module might include Facebook and Twitter, Diigo, Google Drive, wikis, Slideshare and YouTube…….with links and downloadable material also available via the VLE

 3) Scrutinize your scenario & revise as necessary

What claims are you making: for your designs? about context? about the people involved? etc...

Do these hold up? Summarise your claims below particularly those that you feel need more support.

 I am making several assumptions –

that even though 18 yos are supposedly digitally native they actually have very few information literacy skills.

That even though they are constantly on FB, they don’t really see social media as a tool for learning and indeed would rather keep these worlds separate.(I have done some research amongst my own students which supports this).

That they arrive from school with little idea of how to become an independent learner, although that is what University staff expect of them.

That most lecturers still prefer assignments to be done individually and to be handed in as hard copy. That VLE’s are pretty poorly utilised tools and most HE staff wouldn’t touch social media with a barge pole.

That a module that starts to encourage the development of digital information literacy will result in students who are better at research, are more independent learners, are more self-aware and more fitted for graduate level employment on leaving university.

Extra content

Digital Information Literacy Skills for Health and Social Care 2 – Social Policy Lecturer

 1) Brainstorm components of your scenario

  Actors: Charles is a 50 yo senior lecturer and former social worker who teaches a level one module in social policy. He is well liked by the majority of students and his lectures are regarded as entertaining and interesting. He has given a lot of thought to developing the critical writing skills of his students through formative exercises. Students often comment on the extensive and helpful feedback they get from him.

 Goals: Charles is very happy with the way things are going in his module. He sees the students developing skills and feels he now has the format about right. He is not very happy at the increasing “push” by senior management to think about “employability skills”. This goes against the grain for him and doesn’t believe Universities are about getting people jobs. He believes we should “take a more rounded view of individuals”.

  Settings: Charles works at the University in a shared office. He teaches on three different courses and two or three different modules across all 3 levels of undergraduates.

  Objects: (what things are involved?) mobile phone, laptop, overhead projector

 PC at home and in office. VLE Learning rooms, teaching rooms equipped with visualizer and LCD projector


Charles struggles with technology. He uses the VLE learning rooms as directed and to the minimum standard laid down in University policy. He posts incomplete lecture notes which students are expected to download and bring to the lecture to fill in the gaps. He says this is a good way to encourage active listening. He does not like marking electronically so does not use the drop box except when directed and then he has to get the admin to set it up for him.

Assessment in his module is by exam – 3 short essays. There is a good pass rate for his module although he is intolerant of grammar and spelling errors.

 Events: Charles is taking a personal tutorial group. The students raise a problem they are having in researching for a module he doesn’t teach. They have been asked to look at the health needs of a local community and they start to discuss how they can use hashtags to search for information on Twitter. Charles has no idea what they are talking about. He suggests some text books he has used in the past which he thinks are still available in the library.

 Results: Charles feels angry that something as trivial as Twitter is being used on the course. He feels this undermines the hard work he puts in to encouraging meaningful scholarly research amongst his students. He goes to complain to the Course Leader.


Jane Challinor
12:57 on 20 January 2013 (Edited 13:00 on 20 January 2013)

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