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Nicola Dowson's Design Narrative

Digital and information literacy skills workshop

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Nicola Dowson
6 April 2014


This design narrative captures a short (45 minute) workshop that I ran in March 2014 for a group of academics on digital and information literacy. Situation The workshop was run as part of a 2 day off campus staff development event for Open University module team chairs. It was attended by 7 module team chairs from different disciplines and varying amounts of experience if working as a module team chair at the OU.


The purpose of the workshop was to give an overview of the OU's digital and information literacy framework and some examples of activities that have been embedded in to the OU curriculum, The workshop also gave the opportunity for those attending to consider how they could embed digital and information skills in to the curriculum and the potential this has for enhancing the student experience.


When developing the workshop I drew on materials a colleague had developed for a Higher Education Academy presentation on Digital and information Literacy. I had two activities within the session - the first one was defining what digital literacy was in 140 characters. The second one was looking at the skills within the framework and discussing in groups how this could be applied in the OU's curriculum. The session before over ran by 10 mins, so this resulted in the workshop being slightly shorter.


The group was engaged and the discussion was rich. There was different levels of knowledge of the digital and information literacy within the group - so getting the level right was challenging


More time was needed for the workshop I probably should have only had 1 activity not 2

Extra content

Embedded Content


Thaleia Ashley
8:15am 7 April 2014

Timing of sessions is often a problem for me particularly if the group has a lot to say on the subject. Timers embedded into ppts are a good idea to keep people focused and on task. Does anyone know of an online source of digital timers?

Nicola Dowson
8:41am 7 April 2014

I did a Google search and came up with this 

Mabel Cambeiro
3:47pm 17 April 2014

Hi Nicola,

I agree, timing is something that always varies so much. I always carry extra material with me in case my students finish everything fast and I run out of tasks for them. Other times, we have to rush the last part and can't have a good closure for the lesson.

Carol Maxwell
4:41pm 17 April 2014

Hi Nicola,

It would be great if you could share any of the new suggestions for embedding digital literacy into the curriculum which were generated by the workshop, although the framework you have prepared for different levels is excellent.  

Nicola Dowson
9:50am 26 April 2014

Carol, we didn't really get it to that level of detail as the workshop was only 45 minutes long.  If you are interested I could send you the powerpoint I used that has some examples of how digital and information liteacy have been embedded in to the OU's curriculum. Thanks for the feedback on the framework I have passed that on to the person responsible for developing it.

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