Reflecting on Digital Literacy teaching

As mentioned in the last session, the ICT syllabus is being replaced in September by “Digital Literacy” and I’m in the middle (well almost the end now! :D) of a training course to deliver the new syllabus.

As part of this we’ve been posting regular to a ‘professional learning record’ – for which I’ve used this blog.  The last few things I think I need to cover are in this one…

Reviewing Communication Strategies with Learners

I’m increasingly emailing out workshop material in advance.  I’ve also started using the conditional activities in Moodle – so the next piece of work is unlocked once the previous piece is completed.  To do this effectively I also added the notifications settings and the Completion Tracking module which gives learners a progress bar.  In effect, it makes Moodle operate more like QualsDirect which has worked well with the apprentices, who found the progress bar a useful prompt.  Does it work?  We’ll see – leave me a comment, you tech Level 1s if the progress bar is useful?  (Or if it’s not!)

Reflect on Feedback (from learners)

I recently asked learners to complete a survey about preferred assessment methods to get their feedback.  (None have volunteered to comment in this blog – come on guys!)  The main points to come out of this are:

  1. I hope to goodness the “controlled task” when it comes out is more “simulated task” than it is “exam” (though the one we tried as tutors had a definite exam feel.)


  2. Projects will be missed…


  3. People are pretty ambiguous about the media side –  “multimedia” scores highly, but specifics such as video and screencasts score badly or have never been tried.  To me this suggests that people like the idea of it more than the nitty gritty reality.  I wonder what learners are picturing when they say “multimedia”?  I must look into that more.


  4. The Digital Learning strand, especially the reflection is going to be a hard sell.  Very mixed result for writing about what has been learned and using the blog.


  5. The WEST tool has somewhat of a PR challenge ahead to re-engage learners with the idea of online basic skills assessment and delivery…


Reflecting on Feedback Observation 1

This was a ‘Fakebook‘ activity around goal setting.  The idea here was to get learners to think ahead about what they wanted to achieve and how that might be reflected in their social media profiles.  There was a certain amount of resistance to discussing social media e-safety as some learners felt they had covered this frequently.

The room layout was also commented upon family-of-meerkatsbut we have little control over this.  I plan to make more use of other spaces for those activities that don’t need a computer, even if that means forgoing tools like Lino.IT in favour of actual post-its.  Learners do tend to ‘meerkat’ over the tops of monitors when working in groups in the IT suite.

Reflecting on Feedback Observation 2

This was a task using Wikipedia.  It’s only the second time I’ve used this lesson.  Feedback was that I could have included assessment information in the plan.  If we decide to deliver digital literacy in-house I may add this to the template.  An interesting comment was the use in some sectors of “five minute lesson plans” from experienced assessors reducing the need for the detailed ‘coverage’ of crosscutting themes and so forth.  It would be nice if we could do that, but I think The Powers That Be might take some convincing – when it comes to inspection more seems to be safer!

How well learners take to this activity has varied, with few completing the task in full, and many reluctant to start or choose a topic.  Possibly less choice could have been offered, or increased use of pairwork, matching those who struggled to decide with those that did.  Some learners also chose a topic which was a bit too well covered in Wiki and struggled to find much new to add.  I plan to routinely look up the relevant Wikipedia article to any theme we use now and add to them with the group.

One key question to add for next time – start with learners’ opinions on whether and why it’s important to contribute to as well as use Wikipedia.  Also collect feedback at the end on how confident they felt editing something anyone online could read and how they’d deal with disagreements.

The lesson also identified some gaps in file management knowledge when dealing with attachments in emails, and the use of the temporary files folder.

Reflecting on Feedback Observation – By Peer

This was a task on researching and presenting information using a tool new to the learners – Prezi.  I was pleased with the learner’s use of LinoIT.  Positive feedback was received on on the use of the interactive whiteboard.  The explicit noting of Tools, Technologies and Techniques on the plan was suggested – as with the assessment planning, I may do this, if we deliver this course as a mandatory element.

Reflecting on Feedback Observation – Of Peer

It was a pleasant change to be out in someone else’s classroom!  This was a group of adult digital literacy learners.  The session was a lively discussion on the Swansea Blue Plaque scheme and had excellent integrated literacy (of the regular sort!).  I was especially struck by the number of learners consciously using strategies for spelling and searching which they’d clearly been taught in class.  I was also green envious of their 1-1 iPad programme!  Nice use of QR codes to get everyone on the right webpage and creation of an eBook to sum up what they’d learned.

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