Mind the gap: staff empowerment through digital literacy

Westerman, S. and Barry, W. (2009) Mind the gap: staff empowerment through digital literacy. In: Mayes, T., Morrison, D., Mellar, H., Bullen, P. and Oliver, M., eds. Transforming Higher Education Through Technology Enhanced Learning. York: The Higher Education Academy. pp. 122-132 ISBN 9781907207112

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In this chapter Susan Westerman and Wayne Barry provide an account of the DEBUT (Digital Experience Building in University Teaching) project. This staff development programme was created and piloted by Canterbury Christ Church University as part of the Pathfinder Programme, and subsequently embedded as an integral element of the support for technology-enhanced learning within the institution. The aim of DEBUT was to evaluate whether a situated, contextualised approach to staff development, grounded in the concepts of literacy, could be successful in raising the overall confidence of a group of academic staff in using and exploiting digital tools.

This chapter offers an overview of the institutional factors that led to the development of a new approach to staff development in the use of technology. These factors will be discussed in the wider context of the sector, as we believe that in common with other institutions, many of our staff lack the confidence to exploit digital technologies, and we need to reappraise how we develop their confidence and the institution’s capacity to enhance learning through technology. Equally, all institutions are affected by the extent and pace of the digital revolution, how younger students are using digital tools and the ambitions of the UK Government for a "digital
Britain" (Department of Culture, Media and Sports, 2009).

The chapter will then provide an overview of the DEBUT methodology, along with the results to date. This evaluation strongly suggests that a situated, contextualised approach can be a successful and transferable method of enabling academic staff to raise and then maintain an increased confidence to evaluate and use a wide range of digital tools – to be digitally literate.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Users 33 not found.
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2011 14:36
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 12:43
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/8916

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00