Monthly Archives: November 2011

Focus groups and theory discussions

It’s been an active week on the project, with final preparations taking place for the focus groups next week.

Martin’s analysis of our iGraduate data has been fed into the baselining research design, and the discussions we’ve had while preparing for the focus groups have made us think carefully about our theoretical assumptions, and how best to explore this complex topic with students in a useful way.

Susan McGrath has done a fantastic job of publicising the baselining research via the IOE Student’s Union, and we’ve had a real surge of interest from students across a wide range of programmes. Jude Fransman will be running these focus groups next week with Susan’s assistance –  it’s going to be really exciting to see this data emerge 🙂

SEDA’s update on its cross-programme role

Julie Hall, co-chair of SEDA, has put up a blog post outlining SEDA’s role in the JISC digital literacies programme. This project is explicitly mentioned in the post, as we were the only successful application that wrote SEDA in as a partner. SEDA’s programme-wide role focuses on events, dissemination and links into the professional development framework.

Project presentation at the Heads of e-Learning Forum

Today, I’m at a meeting of the Heads of e-Learning Forum, and “digital literacy” is on the agenda. Several of the projects that JISC has funded are presenting what’s called ‘lightning strike’ talks: a 10-minute introduction to what they’re up to. I’m going to try and provide a broad overview of our project, a quick summary of the background work we’re undertaking, and mention some of the theory that’s shaping this work. The slides are available here. It’ll be interesting to hear how the other projects who are presenting are doing.

The day included a very enjoyable talk by Gwen van der Velden, looking at engagement and consumerism in the context of recent policy developments. Here she is fostering engagement with her ideas by awarding Mars bars to people who could recognise policy makers:

Gwen van der Velden, presenting at HeLF (with chocolate)

…and here she is bribing Paul Bailey (here representing JISC) to pay attention with chocolate:

Who says behaviourism is outdated…

Maria Papaefthimiou gave an update on the “Digitally Ready” project at Reading.

Maria Papaefthimiou presenting on the "Digitally Ready" project

Matt Newcombe told us about the CASCADE project at Exeter (even if the meaning of the acronym remained a little opaque).

Matt Newcombe presents about the "CASCADE" project

…and Clive Young updating us on the “Digital Department” work at UCL.

Clive Young presenting on "The Digital Department"

In case you’re wondering, the odd “over-the-shoulder” gazes are because there are screens on two sides of the room, with an elliptical table in the middle. That in itself is interesting; it makes doing a talk really hard, because if you stand up so you’re visible, you’re always behind someone. All images were grabbed with my iPod touch, partly as a way of seeing how our data collection during the project might work out. Turns out photos of screens in a dark room are rubbish.

Project meeting update

On Friday, we had a project meeting, which allowed for some updates. The project documentation has been submitted to JISC; the arrival of kit (iPod touches); the baseline review of iGraduate data is at first draft stage, and has hit a wall because of the paucity of useful data; plans for the focus groups and ‘ethnographic’ work; and updates on related seminars such as the library-hosted meeting on QR codes. Lots of things in motion, even if few have yet resulted in outputs that can be shared here.