FROM TOOLS TO WELLBEING: A PROPOSED DIGITAL LEARNING MATURITY MODEL (DLMM)
1 Bournemouth University (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Charles University (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Conference name: 16th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-8 March, 2022
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Within a complex and nuanced set of fast policy changes in English Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs), this paper sets out to unpack a single strand; namely what are the ways in which we can support the delivery of meaningful digital experience for, and with, our HEI staff and students. Amongst Governmental economic policies, industry demands, a regulated framework for reporting student resources through the Teaching Excellence Framework, student wellbeing, their own personalised choices for their continuous development, and scaffolding pathways to future learning can be imposed. Our model Digital Learning Maturity Model (DLMM) introduced in this paper offers a co-created approach to the interweaving of students as well as educators’ wellbeing, lifelong learning, and an awareness of the future orientation for digital skills sets, which are conceptualised as a benchmarking tool.
The DLMM brings a holistic approach to developing institutional strategies and practices supporting staff and students in their digital journeys. It is conceptualised as a multi-dimensional model of digital learning which takes our understanding of both digital frameworks and tools forward. For the first time, it enables those involved in developing digital curricula, whether practitioner or policy makers, to generate sector-benchmarked digital strategies that encompass the clearly identified needs of staff and students underpinned by lifelong learning and digital wellbeing.
The aim of our research has been to examine:
(a) how institutions are managing and prioritising the many facets that comprise digital learning and
(b) to derive a model that institutions can use to map where they are and identify areas where change is needed.
To achieve this aim, the overarching methodology chosen to ensure suitability and consistency was a mixed method research involving qualitative and quantitative research strands. Drawing upon the findings of a three-year study, a survey and in-depth interviews with HEI’s technology enhanced learning (TEL) leaders in the UK, the emergent themes identified from the research were lifelong learning, wellbeing and self-development.
The proposed model for institutions to adopt comprises a strategic level with policies framing digital learning with the opportunities and challenges this raises; an operational stage that explores the tensions of the operationalisation of strategy in terms of perceptions of staff /student digital skill sets; and finally a level recognising the importance of lifelong learning and digital wellbeing, gaps which both staff and students experience as they struggle with archaic HEI structures and ways of working with technology.
The DLMM prompts institutions to review and reflect on the role and status of digital learning and leads to the creation of plans tailored to their needs to bridge any gaps that exist and facilitate a move towards levels of digital learning that are appropriate for them.
Keywords: Digital learning maturity model, digital wellbeing, lifelong learning.