About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3647-3653
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain

DIGITAL ME - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND STAFF PERCEPTIONS OF AND CHALLENGES TO THE NOTION OF DIGITAL LITERACY, PART OF THE 'IN-STEP' PROJECT - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS

M. Lawton

University of Wolverhampton (UNITED KINGDOM)
This case study is based on an externally funded project at a University in the UK. The specific institutional problem addressed is the transition and orientation of international students into a blended learning environment. The project title 'In-STEP' - International Student and Education Partnerships conveys a fundamental aim of developing mutual understanding and synchronicity between the students, staff and collaborative partnerships. There are 3 different contexts for this study the first being a one-year International Foundation Year (IFY) delivered in the UK, secondly teaching in Transnational Education (TNE) settings and finally working with students as creative partners in their learning.

Evidence from international student focus groups and interviews, indicates that students initially struggle not only with adapting to a new country, but also to unfamiliar pedagogies. This can be compounded by late arrival and missing induction programmes. Our findings are supported by the Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) Teaching International Students Project. However, this research also indicates that international students, when comfortable in a digital environment, find the use of technology valuable as they can, for example, use online materials at their own pace, respond online in a ‘safe’ environment and engage in learning anywhere and at any time.

As this project has developed students and staff identified issues that include challenging the notion of digital literacy, moving to digital fluency, students bringing their own devices (BYOD), (particularly relevant in TNE settings), digital identity and footprint, netiquette, information authenticity and reliability and information use.

One of our major sites of enquiry is an existing collaboration between the University and a local tertiary college. We developed a four year integrated undergraduate ‘package’ which starts with an International Foundation Year (IFY), part-generic and part-subject specific followed by a three year undergraduate degree course. In the IFY course team, the course leader and curriculum content designers were initially from the University, but the modules were taught by the tertiary college. Included in the course is the module “Learning in a digital environment” which aims to help students develop their digital literacy skills.

The module concentrates on four main digital capabilities:
1. Learning skills and life planning
2. ICT/computer literacy
3. Information literacy
4. Communication and collaboration

The curriculum is designed around a task orientated approach that brings together various components without setting a content syllabus. The content is driven by the students’ needs and capabilities. Students were encouraged to feedback on the tasks and suggest changes that fed into the course design. From this course students identified with staff their main areas of concern, these were made into a design brief for a student focused awareness raising initiative. An international student studying photography was then commissioned to produce 5 photo essays on digital identity, cyber bullying, netiquette, information authenticity and reliability and BYOD. The images and video clips explaining how and why the images came about and what they represent are available through posters linked to web sites, accessible by QR codes. These resources will be shared in this presentation and will be available for delegates to access after the conference.
@InProceedings{LAWTON2014DIG,
author = {Lawton, M.},
title = {DIGITAL ME - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND STAFF PERCEPTIONS OF AND CHALLENGES TO THE NOTION OF DIGITAL LITERACY, PART OF THE 'IN-STEP' PROJECT - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS},
series = {8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-8412-0},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {10-12 March, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {3647-3653}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Lawton
TI - DIGITAL ME - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND STAFF PERCEPTIONS OF AND CHALLENGES TO THE NOTION OF DIGITAL LITERACY, PART OF THE 'IN-STEP' PROJECT - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS
SN - 978-84-616-8412-0/2340-1079
PY - 2014
Y1 - 10-12 March, 2014
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2014 Proceedings
SP - 3647
EP - 3653
ER -
M. Lawton (2014) DIGITAL ME - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND STAFF PERCEPTIONS OF AND CHALLENGES TO THE NOTION OF DIGITAL LITERACY, PART OF THE 'IN-STEP' PROJECT - INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS, INTED2014 Proceedings, pp. 3647-3653.
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