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Centre for the Development of Teaching & Learning

RU Digitally Ready? Motivating students to learn… learning… Pat Parslow, Maria Papaefthimiou , Nadja Guggi

Introduction The Digitally Ready project aims to provide resources

to help staff and students understand how best to develop and improve the skills they need to live, learn and work in the digital society.

Employability Employability is a key strategic area for the University of Reading, and Digital Literacy is regarded as an important aspect of enhancing it for our graduates.

Pirate Learning – AAAAR! Assess



Building on expertise… Baseline We identified a range of good practice amongst members of the University, including use of technology for delivering teaching, for personal learning and for administrative use. These examples are the basis for developing enhanced practice across the institution, allowing a continuing ‘pulse’ of innovative practice to be developed and shared by the members of the University.


Our baseline identified three key areas for further

Sir David Bell, Vice Chancellor: Staff and students have different knowledge levels and different skill levels when it comes to Digital Literacy, and we want to be able to support everyone at whatever stage they are. And that’s why I am so committed to this project,


• Using social media for employability


• Student skills: reflection and articulation

because it allows people to build from where they are; experts to become even more expert, and those who are just a bit tentative to generate more confidence in what they do

• Evaluation of student learning experiences against learning objectives and employer expectations

Motivating people to become independent, life-long learners is a key element of the student facing approach we

(quotations from Sir David Bell’s video introduction to the Digitally Ready project)

are taking.

Student Engagement We are employing students to research various topics including: • The use of social media for student communication

Assess What skills you have, and what skills you need for a particular role/task.

Digital Heroes Staff and students from across the University are coming together


in July to a Celebration Day, organised by the Digitally Ready

• Digital literacies for student employability

The gaps between where you are, and where you need to be

Linking between silos

project team but adopted by the Centre for the Development of Teaching and Learning and the Centre for Staff Training and

• Social media for promoting charities



Close-knit communities provide a degree of comfort for exploring and developing skills, but an institution needs to provide mechanisms to share what is learned. We are supporting communities of shared practice, and holding events to celebrate some of the great work being done by staff and students.

• Social media for promoting academic Schools

Gain the skills you need, whether through training courses,

• Serious games for education

experimentation, social learning or whatever suits you best

This event fits well with the new HR strategy at the University of Reading which emphasises celebrating success and embracing

• Serious games and social media to promote health


diversity through a supportive leadership which encourages a culture of open communication and sharing – strategic goals which support the Digital Literacy agenda.

• Accessibility of Digitally Ready outputs

Make sure you can describe the skills you have gained, to support academic assessment or as part of a job application


process, or just to demonstrate to others how you have developed.


Students have taken part in 8 workshop sessions, with a focus on Digital Literacy for Employability, which have also addressed the Pirate model of learning,, reflection and articulation.

Skills for the future To keep pace with the fast moving technology landscape today, the skills people need are not “how to use technology X” but “how to find, assess, and adopt technologies appropriate to my needs”

“ Skills and knowledge needed for good employability” “ Skills for the future, and the importance of self assessment ” (quotations from student feedback on workshop sessions)

Reflect Reflect not only on what you learned, but how you learned it, and how you might be able to learn ‘better’ the next time you need something similar.

“For me, the most important aspect of the lecture was the AAAAR! ” Acknowledgements • The JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme • All the projects on the JISC DDL programme • Staff and students at the University of Reading for their contributions and support

Contact information

Wordle from feedback from workshop, which used a ‘song’ produced using MS Songsmith to provide a focus for promoting the use of technology to provide more innovative/challenging learning materials

Centre for the Development of Teaching and Learning, University of Reading, Whiteknights, RG6 6AH


Digitally_Ready Update July 12  
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