We are now approximately half way through the life of the project and have reached a milestone recently: the student survey elicited some 400 responses although on analysis we found that some schools were better represented than others. As a result we have extended the life of the questionnaire for those we heard less from and have written to the Deans of these schools to encourage participation.
The key message from the survey results so far is that 85% our student respondents believe themselves to be digitally literate already. This in turn presents us with further questions: are they as digitally literate as they think they are or do we still have work to do? If the latter, how do we persuade our students to engage in digital literacy activities to hone these skills, when they think thay already have them?
The Project Board also agreed to delve a bit deeper into the questionaire findings by hosting some focus groups and shortly before Christmas I spoke to colleagues in the Psychology department about organising these. Time will be tight to recruit students (our job) in time to get results (their job) that can feed into other elements of the work.
In the meantime the Delivery Group is planning the DigitISE Day, where we hope to attract students to a series of workshops linking digital literacy with employability skills. The programme includes the following sessions:
- Facebook and LinkedIn for job seeking
- An employer talks
- Managing your online reputation/e-identity
- Online tools
- Researching companies online
- IT training opportunities
- Panel discussion
although we have yet to set a date for this event, complicated by an early Easter straddled by term time and a lack of consensus from academics we have consulted. The decision needs to be made soon to ensure proper marketing and publicity around the day.
So at this point in the project there are a number of plates spinning: completing the survey and disseminating findings to other colleagues; organising focus groups to delve deeper into some of the themes; planning the marketing and publicity for the DigitISE day and identifying and booking speakers that will draw an audience of undergraduates.