Get the Digital Edge

Posted on: 8 February 2013
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This week has seen a lot of project activity for me.  Some further analysis of the survey results provided evidence of differences between students in different disciplines, which I am sharing with academic and Corporate Services’ colleagues via an internal press release and a post on the staff intranet as well as targeted emails to key stakeholders. Following support from action learning set colleagues I am also setting up one-to-one meetings with lecturers who have responsibility for employablity and/or skills to brief them on the survey findings and the project in general.  I have had one of these meetings so far and it was useful to note how the work of Project DigitISE complements other university activity, a Change Academy proposal, WiRES which is looking at embedding information skills into the curriculum and the university-wide initiative and Learning Futures@Westminster which is considering the future of teaching and learning.  The former is lead by Prof. Barbara Allan, Deputy Chair of the DigitISE Project Board and the latter by Prof Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas, its Chair, so connections are there at the highest level and I’m hopeful this will contribute to the project’s sustainability.

Focus Groups

This week the student intranet also reported the winner of the Amazon vouchers for participation in the survey and highlighted the existence of the work for the first time to the student body in general.  Today I have put out word to students about a series of focus groups where we hope to refine our understanding of attitudes to digital literacy skills. The timing is tight as these are scheduled to take place next week, so I have enlisted the support of the Academic Liaison team for tweets and blog posts as well as the Students’ Union for their communication channels, it’s a bit of a gamble and we’ll see if  digital communication pays off.

Get the Digital Edge

We have also started work in earnest on the event for students scheduled for March 21st. Entitled “Get the Digital Edge” it will feature a series of workshops and seminars on the topic of digital skills and employment. Members of the Delivery Group are recruiting and liaising with speakers, who are both interanl and external to the university and we are in the throes of finalising the booking system through eventbrite . The communications plan is in action with weekly messages identified to build the interest for the day. In speaking to an academic colleague yesterday, she identified the need to have some kind of “progression” for students who attend the day, a “What next?”, so I will be bringing this to the attention of the Project Board and Delivery Group in due course. The most obvious candidates are the Career Development Centre and the Academic Liaison and IT training team who can use this opportunity to highlight their offer to students although in the longer term the links to the projects mentioned above where digital skills can be embedded is a more appealing and effective outcome.

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