Welcome to the Exeter CASCADE project blog!

CASCADE is designed to develop digital capability across the University of Exeter, focusing initially on the experience of postgraduate researchers and on the University’s strengths in research-led teaching. Our mode of working is highly collaborative, with ‘students as change agents‘ cascading digital know-how across the five Colleges. We also work in a scholarly way, researching the unique digital literacies of different subject areas and understanding existing practices with digital technology before working with staff and students to enhance them.

What are we doing?

Our first task is to baseline current approaches to digital scholarship, looking at institutional strategies and support as well as practices in different subject areas. We will go on to identify taught modules across the University in which to embed and evaluate research-rich activities, making use of digital technologies in integrated ways. In addition, we are developing opportunities for postgraduates to develop their digital capabilities for research. We are working intensively with a number of postgraduate interns, who will be recording their own journey and developing as change agents in their own departments.

We have focused initially on the College of Humanities but will gradually be moving our work out across the University, developing action plans for each College. Professional services have also been enthusiastic about working with the project, and we are planning events in collaboration with careers, the library, and academic development teams.

Who are we?

The core project team are Helen Beetham an expert on digital literacies, Dale Potter who has worked on change agents and other technology-led projects, Liz Dunne, Head of Project Development at the University, Nikki Danbom who cherishes education, and Bertie Archer who was a sabbatical officer at Exeter. Members of the wider project family will also be blogging here, including Gary Stringer who is Assistant College Manager (Technical and Infrastructure) for the College of Humanities.

We are fortunate that several organisations have agreed to work with us in piloting and disseminating outcomes, including the ESRC SW Doctoral Training Centre at Exeter, Bristol and Bath Universities. Our Digital Literacy Framework draws heavily on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and we will be reporting to their Impact and Evaluation Group; in addition, ALDinHE (which acts as a supportive network for the professional development of staff involved with developing learning) will support us through the development of policy and disseminating resources.

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