Big picture view from the start-up meeting
We are just back from meeting other projects at the Developing Digital Literacies start-up meeting, and connecting with professional bodies that are involved in the programme. It was good to realise that what we are doing at Exeter is only one corner of a much bigger picture. I was wearing two hats: as general synthesis consultant and of course as part of the Cascade project team. With the first hat on, I was encouraging projects to see the bigger picture, whether that is the range of staff and students involved across the sector, the different ways in which ‘digital literacy’ is understood, the institutional cultures and challenges behind each bid, or the orientation of project activity (research, scholarship, employability, transition, fair access, workforce development…).
From a project perspective I think we can situate ourselves quite neatly in this landscape. We are developing digital capabilities for research and research-type learning. Our focus is on scholarship and collaboration, with students and academic staff taking the lead in defining what kinds of intervention should be made. We are developing the curriculum to support more authentic, scholarly uses of digital technology, alongside developing key people as change agents, and developing our institutional know-how.
Luckily, the other projects in our cluster are all looking at some of the same issues, so they will be a valuable resource. Bath provides a similar research-intensive context to Exeter, Oxford Brookes is using students as change agents, and Reading is working with many of the same professional bodies that we have identified as critical.