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Baselining digital literacies at Exeter

Following the cluster session on baselining and an online (collaborate) meeting with all projects, we have been refining our approach to baselining at Exeter. The main focus of our project is postgraduate researchers, so the questions we are asking revolve around what makes for a digitally literate researcher in different subject disciplines, and what the challenges are in succeeding as a researcher in an age of digital scholarship.

Of course not all researchers feel that they are working in an age of digital scholarship, particularly at an institution like Exeter where researchers are highly successful at advancing their subject in more ‘traditional’ ways. But increasingly, early career researchers in all subject areas are aware of the need to network, publish in open and digital forms, find and share information, participate in online knowledge-building communities, and build a digital profile, regardless of the core subject or methods of their research.

We are currently collecting survey data from PGRs in all five Colleges of the University, alongside general institutional data from strategies, public statements, NSS and PRES survey returns, and feedback from professional services. In January we will begin enriching this picture with focus groups and interviews in three of the five colleges. This information will feed into our report to the JISC programme but will also allow us to produce separate reports for each College, which we will discuss with staff and postgraduate students as we work to understand what our findings mean to those at the sharp end, and how best to take them forward into action planning.

I produced some thoughts on baselining from the first cluster meeting and there are also some useful reflections from our colleagues in the DIAL project. Time is tight if we’re to pull this together by January 31st, but thanks to Nikki we are making good progress now.

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