Shaping Online Digital Literacy Training for People with Low Digital Skills
Grenzenlos Digital e.V., Berlin, Germany
The digital divide manifests not only in an unequal distribution of Internet access and connectivity but increasingly in the lack of digital literacy. Drivers for bridging the digital gap and promoting digital inclusion are measures to advance digital literacy in society. This is especially true for vulnerable populations, such as refugees, as they are more likely to be exposed to social, financial, and educational risks (Nüßlein & Schmidt, 2020). Therefore, the non-profit organisation Grenzenlos Digital e.V. (https://www.grenzenlos-digital.org/) promotes digital skills particularly for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. People fleeing from their home countries are confronted with many hurdles in the countries in which they seek asylum. Next to the strenuous public authority procedures and the need to find accommodation, they often face professional reorientation as they need to find or train for new jobs or need additional qualifications to enter the labour market. However, the job search and orientation process are difficult and require knowledge about the labour market, the skills for online research and communication, and the attitudes, which include values, aspirations and priorities. The barriers to the job market are becoming even higher for people with low digital skills, as recruiting is moving online and companies rely solely on digital application processes. Targeted digital literacy training is fundamental to successful labour market orientation laying the foundation for digital inclusion. In this best practice session, we present experiences and learnings from a digital skills course for refugees and migrants in Germany that is set up in an online learning environment. The project “Intro - Finding work using computers and the Internet” (https://www.grenzenlos-digital.org/en/intro) runs for one year with participants from all over Germany. The course enables attendees to increase their information literacy and digital skills and apply them to learn more about the German job market. Goal of the project is to increase participants’ digital skills so they can use the Internet to orient themselves on the German job market as well as to communicate online about their preferences and qualifications. The training implements a new concept by triangulated synchronous (online live sessions) and asynchronous (via online learning platform) teaching methods. The curriculum of the course and its learning goals are based on the “Digital Competence Framework for Citizens - DigComp 2.2” (European Commission, 2022) from the EU covering two of the five competence areas, namely 1) information and data literacy and 2) communication and collaboration. The course content and methods employed are shaped by experiences and lessons from four years of digital skills training for refugees and migrants. In addition, the course considers findings from scientific research on barriers to information-seeking during labour market orientation, such as inadequate operational skills (Stiller & Trkulja, 2018) resulting from restricted availability of laptops and computers. The best practice session covers different aspects that need to be acknowledged when designing low digital skills training, such as the target group, evaluation of students’ progress and course content, motivations, and the settings in which the course will take place. The benefits and drawbacks of aligning the course content with the digital skills framework are elaborated and discussed. Furthermore, we will share tips on teaching practices and methods that proved to be successful in conveying low digital skills.
The project “Intro - Finding work using computers and the Internet” is supported by the non-profit organization The Digital Collective (DigiCo) which is promoting digital inclusion in Europe.
Nüßlein, L., & Schmidt, J. (2020). Digitale Kompetenzen für alle. Weiterbildungsangebote nach DigComp für Personen mit geringen digitalen Kompetenzen in Deutschland. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from https://de.rescue.org/report/forschungsbericht-digitale-kompetenzen-fuer-alle
Stiller, J., & Trkulja, V. (2018). Assessing digital skills of refugee migrants during job orientation in Germany. In G. Chowdhury, J. McLeod, V. Gillet, & P. Willett (Eds.), Transforming digital worlds (pp. 527–536). Springer International Publishing.
European Commission, JRC, Vuorikari, R., Kluzer, S. & Punie, Y. (2022). DigiComp 2.2. Publications Office of the European Union. Retrieved from https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC128415
The Impact of Teaching Digital Literacies and Open Practices
City, University of London, UK
Since 2018 I have been module leader for a 15 credit masters level course taught at City, University of London as part of the Masters in Academic Practice, which is a teaching qualification in higher education offered to internal and external staff. Typically there are 100 students on the programme. The module EDM122 Digital Literacies and Open Practice explores digital and information literacies of staff and students, including dispelling the myth of the ‘digital native’ and how to embed various literacies into academic programmes. The module also helps develop copyright literacy (Morrison & Secker, 2017) and situates this as a key component of digital scholarship (Weller, 2011). In addition to being offered to academic staff, it is an elective module for students in the Library and Information Science (LIS) department and has been completed by several members of library staff at City. The module webinar series is available to anyone to join and recordings and resources are shared on the module blog: https://blogs.city.ac.uk/dilop/
In this reflective practice session I will share my experiences of teaching this module for the past 5 years and the impact it has had on my students’ open educational practices. I will also reflect on the role of the open access board game The Publishing Trap (Morrison & Secker, 2022) which is played on the final teaching day of the module. To illustrate the session I will share feedback and assessments created by students that highlight their own understanding and experiences of digital, information, and copyright literacy and its relationship to open educational practices (OEP). The students are teachers in a wide variety of disciplines, but it is worth noting that there has been a high number of health sciences lecturers and nurse educators who appear to find the module particularly transformative. I will discuss any new practices they might have adopted, drawing on how previous studies conceptualise OEP (Cronin & MacLaren, 2018).
The impact of the module will be considered from broader perspective and I will briefly report on findings from an ongoing research project on staff attitudes towards technology enabled teaching and its relationship to open practices (Secker, 2020) I will be collecting additional data in Spring and Summer 2023 so I should also be able to share more recent findings at the conference that explore the impact of the pandemic on staff attitudes.
Finally, I will invite contributions from the delegates to share any insights into the way a module of this type might contribute to building staff understanding of digital literacies and OEP.
Morrison, C., & Secker, J. (2017). The publishing trap. Retrieved August 3, 2021 from https://copyrightliteracy.org/resources/the-publishing-trap/
Weller, M. (2011). The digital scholar: How technology is transforming scholarly practice. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Morrison, C., & Secker, J. (2022). Copyright education and information literacy. In Navigating copyright for libraries: Purpose and scope. (pp. 285–318). Walter de Gruyter. Retrieved from https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/28858/1/
Cronin, C., & MacLaren, I. (2018). Conceptualising OEP: A review of theoretical and empirical literature in Open Educational Practices. Open Praxis, 10(2), 127–143. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.10.2.825
Secker, J. (2020). Understanding the role of technology in academic practice through a lens of openness. In INTED2020 Proceedings. (pp. 5363–5368). Valencia, Spain: IATED.
Durban University of Technology Student Experiences with Information Literacy Through Game-Based Learning
Durban University of Technology, South Africa
The Durban University of Technology has been exploring new ways of teaching information literacy. Students’ learning preferences have evolved; thus, it is critical to experiment with new teaching strategies to stay current and hold their interest. Research shows that for many students, a didactic approach to teaching information literacy can be extremely boring and ineffective. By introducing educational games with predetermined learning objectives into the information literacy curriculum, game-based learning might be the answer. Wilson et al. (2017) state that the effectiveness of games in teaching and learning has been thoroughly proven in educational studies. The use of games as a medium for learning is not a new concept. Games can benefit the learning process regardless of their complexity or whether they incorporate technology. Today’s students have grown up playing computer and video games, which has influenced how they receive information and learn (Aziz et al. 2018). Games-based learning can help to speed up knowledge transfer and application for students to actively participate in class activities alongside their peers, which benefits their ability to learn new material. Games can be used to uncover learning gaps in students and to promote engagement without concern about criticism (Chesley, C., & Anantachai, T. 2019). The objective of this paper was to identify the effectiveness of game-based learning whilst adding value to the student learning experience. The ADDIE model guided the design and development of the game. This model consists of five phases: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. To design the game the learning objectives were used as a guideline. The game was designed for students to complete within the time limit and to make them feel proud of finding solutions. During pre- and post-game conversations, the learning outcomes were clarified and reinforced. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were used to collect data and measure the effectiveness of game-based learning. This paper investigates students’ experiences with information literacy through game-based learning.
Anantachai, T. & Chesley, C. (2019). Level up the one-shot: Empowering students with backward design and game-based learning. In Rigby, M. & Steiner, S. (Eds.), Motivating students on a time budget: Pedagogical frames and lesson plans for in-person and online information literacy instruction (pp. 167–180). Chicago, IL: ACRL. Retrieved January 11, 2023, from https://scholarsarchive.library.albany.edu/ulib_fac_scholar/109
Aziz, A. N., Subiyanto, S., & Harlanu, M. (2018). Effects of the digital game-based learning (DGBL) on students’ academic performance in Arabic learning at Sambas Purbalingga. KARSA: Journal of Social and Islamic Culture, 26(1), 1–22. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from http://ejournal.iainmadura.ac.id/index.php/karsa/article/view/1518/1146
Wilson, S. N., et al. (2017). Game-based learning and information literacy: A randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of two information literacy learning experiences. International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL), 7(4), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.4018/IJGBL.2017100101
An Innovative Learning Platform for Information Problem Solving
1The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands; 2Self employed, Delft, Netherlands
The ability to solve information problems is a critical skill that all students in higher education must possess, regardless of their field of study. While educators in higher education recognize the importance of this skill, they often struggle to allocate sufficient time for its development in their lectures. To address this challenge, we have developed a digital learning platform called Edubook, designed to help students develop information literacy skills through independent learning. The Edubook in its final form has been created by an experienced digital publisher and is made available to students at the cost of a traditional textbook.
The structure of the Edubook follows the information problem-solving process, as outlined in for instance the Big Six Skills model (Berkowitz and Eisenberg, 1990). The platform includes chapters on task definition, information-seeking strategies, results selection, information analysis, information use, feedback processing and reflection. A key feature of the Edubook is its high degree of interactivity. Each chapter includes a combination of theory and explanations, as well as questions and assignments for students to complete, with immediate feedback provided by the system. Theory is presented in text as well as image and video formats, with the chapter on information-seeking strategies, for example, featuring screencasts that demonstrate key techniques for forward and backward chaining. Additionally, the Edubook aims to alleviate the workload of subject teachers while still providing students with the opportunity to learn how to effectively explore digital resources relevant to their studies. To achieve this, the platform incorporates a variety of exercises, such as drag-and-drop, labeling tasks, fill-in-the-blank questions and multiple-choice questions, all derived from various professional contexts, including nursing, human resource management, primary education, leisure management, and product design.
Results and Limitations
The Edubook on Information Problem Solving is currently scheduled for completion in May 2023 and will be available for use in the 2023-2024 academic year. A pilot study involving a group of students from the Bachelor of ICT at The Hague University of Applied Sciences will be conducted in April-May, with results presented at the ECIL 2023 conference. The target audience for the Edubook is Dutch and Flemish students in universities of applied sciences. The possibility of creating an English version of the platform has yet to be discussed with the publisher.
Berkowitz, R., & Eisenberg, M. (1990). Information problem-solving: The big six skills approach to library & information skills instruction. Norwood, N. J.: Ablex Pub. Corp.