Ensuring students have appropriate digital skills upon entering the world of higher education is essential for their academic success, especially in these changing times of flexible, distance and blended delivery. Similarly, teaching staff have a responsibility to meet the level of digital proficiency now expected by their institutions. Our response to this need was the creation of two short online courses: the Digital Skills Awareness Course for new and prospective students (DSAC) and the Digital Skills Awareness Course for Teaching Staff (DSAC-T).
Our two courses have been designed in Moodle, trialed and adopted by BLE partners and are now openly available to the UK Higher Education sector.
These courses are “blueprints”, which can be repurposed and adapted to suit the needs of the institution that adopts them. For example, the DSAC has been adapted by the University of London’s PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher Education programme and recommended as a supplementary module.
The approach we have taken offers benefits to over-stretched digital education and staff development teams across the BLE partnership and beyond.
More information at www.ble.ac.uk/digitalawareness
The judging panel provided the following feedback:
The promotion and support of digital skills for academics and university professionals as well as students is central at this pivotal point in the move to blended technology supported learning, and what was remarkable about this project were the ways in which transferability and impact were built into its very identity, through its construction on the principles of Open Education Resources. The success of this approach and its value to the sector as a whole is validated by the issuing already of 49 OER licenses by the Bloomsbury Learning Exchange to other institutions to use and adapt the Digital Skills Awareness course for their own purposes.