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Thinking digitally - An online module

Last updated:
30 May 2017


What is this?

​Thinking Digitally is a credit rated module (SCQF level 6) which allows candidates to develop relevant digital skills and build confidence operating in online environments.

It is provided by Lead Scotland - Linking Education and Disability - a Scottish organisation committed to the empowerment of disabled people and carers through learning, from age 16 through life.

Who is this for?

​This module is relevant for anyone who wants to develop their digital skills for volunteering, work and life. Some examples might include:

  • CLD staff for digitally engaging and involving communities;
  • teachers who want to empower pupils to safely produce digital artefacts;
  • family learning workers who want to use digital skills as a way to deliver inter-generational work;
  • cross-connecting rural and urban staff.

Link to resource

Web link: Thinking Digitally home page

​Explore this resource

Introduction

Thinking Digitally begins with an application form to ascertain a person’s baseline level of digital skills and their ability to learn at SCQF level 6. If selected, each person receives a one-to-one session, initially by phone, moving onto the online platform which will be used to deliver the course. Participants are guided in the virtual ‘classroom’ by the tutor assessor during an orientation session.

How is the module delivered?

The module is remotely delivered and paperless to inspire immersion and innovation within online environments.  It is delivered in small groups via webinars to build confidence and peer support.

All candidates develop their digital skills and it is context free, giving freedom to try tools and platforms which are most relevant to maximise the likelihood of on-going use.

Relevant guest speakers are invited to complement the learning sessions.

Candidates are expected to communicate and collaborate, demonstrate knowledge of usability, access and online inclusion, produce a blended digital artefact and evaluate on their own process.

What is the course like?

The course strives for digital immersion through the trial of tools for communication and to capture learning. Each learner has a private eportfolio, accessible to them, their tutor/assessor and the verifier.

The 12, weekly sessions follow and the group support one another, choosing guest speakers, sharing more specialist skills and knowledge. For example:

  • A lecturer shared research about digital citizenship;
  • The i-develop platform  is explained and demonstrated to CLD staff;
  • An inclusion and accessibility specialist demonstrates how to make digital artefacts more accessible to people with a range of impairments;
  • There are a range of speakers.

A mid-course one to one session is offered to review and to ensure learners are saving their evidence in the eportfolio provided. 

This is a very active course and ‘show and tell’ is encouraged as soon as possible, where participants share their screens and their learning with the group.

Reflection is encouraged throughout and participants create a reflective diary account within the course.

What impact has the module had?

These are some of the impacts felt by volunteers and staff:

  • Building confidence: “It is pushing me to try things I have always steered away from” - CLD worker
  • Broadened knowledge: “It has introduced me to a wide range of digital tools and platforms and given instruction on how they might be used” - CLD worker
  • Sharing practice with peers: “I have demonstrated a couple of the tools to staff members.”
  • Getting rid of the fear factor: “Honestly, I used to be a bit suspicious and dismissive of 'cloud' based apps. I am now a convert! I am enjoying being in the learner seat and can't wait to share my new knowledge to collaborate on or facilitate digital artefact projects with learners and colleagues” - CLD worker
  • Empowerment to ask for needs to be met: “I liked the accessibility. The use of soundfiles, images, etc”. This volunteer has dyslexia and said he had been put off formal learning before because of the type of assessments, but he learned about new tools and ways that he could submit assessment evidence.
  • Accessible: “I can take part from home. Living in a remote part of the country, this is important.”

There have been a number of outcomes that were not initially anticipated including:

  • One disabled learner in the pilot group subsequently secured employment and he said that having the SCQF credits and increased confidence made the difference.
  • The course was originally designed for disabled people who were unemployed, but the take up has predominantly been from CLD staff and volunteers who want/need to become more digitally agile at work
  • Collaboration has built stronger bonds between course participants than was anticipated despite them never meeting face to face.

Improvement questions

  • How do we ensure we build digital learning into all learning opportunities?
  • How critical are digital skills to engagement in the world around us?



Tags:

Inclusion and Equality; Digital Learning; Employability and Skills; Third Sector; Adult Learning; Community Development; Learning and assessment