I finally managed to get into the JISC ‘Innovating E-Learning’ conference by working at home… I have a few to catch up on, but this afternoon joining the University of Exeter talking about their cascade project – students as digital partners & pioneers.

Malcolm Ryan started us off with a question … whilst people adjusted to using the software:

University of Exeter

We then went across to the University of Exeter to head from those working on the CASCADE Project (funded by the JISC Digital Literacies stream)

An interesting differential in definitions:

Throughout offering an emphasis on the student voice

There’s still a need to deal with staff fears/concerns, and Exeter has created a number of resources – including here the option/issues in capturing ephemeral data (including live performance).. which reminds me of the excellent work I can see going on at the University of Southampton, with their Digital Literacies ‘Student Champions’ Facebook page – see guidelines for Exeter’s FB page.

Reference also made to the DIAL project – digital literacy in art/design context.

Questions about how far the students were ‘guided’ in their choices = a lot more ‘listening/admiring’ than guiding = good to know!

Is the 1% rule dead? (1% create content, rest = lurk or…)

Important & recurring questions about sustainability of projects (people will often fund “new” projects, but not sustain something that is working and could do with further embedding); and – should students be paid for their participation or are there other rewards that would be more appropriate?

University of Greenwich

So important to recognise that different students have different abilities:

How this works in practice in the project:

Useful comment in the chat area:

A common theme in both of these presentations is the focus by students on research that makes a difference and has impact

Ask the students about their experience – what worked/didn’t:

Some advice from staff:

Some advice from staff: Read more about DL in HE.

A range of questions about the need for a more direct line to ‘the student voice’ which then evoked the question ‘a student voice’ or a range of students each with ‘a voice’…. referring back to the Activity Week last week which demonstrated that even within a single discipline there are a range of voices – student, staff, age, gender, previous educational experience, etc…

A suggestion of some e-learning solutions.

Aaron Porter

Students are keen to participate above & beyond their core educational experience, but are restricted by time, etc pressures.

Questions about digital profile online – conversation seemed to veer towards ‘LinkedIn’ as a space to develop a student profile. I wrote:

But most people using LinkedIn appear to be senior managers, or those actively job-seeking (others seem to forget to use) – are more likely to be found on FB or Twitter? Go where people are or… ?


Greenwich – a Linked In Profile? Good plan … depends if you coming from perspective that eduction about getting a ‘good job’ (which is kind of businesses who tend to hang out on LinkedIn … coming from a coaching perspective of finding more creative work potentially need to be elsewhere?

Cue debate re Facebook being a social space – keeping work/home separate. Sometimes I wonder if I’m particularly privileged to have work that I enjoy so much, but it does require a blending of personal/private … but then I don’t really deal with undergraduates any more!

Aaron also talking about the kind of work he’s doing, where developing more digital literacy invariably starts with a face-to-face meeting, and more online meetings can then occur afterwards.

Take the Discussion to a Forum:

Both in preparation and as a follow up to this session, delegates might wish to consider the motives of both their institutions and students in engaging in partnerships where students operate as pioneers and change agents?

Why does anyone want to do it? Who really benefits? Is it student exploitation? Does it actually develop skills and lead to enhanced opportunities for employability?
What is your experience?

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