Glasgow Caledonian University 1 - LLIDA
Outcomes and outputs from the Jisc LLiDA project on Learning Literacies in a Digital Age led by Glasgow Caledonian University
digital literacy, learning literacy, digital capability, literacy frameworks, learning, higher education, further education
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Glasgow Caledonian University 1

I-Learn (Independent Learning Framework)

Type of snapshot

Policy or strategy for learning literacies

What was the context for this snapshot?

I-Learn aims to develop independent learners by building on existing good practice to embed academic, information and digital literacy skills in the curriculum.

This is an institution-wide initiative which requires the engagement and collaboration of management, central services and academic departments. Aims to embed these attributes in learning and teaching across the University, initially at undergraduate level, by outlining the key learning outcomes. Exemplars will be gathered and attached to each part of the framework to enable academics developing programmes to see how these academic, information and digital literacies might be supported within programmes, including where appropriate by support services. Collaboration, sharing and partnership in knowledge development are implicit throughout the framework.

Ties in with institutional strategies:

Connects with a wide ramge of institutionally led projects and inititiatives

What kind of learners were involved in accessing this provision or support?

All staff and students with an initial focus on staff and undergraduate students.

What skills or literacies were particularly being addressed?

Academic information and digital literacies specifically:

  • Critical understanding
  • Informed by current developments in the subject
  • An awareness of the provisional nature of knowledge, how knowledge is created, advanced and renewed, and the excitement of developing knowledge.
  • The ability to identify and analyse problems and issues and to formulate, evaluate and apply evidence-based solutions and arguments
  • An ability to apply a systematic and critical assessment of complex problems and issues
  • An ability to deploy techniques of analysis and enquiry
  • Familiarity with appropriate techniques and skills, including presentation and communication skills
  • Originality and creativity in formulating, evaluating and applying evidence-based solutions and arguments
  • An understanding of the need for a high level of ethical, social, cultural, environmental and wider professional conduct.

Who provided the support? How was support provided?

For developing academic literacy (Effective Learning Service)

A developmental model of pedagogical support derived from current evidence-based research on academic literacies. The ELS’ approach is also informed by the team’s ongoing research/scholarly activities in learning and teaching and widening participation. The tutor teamwork in collegiate and academic partnerships with colleagues across all the Schools to develop discipline-specific materials and participative workshops that help students develop critical understanding and appropriate application of academic skills and conventions. The ELS aims to help students understand the requirements of academic activity and to enable independent learning through the development of key academic skills: presenting information orally and in writing, critical thinking, referencing, maintaining structure and coherence and demonstrating critical analysis in essay, project and dissertation writing. These are taught and improved through a combination of individual and rolling programmes/series of workshops, individualised support, handouts, online guidelines and podcasts. The service has significantly developed such input with U/g, P/g and PhD students from across the university for several years.

For developing information literacy (Library)

The library underpins many programmes with high quality resources. The subject librarians work with academic departments to embed these resources and information literacy skills into the curriculum, and they welcome inclusion on programme and module development groups. Collaborations may include in context workshops and seminars on themes such as basic inductions to systems, using databases, using Refworks to manage references, evaluating sources and search methods to fit with information needs. The librarians can also advise on digitising and linking to information within e-learning programmes. They will also prepare Base staff to support students with problem-based learning enquiries. The librarians source and write learning materials and manage websites to support academics and students, for example, subject guides, subject and resource tutorials. The librarians also run one-to-one drop-in support and help with complex information needs for students, researchers and academics.

For developing digital literacy (ICT Skills & Spoken Word):

The ICT Skills Unit has researched and developed a range of learning and teaching solutions to ensure that students engage with and develop lifelong independent learning skills through the use of technology. These employ sound pedagogic methodologies developed in partnership with other academic institutions. Support is available through the ICT Skills web site, guides, drop-in and training sessions. Digital tools may include email; internet; Word, Excel, Powerpoint; Blackboard; accessibility software; web 2.0 tools; e-portfolios; statistical software tools; and devices such as mobile phones and i-Pods. The Spoken Word project also encourages lecturers and students to develop different ways of working with audio, and a series of case studies is being created to support this approach. The unit has access to content that is not available from other sources including full access to BBC archives. They are also developing the use of wikis and blogs to support teaching and learning as well as looking at the use of modern Web 2.0 technologies. and

Benefits, outcomes, and lessons learned

Pilot studies about to commence so pending evaluation at present. It is anticipated that a collegiate approach to implementation will encourage participation by academic teams and result ultimately in a holistic approach to learning literacies across the institution. Improved communication within, between and across departments is noted as an important requisite to success and also a long term outcome. The extensive levels of transformation required to achieve this vision are acknowledged and timescales, expectations and planned support reflect this.

Policy or Strategy for Learning Literacies
academic literacies, employment skills, higher education, ICT literacies, information literacies, literacy frameworks, postgraduate students, staff development, undergraduate students