University of Nottingham - 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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University of Nottingham

Student-led Training Initiative in Academic Social Media

Type of snapshot

  • learner led provision

What was the context for this snapshot?

Jubilee Graduate Centre, University of Nottingham
Training provision for PhD Research Students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs)
Internally funded by Graduate Centres / Graduate School

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

PhD Research Students, Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

What skills or literacies were particularly being addressed?

Digital / Web Literacies

Who provided the support? How was support provided?

Series of workshop sessions in social media and academic practice
Supported by an online resource residing on the Graduate centre website
Designed and conducted by two PhD research students (School of Education)
Open to all PhD Research Students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in the University

We focus less on the technologies and more on their social, participatory and collaborative affordances. We look at the potential role of social media in challenging and expanding traditional academic practice and professional development, with reference to wider contexts such as digital identities, and Open Education and Open Research practices.

The sessions are supported by a carefully selected and annotated online resource with links to tools, tutorials and examples. Attendees respond to an online survey and use Twitter prior to the sessions to register their interests, experiences and expectations, and complete formal Graduate School feedback forms at the end. We used existing Graduate School guidelines on research student skills and experiences training as our main reference, as defined in the Joint Statement of the UK Research Councils’ Training Requirements for Research Students.

Benefits, outcomes, and lessons learned

Finding common ground between Web 2.0 ‘core values’ and academic practice
Address wider concepts – digital identity, Open Access / Education models, collaborative practices etc.
Align with social learning concepts and models – communities of practice, network theories etc.\\ Do not assume student skills/competencies / familiarity with social media
Focus on activities associated with traditional academic practices – publishing, conferencing etc.
Demonstrate challenging and augmenting properties of social media adoption
Promote holistic perspectives of social media above specific tools/platforms
Focus on academic and professional community/network development rather than competences in technologies
Emphasise organisational, critical and reflective approaches

Learner-led provision
academic literacies, higher education, ICT literacies, learners, media literacies, online tutorials, postgraduate students, research skills, social software, workshops