The curriculum provides a framework for engaging with technologies that are educationally relevant.
For students, digital practices in the learning environment are shaped within their programme of study where they tend to look to teaching staff for guidance on recommended technologies or adopt those required by the curriculum. Embedding digital capability into the curriculum aligns with their educational aspirations and helps make sense of the tasks and technologies in use.
However, there is generally a lack of consistency within institutions in how students are introduced to technology in their studies, how technology is used in curriculum activities and how digital skills are assessed if at all. Engaging staff and students in development activities and systematically designing digital literacy into the curriculum will help address some of these issues.
Oxford Brookes University
Taking a discipline focus
Focusing on digital literacies within different subject disciplines is the most meaningful way of engaging staff and students in discussions around the types of technologies and related capabilities that are of most relevance to them.
For staff, the sense of being overwhelmed by the digital can be managed through a focus on what is really relevant in their specialism and on the ways they can add value to students’ digital know-how.
For students, the discipline provides the context for shaping their digital practices to support their studies and, in many cases, professional development.
Developing faculty learning communities at the University of Bath
Curriculum design and development
The curriculum design process is key to ensuring that digital literacies are embedded in learning and teaching. Course validation and review provide opportunities to rethink how digital literacy can be reflected in learning outcomes and the tasks and assessments which support these so working with course teams at these critical points is key. The involvement of specialist professionals in this process (eg library staff, TEL staff, academic advisors) also allows new ideas to spread across subject boundaries.
A resource set on developing digital Literacies in the curriculum provides a range of resources such as case studies, workshop materials, guides and briefings, frameworks and learning design tools which can be used with staff and students.