About the project
The digital pedagogy toolkit has been developed by subject specialists in Jisc’s digital practice team in collaboration with feedback from the UK’s higher, further education and skills sectors.
The key aims of this project include:
- Support academic staff to make informed choices about how they use technology to underpin the curriculum
- Provide ideas and inspiration for how staff can overcome barriers to using technology
- Promote current approaches in curriculum design theory to ensure technology meets the learning outcomes of the course, module or programme of study
- Dispel a range of misconceptions about what can and can’t be achieved by using technology
It is not the intention of this toolkit to provide an overview of a range of digital tools that practitioners can use in a variety of blended learning contexts.
Who is the digital pedagogy toolkit for?
The digital pedagogy toolkit is for professionals who have a role in developing the curriculum. This could include a central group or team that has been tasked with ensuring digital is embedded into programmes of study and will include a range of roles such as teaching staff, librarians, learning technologists and other professional staff.
Although the challenges faced with embedding digital within programmes of study will inevitably vary across sectors and even within institutions, there are nevertheless shared themes. The purpose of the digital pedagogy toolkit is to surface those themes and provide you with ideas for embedding digital wisely whilst underpinning the pedagogy.
It is not the intention of the digital pedagogy toolkit to provide you with a ‘one-size fits all’ solution. Indeed, there isn’t a single approach that guarantees success across such a broad spectrum of contexts, but there are a number of considerations to take into account that will inform your thinking and help you to overcome some of the pitfalls.
We define digital pedagogy as the study of how digital technologies can be used to best effect in teaching and learning. ‘Digital technology’ is a broad term and may include both new and emerging technologies as well as more tried and tested technologies.
What can you find in the digital pedagogy toolkit?
The digital pedagogy toolkit takes a challenge-based approach by presenting you with a series of scenarios describing areas of digital practice you may want to develop. These scenarios are based in real-world situations that institutions have been grappling with, such as delivering live online learning with students, designing engaging VLE courses or managing digital communities of practice.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all of the scenarios an institution is likely to encounter when using digital to support the curriculum. As digital evolves, so does our thinking and new ways of utilising digital to best effect will emerge. However, the scenarios included in this toolkit are intended as a starting point to help inform the kinds of considerations to take into account when using digital to support the pedagogy.
Not all of the scenarios will be relevant for all Jisc members. Furthermore, there will undoubtedly be challenges that are specific to your sector and specialism that aren’t represented here.
However, the digital pedagogy toolkit is designed to provide you with a structure for approaching your own challenges to mitigate, where possible, the barriers you face when embedding digital into programmes of study.
Each of the scenarios described in the digital pedagogy toolkit includes the following:
What is the challenge?
A brief description of the challenge, including the sources that have been used to frame this particular challenge.
What questions do you need to ask?
A short section covering the questions to ask before approaching the challenge that will help you determine the best course of action for your context. Links to further resources provide a range of approaches, including case studies, guides and more.
How can digital support the pedagogy?
This is at the heart of the digital pedagogy toolkit and provides an overview of how digital could underpin the pedagogy in the context of the scenario described.
What are the barriers to meeting this challenge?
The barriers for overcoming many of the challenges relating to digital delivery are often complex and wide-ranging. Training may not always be the answer.
One useful model to apply that looks at the challenge more broadly and helps you to identify the barriers in terms of the skills, motivation, knowledge and environment factors (SMoKE).
Applying the SMoKE model (skills/motivation/knowledge/environment) to the challenge of digital delivery provides a more holistic picture of the barriers that need to be addressed.
What are the myths associated with this challenge?
There are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to using digital. This section exposes the myths and provides suggested approaches for addressing them.
How can the digital pedagogy toolkit be used?
The digital pedagogy toolkit is not designed to be read in a linear fashion, but instead, you are encouraged to dip into sections that interest you. The term ‘toolkit’ has been used figuratively, as the contents are designed to equip you with a range of tools and techniques you can draw on for meeting the specific challenge you face.
We hope this resource will provide a good starting point and possible vehicle for considering which areas of digital practice to review and what questions you may need to ask yourself. However, the contents can also be used by individuals wishing to consider the effectiveness of the measures that they, or the teams they lead, have put into place.
The digital pedagogy toolkit can be used to:
- Explore specific scenarios and consider a range of approaches to address them
- Identify key questions that need to be explored in order to embed digital effectively
- Use as a review tool to reflect on how you plan, design and deliver the digital curriculum
- Signpost further resources to support professional practice