Digital education workshop with Doug Belshaw
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Digital education workshop with Doug Belshaw

This is a summary of a workshop, facilitated by Dr. Doug Belshaw, at the University of Lincoln on December 18th. A day earlier, Doug gave a talk about his work around Digital Literacy, which can be seen here: http://dougbelshaw.com/presentations/2013/lincoln/

Workshop 10-12pm, Wednesday 18th December 2013

Attendees: Doug Belshaw, Joss Winn, Sue Watling, Andy Hagyard, Karin Crawford, …

Structure of the workshop:

  1. Introduction (Joss)
  2. “A strong wind blows” (Doug)
  3. Groups
  4. Feedback
  5. Discussion
  6. Conclusions/next steps

1. Joss began by providing some context to the workshop and its overall purpose. The University has a new Digital Education Plan and one of the proposed areas of work to implement the Plan is to focus on support, incentives and recognition for staff and students who wish to develop their confidence, understanding and skills in relation to ‘digital scholarship’, ‘digital literacy’, and ‘digital pedagogy’. Sue Watling (CERD) runs the Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age (TELEDA) course for staff and post-graduates, which encompasses each of these, but with a particular focus on digital pedagogy. The aim of the workshop was to begin to think about whether further, separate courses are required which complement TELEDA, who might they be aimed at, what might the incentives and recognition be, and what might the new course(s) focus on? Joss also gave an indication of additional posts that might soon be recruited to help work on digital education and teacher education. As such, with increased capacity to support staff and students in this way, how might we work this aim?

Doug introduced himself and his work to other participants who had not attended his talk the day before.

2. Next, Doug asked workshop participants, who were mainly from the Library and CERD, as well as Dr. Karin Crawford, Director of Education in the College of Social Sciences, to play a game called “A strong wind blows”. The purpose of this exercise is to get people to propose ideas relating to the workshop theme and then ‘vote on their feet’ by getting up out of their chair if they agree with the proposal. Here are the ideas raised by this exercised:

3. At the end of this exercise, Doug helped us group the ideas together into the following themes:

  1. Module development
  2. Policy/Strategy development
  3. Engagement/Collaboration with staff
  4. Resources needed

People volunteered to facilitate separate group discussions around each theme and other participants joined the group of most interest to them. We then spent 15-20 minutes working through the issues relating to each theme before reporting back to the whole group.


Joss/Sue/Andy/Elif: Strategies and policy already exist which can recognise the importance of embedding the practices and affordances of ‘digital education’, both in terms of teaching practice and curriculum design: The Teacher Education strategy for the university and Student as Producer.

What is the relationship between Digital Scholarship/Literacy/Pedagogy? We thought ‘Digital Scholarship’ could broadly encompass ‘literacy’ and ‘pedagogy’, though there was some resistance to the use of the term ‘digital scholarship’ when discussing this with staff, with a preference to the term ‘academic’ over ‘scholar’. There was disagreement within the group about this with others being satisfied with the term ‘digital scholar’ and ‘digital scholarship’.

In terms of implementation, we thought that we should seek ways for staff to evaluate themselves and voluntarily seek support and education in ‘digital scholarship’.

There could be a number of routes to formally implementing ‘digital scholarship’ at Lincoln:

  • Credit-bearing modules for staff and students, such as TELEDA
  • The Association of Learning Technologists CMALT accreditation
  • The Lincoln Award (students)
  • On-going series of workshops/seminars

We also felt that this was an opportunity to have staff and students learning together and from each other, such as in Karin Crawford’s SCOTs project (Students Consulting on Teaching http://scots.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/)

5. The last 30 mins of the workshop was spent discussing and identifying the central theme of the workshop: digital scholarship, digital literacy and digital pedagogy. What do we refer to when we use those terms? How are they related? How do we communicate them to other staff and students? The following keywords came out of this discussion:

Finally, Doug tasked us with thinking about our next steps: How do we refer to this specific work among each other and to colleagues? There was a majority in favour of ‘digital scholarship’ but two colleagues felt strongly that this wasn’t especially useful.

Joss said that he would write up notes from the workshop (this document – participants were invited to contribute/revise) and hoped that it would lead to further work leading up to implementation in September 2014, mindful that we may be joined by more new colleagues who could work with us from the Spring.

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