Friday, 14 October 2011

LIDU final report

Now that the end-of-award report from the seminar series has been accepted by ESRC and while we wait for it to appear on the ESRC website, here is an extract from the 'findings' section:

The series has not produced any ‘findings’ as such (it was a seminar series after all, not a research project). However, we are claiming the following ‘clarifications’ of key issues around literacy in the digital university:

1. Conceptualisations of ‘literacy’ amongst educational developers concerned with digital technologies in teaching and learning continue to reflect a polarisation between those who take an ideological (literacy as social practice) and those who adopt an autonomous (literacy as individual competence) perspective.

For example, researchers exploring textuality in digital contexts, and practitioners concerned with the development of skills in digital communication and information management, seem to share little in terms of theoretical assumptions, methodologies, goals and outcomes.

This does not mean, however, that there cannot be any dialogue between researchers and practitioners coming from these different perspectives. The seminars have shown that the two agendas can co-exist productively. Viewpoints can meet over the discussion of principled means of describing practices that teachers and learners engage in when they do ‘university business’ online. Both perspectives can benefit from the analysis of quantitative as well as qualitative data, and from engagement in reflexive as well as analytical deliberation.

2. The idea of the ‘digital university’ is not a given. New conceptualisations of the institution and its practices have emerged from the attempt, during these seminars, to circumvent the differences in disciplinary and pragmatic orientation described above.

These include the concepts of: digital scholarship, the borderless institution, and post-human pedagogies. These keystone concepts will need to inform any research agenda that is developed on the basis of what has gone on in these seminars.

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