UCL Teaching and Learning Network (TLN)

2009 - 2010 Meetings

Literacies and learning

Literacies and learning


Dr Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, from the Dept. of Scandinavian Studies who will speak on 'Blogging Comparative Literature':

A central ambition of our MA module, Memory and Literature in a Globalised Culture, taught via videoconference between UCL and the universities of Aarhus and Lisbon, was to allow students to practice writing for social media (forum,blog, wiki). This informal talk will present some of the advantages and challenges we have found in using digital texts in the transnational and virtual seminar room.

Dr Mary Lea, Open University, whose title is 'Digital Literacies in Higher Education: texts, technologies and practices':

Most of today’s undergraduates bring to their studies a wealth of experience of using web-based technologies in their day-to-day lives. As a consequence, concerns are often raised by tutors about students’ ability to engage in more conventional study practices, such as reading for and completing essays.

This presentation will report upon an ESRC funded research project, ‘Digital Literacies in Higher Education’, which has examined this issue through a literacies lens. The research was carried out in three different higher education institutions. The presentation will report upon the project findings, which illustrate the complex interrelationship between literacies and technologies with the potential to disrupt conventional academic literacy practices. They also offer strong evidence for students’ ongoing reliance on the authority of the institution when it comes to accessing and utilizing web-based resources for their assignments.

Drawing on data from the research, the presentation will suggest that, in order to understand the changes that are taking place for learners in today’s higher education, more attention needs to be paid to textual practice around learning and less to the technologies and their applications. It will also explore how the changing status of knowledge in universities comes primarily not from students’ own web-based activity but from the universities themselves, as a diverse range of texts are brought into the academy and valorized in a range of assessment practices.