Past Event details

The digital and the material: mapping contemporary student practices

Friday, 28 March 2014

Mapping motivations to engage online

Dave White, University of Oxford

Dave White works in the overlapping space between education, academia and technology. As a part of his current work with the JISC/OCLC Digital Visitors and Residents project, and the 'The challenges of Residency' project with the Higher Education Academy, he is having students and academic staff map their modes of engagement with technology and the web.  The mapping is a pragmatic way of understanding online learning practices which often go undiscussed in education. It has proved to be a good starting point for reflecting on overall approaches to teaching and for informing how best to work with students online: for example, negotiating the complexities of connecting with students in platforms which are based on a ‘friendship’ paradigm.  Among other things he will discuss the implications for pedagogy that arise out of considering the new modes of expression and consumption offered by Resident modes of engagement.

 

Exploring physical and digital sites of study: making and breaking boundaries

Martin Oliver & Lesley Gourlay Institute of Education, University of London

Recent studies show how complex and messy students' day-to-day study practices can be. They draw in a wide array of technologies; take place in both institutional and personal settings; and involve the consumption and production of a variety of digital and print texts. In a recent JISC-funded study, a striking element of students' accounts was the importance attached to creating productive places for study. Examples of such work will be presented, using images and textual data to illustrate such sites of study, and focusing on the subsequent management of boundaries between sites of personal, professional and study activities. The analysis will show how spaces are not simply found, nor are they just 'containers' for social practice, but are constantly generated by students and form part of the sociomaterial assemblages required to undertake their studies.

 

The intersection of the digital and material practices in contemporary library spaces 

Donna Lanclos, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, & Lesley Gourlay, Institute of Education, University of London

Arguably, mainstream work on student practices tends to assume that the digital and the material are somewhat separate domains of student practice, with ‘the digital’ often treated as a disembodied realm, decontextualised and free-floating. In contrast, spaces in the material campus are frequently positioned as prototypically ‘traditional’ and analogue. The library in particular is a space which is often characterized as symbolic of pre-digital literacy practices and forms of meaning making. We will report on an investigation of student and staff perceptions and use of library spaces (both digital and physical), drawing on semi-structured interviews and observations. We will argue for a more nuanced understanding of the complex, emergent relationships between the digital and print literacy practices. We will conclude with implications for research and practice.

 

A sociomaterial account of how assignments get done

Ibrar Bhatt, University of Leeds

The deployment of digital media in classrooms contributes to new sociomaterial assemblages, exploration and elucidation of which is key to understanding the kinds of digital literacy practices which irrupt. This study traces the choreography of assignments: how they got written, their trajectory from apparent start to finish in a classroom, the sociomaterial work that went into them, and the subsequent digital literacy practices enacted through their completion. I attend to the ecology of these practices (their impasses, breakthroughs, surreptitious workarounds, and bricolage) by problematising the impact of cyberspace in the classroom, as students write their assignments using whatever digital media is at their disposal. Findings reveal that there is little which is exclusively ‘academic’ or ‘vernacular’ in the way of digital literacies for the assignments, serving to reinforce the view that student engagement with technologies is too complex to fit neatly into a monolithic or taxonomic understanding of ‘digital literacy’ skills.

Network: Digital University
Date: Friday, 28 March 2014
Times: 11.00 -16.00
Location: SRHE, 73 Collier St, London N1 9BE
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