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Digital education

JISC Digifest 2016 – by Dewi (Post 4/4)

22 April 2016
Image of digifest pass

by Dewi Parry

Image of digifest pass

#Digifest16 was timely for us this year, with the opening of the Centre for Education Innovation, the launch of the Education Innovation Fund, and the new challenges that we face looking to the future.

As Hannah explained in her earlier post, it’s important to look further afield to learn from others, and to pick up and embed good practice along the way. The session that struck a chord for me though was a little bit closer to home. This was the session called “Understanding your organisation’s digital practice”.

Working in a central team is a very enriching experience, mainly as we constantly meet with colleagues across the University. Many of our staff are very aware of the benefits of various web technologies, but many are unaware of how these technologies are being used across the institution, and how certain practices can overlap. Therefore, mapping these technologies can be a very powerful tool to enhance the understanding of the digital practices taking place within the organisation. In addition, it’s a starting point for discussing digital literacy, digital capability, digital leadership and informing future strategies.

The workshop is a part of Jisc’s “Building digital capacity” project, and the exercise is a version of the Visitors and Residents model.

Visitors and Residents modelHere’s a (blurry!) image of where Gethin (top) and myself (bottom) mapped out our understanding of the University’s digital practice. We were very lucky to be joined by Donna Lanclos** (right), the plenary speaker during the morning who also took part in the exercise (having delivered the same session the week before).

As you can just about see, we mapped the web tools we use within the university (Email, VLE, Yammer, Websites, Intranet, blogs, twitter – personal and institutional etc) against a grid. The grid maps out tools against individual and organisational practice, and whether the tools are used for engagement or broadcast.

It was interesting to learn about other institution’s digital practices – which channels were they using; how open was their content; how engaging was their content; what kind of content was hidden; how comfortable were they with their practice; was their practice effective; could they see new practices emerging?

So what next?

Having spoken to Matt Smith from WCPPE who was also at Digifest this year, we are keen to run this session for the Learning Technology Community of Practice. We hope to unpick our institutional digital practices, facilitate reflection and discussion around online engagement, and come to an understanding of where we are, where do we want to go, and how are we going to get there.


  1. Jin

    Hi Dewi, I’d love to have a close look at your matrix diagrams (clearly!), the three diagrams! This is definitely a good exercise of mapping our understanding of university’s digital practice. Will you three (Gethin, Hannah) and Matt Smith give a talk in next COP? Thanks.

    • Dewi Parry

      Hi Jin, I’m meeting Matt Smith this afternoon to get the ball rolling on this. I’ll let you know when we plan to do it. Thanks.

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