Author: Thomas Davidson
Another year, another guest lecture…hopefully it doesn’t get any less exciting!
Two weeks ago, trusty DigiChamps Tom Rowledge, Sarah Hewitt and Nic Fair and I all delivered a session on Digital Literacies to MANG1022. This was an interactive session, similar in many ways to the one last year, but also with an additional “Data-Gathering” dimension. I’ll come on to the content in the session in a second, but it is important first to explain the context. Like last year, the aim of the session was to introduce the concept of Digital Literacies to the students in an engaging way, which we aimed to do through interactive activities.
The content of the session was similar to the previous as I said, but also far more interactive as we could cover much of theory in a supporting lecture the week after the sessions. This gave us the freedom to further explore the Online Identity of the participants, something which all seemed to enjoy. We introduced with a breakdown of Digital Literacies into 4 areas and explained we would be focusing on private and public aspects of their online identity. This would involve several activities, including a Digital Health Check, googling themselves, downloading Facebook data, looking at Google Data, exploring Apple’s Location History and watching several videos. We also led a facilitated discussion around the business aspects of all this data, given the students were largely from the Business Management Cohort. The slides for this session are available on SlideShare.
We also utilised blog posts around both the session and the lecture to help introduce the students to the topic, so they came equipped to learn. The posts were published on the Business Management blog and worked well, with most saying that they had read the blog posts. The post before the session was read by 168 people, but the round up post only 12. We believe this is because the preparation one was shared directly via BlackBoard, but the follow up one was not.
Continuing with the statistics, one of the main elements of the session this time around was to gather some data from the participants analyzing their own data. To do this, as they looked at things like their downloaded Facebook data we asked they filled in several surveys, anonymously, about both the data and their opinions on it. The data will be made available in full later, but here is a snapshot of some interesting outcomes:
- 66% were disturbed at extent of data held by FB
- 74% were previously unaware of this
- 36% found Facebook ad topics “somewhat accurate”, only 8% found them “very accurate”
These statistics and more are included in our infographic below (click to increase the size):
We also for the first time collected some feedback on the session itself, and the student’s opinions on that. Rather than be boring and talk you through that, we have provided an infographic to display the information in a nice format (click to increase the size):
As we reflect on the session, one of the most important parts for both Tom and I is the feedback in this infographic. We are both firm believers in the power of students to help shape their own education, and the comments made by participants about being students show this power. We are delighted to see that the group almost universally enjoyed the session, and enjoyed the fact it was taught by students.
We both very much enjoyed having the freedom to create the session, and delivering it. It made our timetable very busy that’s undeniable, but each session also went a lot quicker than being sat in a lecture! It also helped Tom and I improve presentation and confidence skills, as well as consolidating our own learning around Digital Literacies. Moving forward, we hope to continue teaching this session on the MANG1022 course, and elsewhere if we are asked. We also hope to deliver a presentation on the teaching of this session at the Exeter Change Agents Networking event organised by JISC in April.
The last thing it is important to say is thank you! We couldn’t have taught the session without the fantastic help of fellow DigiChamps Nic Fair and Sarah Hewitt, and Dr Lisa Harris has been a massive help in developing the session and the lecture. Also, a big thanks to Dr Christophe Mues for the invitation to deliver the session. We hope to be able to do the same next year. Finally, thank you to all of you who attended, engaged and left such positive feedback. We wish you good luck in your studies this semester and beyond.