Learn IT: Blog it! Tweet it! Film it! Wiki it! from the student’s perspective

So, I attended the last event from the series of Learn IT (a staff-student exchange event), organised by Developing Digital Literacies working group. Before writing this post, I looked at the written form of the passed talks produced by other participants, including the guild’s president and lecturers from different departments. Seemingly, this Tuesday it was a concluding part of the continuous discourse around issues on online identity management, academic content creation, interaction between staff and students, possibilities of new media technology, and more.

Learn IT student-staff exchange concluding talk


Some of the Tuesday topics on the agenda were:

  • VLE (virtual learning environment) perspectives
  • Teaching & Learning techniques through technology
  • Academic content production in various media
  • Digital literacies of various stakeholders at university
  • Action points to promote media literacy (some of them seen in the picture below)
Some action points posted real-time on textwall

Some action points posted real-time on textwall









Overall, it was a very lively discussion where everybody expressed/contributed an interesting bit of their own experiences in relation to media technology use for their teaching or/and learning methods. Particularly, I’ve found it compelling when one speaker mentioned the difficulty for academic staff to ‘break the ice’ with their students on mainstream social media. From Georgina’s words (a lecturer from Media & Communication dep.), students seemed to be reluctant towards extra interaction with their lecturers/tutors on popular social media. I would consider this unwillingness as the result of lack of highly-valuable asset as time and apparent unawareness of potential benefits from such networking-interaction for their future career development.

Surely, there is a matter of privacy that students may be concerned with, when a member of staff ‘invades’ the personal space despite the fact that proximity is minimised. I imagine it is inconsistent for a student to combine his academic and social life in one place. Moreover, I think even if such network (for instance a university bespoke blog) existed, it would put more pressure on already loaded academics who probably struggle to even respond on time to unread emails from students. Further, in our group talk it was immediately pointed out by Alistair (a final year engineering student), that this extracurricular practices do not drive the grades up so there is no point in participating for scholars.

To take the matter even further, it was interestingly pointed out in one of the commsmedialiverpool posts, that the idea of 24/7 university may pose health-related dangers to students. Although the concept was substantially discussed in relation to physical university rather than virtual technologically-enhanced learning opportunities. Nevertheless, one could still relate the similar trend of potential dangers and disadvantages to the increased proliferation of social media. So perhaps, the fuss about finding the new ways to engage students more with the academic staff by means of new media is more incidental.

On the other hand, for me the proposition of more staff training seemed most viable. Particularly, in relation to developing certain skills and literacies in order to ‘gain’ students’ attention, thereby  potentially cultivating relationships between one another. From my perspective, the lecturer’s/tutor’s skill (or talent?) to make students think matters most when attempting to boost interaction amongst the two, in either real or virtual environments.



Next event: Blog it! Tweet it! Film  It! Wiki It! 

An invite to our next event: Blog it! Tweet it! Film  It! Wiki It!  aka, reading and creating academic communications in a range of media

Do you use blogs, tweets , films or wikis in your academic work or study? In today’s digital world, staff and students need to know how to communicate not just in writing in academic journals but increasingly in other internet-media.

All staff and students welcome.

LearnIt: Blog It! Tweet It! Film It! Wiki It! - on 10th March 2015

LearnIt: Blog It! Tweet It! Film It! Wiki It! – on 10th March 2015

Tuesday 10th Mar 2015, 13:00-15:00

The Guild, Elizabeth Gidney Suite

More info and registration at http://www.liv.ac.uk/cll/booking

Refreshments: tea/coffee/muffins

Come along and hear from academic colleagues, colleagues from the Guild, and students,  how these alternative forms of communication can enhance learning and be fun and engaging.

By taking part, you will have opportunities to

  • Learn about reading and creating academic communications in a range of media
  • Think about how you can capitalise on the means by which students’  “real world” experiences are so often conducted
  • Gain tips and techniques that you can take away.

We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend the event yourselves, but also that you will be able to promote the event to other colleagues and students.

The Developing Digital Literacies Working Group

Learn IT Staff-Student Exchange – Digital Research: beyond Google 17th February 2015

LearnIT event on digital research

LearnIT staff-student exchange event on digital research, University of Liverpoool, Guild,

This event continues the Learn IT series of seminars and group discussion networking events hosted by the Digital Literacies Group of the University of Liverpool.  The event began with a welcome by Emma Sims from the Guild and Dr Ann Qualter, Director of Academic Development, Centre for Lifelong Learning, outlining the changing nature of libraries education over recent decades and imperative to acquire awareness of digital information sources and techniques.

The seminar proceeded with presentations by Peter Reed (Health and Life Sciences learning technology lecturer), Nor Asikin Tegoh (Management PGR student) and Emma Thompson (Library Learning & Teaching Lead).

Peter’s presentation focused on the Mendeley referencing management application, demonstrating the use of this software to store, import and create reference citations and integrate in-text citations in office documents, this presentation particularly contrasted Mendeley with traditional and comparative approaches for reference management; Peter also drew attention to the Google Scholar search engine for identifying and working with academic or peer reviewed literature, including facilities to assess the research impact of particular journals and articles.

Nor’s presentation described a sense of missed opportunity to effectively use referencing applications when embarking on academic studies; Nor particularly drew attention to the advantages of the Refworks management platform for managing citations via folders and for categorising works thematically within the context of her own academic work.

The presentation provided by Emma outlined digital Library services available, including approaches for use of Google Scholar offcampus, use of multi-source Library platforms and databases (such as Discover, Scopus and Web of Science) and Library support for referencing systems (such as Refworks, Endnote  and more recent applications).

The group sessions provided an opportunity for delegates to share their own experiences of using Library resources and to hear tips and suggestions from Librarians, students and staff attending.  Some of the themes explored included new online or Library based services or tools which could have benefited individuals at an earlier stage of their research or career and issues surrounding evaluation of digital content; observations included the benefit of advanced searching techniques within online databases, techniques for filtering or ranking articles using bibliometrics or peer reviewed criteria and the need for staff induction support comparative with the student Library induction.

The event provided a forum for staff, students and post-doctoral researchers to network and proved a valuable opportunity to share experiences and new approaches for engaging in study and research.


Paul Catherall, Library

17th February 2015