Chapter 1: Digital Literacies
To survive and thrive in online learning environments, the learner needs to have a basic level of digital literacy. This includes possessing the skills and knowledge to navigate the tools used to deliver course content, accessing communication skills in order to make connections and collaborate with others with others, finding and evaluating information on the internet, and so forth. While it may be possible to complete a course with limited digital literacy, the greater a learner’s digital literacy, the richer the learning experience will likely be.
There are numerous digital literacy frameworks available to serve the diverse needs of our global community. For this project, we have chosen to explore JISC’s digital literacy framework, which outlines seven key elements: media literacy, communications and collaboration, career and identity management, ICT literacy, learning skills, digital scholarship, and information literacy (JISC, 2014). When researching frameworks, we felt the JISC framework was clear, concise, and encompassed the skills and knowledge we felt, through our career and educational experiences, were important for online learners.
In this section, we take a deep dive into each of the seven digital literacies. For each literacy, we’ll explore how it relates to the online learner and how they can benefit from strong literacy in this area. We will then examine Learning to Learn Online through the lens of the literacy in question, examining how the literacy is required for the learner to complete the MOOC, and how the MOOC explicitly teaches that literacy through the curriculum. It is important to note that the MOOC was not built using JISC’s digital literacy framework as a foundation, and the chapters that follow offer a new perspective of the MOOC.
Image credit: The graphic of the JISC digital literacy was obtained from the Developing digital litercies InfoKit on the JISC InfoNet.