- Student Studyhub
Academic literacies
| Developing a digital student | Developing notemaking and reflective learning | IBL & PBL: problems and projects | Promoting dicussion
Promoting reading | Reading List | Resources | Simulations and role plays | Visual and creative strategies
Writing - mastering 'skills' | Writing - Writing in the Disciplines/Writing across the Curriculum



Developing a digital student

Our world is digital and inevitably our LTA will increasingly include digital and multimodal elements to prepare our students for active engagement in the digi-verse – and to harness and extend the digital literacies they bring. This section explores some creative and engaging digital practice that has proven successful for other lecturers.

This section looks at:

  • Blogging to Learn
  • Digital  Storytelling
  • Digital artefacts
  • Compilation of Wikipedia entries
  • Get Students to set up a PLN
  • Get Students to Produce Guides:

1: Blogging to learn: to develop voice and writing skills
Instead of setting the normal reflective learning log, require students to write regular weekly blogs on their learning.
Writing for real audiences helps students to realise that academic writing is about having something to say – to real people.
Blogs are multimodal semi-public and quasi-academic spaces in which students can narrate themselves as they become academic. Setting students the task of blogging their reflective learning journals also develops student learning through the act of writing.

  • Use the blogging and/or journal tools in WebLearn. These are private – but limited and not portable.
  • Encourage students to set up their own Blogger or WordPress accounts so they can customise them and really own them. Trust the students to value this space as theirs – and trolling does not happen
  • Encourage quad-blogging – where groups of four compact to read and comment upon each other’s blogs – this emphasises the dialogic and social aspect of learning and of blogging
  • Set students the task of investigating what a blog should be – and how to prepare their own blogs: Ask students to find the #ds106 website <> and use their tips on setting up and running a blog:
  • Encourage students eventually to move from open- or quad-blogging to blogging to a Personal Learning Network (PLN) – to enhance their learning through dialogue with a wider peer group.
  • Tip: do not assume that our ‘digital natives’ can seamlessly use the digital tools available to them – nor that they can use them for active learning. With blogging – help students to set up their blogs – encourage them to help each other to customise and ‘own’ their blogs.

2: Help students to become Digital Storytellers:
The digital age is predicated on the notion of Student as Producer (of knowledge) – as opposed to earlier education ages that appeared to position the student as a consumer of knowledge. We can use this to perhaps re-shape some of the assignments that we set students. That is – rather than setting writing-only assignment (essay, report, exams) – set them the task of producing a digital artefact that illuminates key elements or Learning Outcomes of the course – plus or minus a brief critical commentary justifying the artefact design and focus.

Join #ds106 the open digital storytelling website
The #ds106 website is designed for individuals or groups to use on their own and on their own initiative.
DS = Digital Storytelling and the website is packed with resources that students can use on their own – or that you can embed within your practice – and that help students develop digital literacies and storytelling skills.
DS106 has Quickstart Guides, Assignments, Handbooks and Daily Create challenges for students to use to become more active and powerful in the digital media.


  • Sign your class up to #ds106 and enrol their blogs on the blog roll:
  • In or out of class set students the challenge of exploring #ds106 as part of their regular independent study for your module. Firstly they should spend time acclimatising themselves with the site as a whole and what it offers – and then propose their own Digital Development strategy to you (and the class) – and then blog their progress.

How we did it:

We are setting you a Develop a Digital Me Project to accomplish with your Peer Mentors. You will have five weeks to choose a project, develop it – and report back in a presentation.
We will engage in many visual exercises in class to help you with your Digital Project - and we will expect you to use the Digital Storytelling website with a view to developing your digital proficiency now and for the future.
Get started here: or via the quick-start link:
Tip1: You will be expected to start your own blog where you will post your learning milestones and events – and that will de facto constitute a reflective learning log for you – and your readers. Read this for some tips:
: To get a head start on digital Literacy and Education enrol for a free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). See what Coursera are offering at the moment: 
Tip 3:
For school examples, see .


3: Get Students to Make Digital Artefacts:
For certain assignments or parts of assignments – rather than writing an essay or report; require students to produce a digital artefact that sums up their learning – or to produce a teaching and learning resource that would convey learning about the key issues on the course. To assist with this we have built the AniMet Challenge:

4: Group compilation of Wikipedia entries: In-class or out of class (from Julia Miller via to LDHEN ):

I tell students that they should not rely on Wikipedia as a source of information, but that the bibliography at the end of each article might be a good source of references for them to follow up. This is in conjunction with discussion about what constitutes an academic source. However, I have also conducted a study (which I'm submitting as a journal article) in which I got students to write material for Wikipedia themselves. This provided a great opportunity to talk about the nature of research, referencing, using trustworthy sources, etc. It also meant that the students had the opportunity to write for a 'real' audience, not just a lecturer, and make a contribution to shared knowledge on a big scale.  In that sense it was a really worthwhile activity.

5: Group production of a Guide to using Social Media: If using Social Media in student studies is a really important aspect of your teaching and learning – you can set the students the task of producing a Guide on this topic for other students. Here is one produced by Manchester University:

6: Personal Learning Networks: Set students the task of consciously building and maintaining PLN.

7: Twitter for study: Set students the task of finding and following several academics relevant to their studies… And later of reporting on what they had gained from that process.

8: FaceBook for Study: Set students the task of using FaceBook to facilitate their study – either by setting up an FB study group for a particular assignment or using FB as a reading journal…

NOTE: The section on visual and creative strategies includes activities that will also support the development of active digital literacies.