In the fourth of his blog-series, Education Consultant Walter Patterson provides an update on CDN’s research into staff digital capability.
Conversations between CDN researchers and colleges have revealed that in the switch to digital in the past 15 months, college staff have exceeded all expectations of their capacity to transform their classroom practice. To facilitate this move, colleges have ensured staff were equipped with laptops and connectivity, modelling good digital practice by providing extensive training and support through virtual channels.
In recent months, attention has turned to ways in which these newly acquired digital skills might be recognised, either through a self-assessment tool or qualifications. Importantly, this aspect of digital development for staff makes a significant contribution to their professional updating for GTCS registration purposes.
Midsummer’s day was perfectly timed to coincide with CDN sharing a draft set of digital capabilities that could form a baseline in a future scenario where blended learning might form a significant element of delivery and provide equity of access to learning. These digital capabilities have been considered by three separate focus groups involving senior and middle managers from colleges, as well as external stakeholders including sparqs and Education Scotland. CDN will use this constructive feedback to develop the baseline, with a view to making it available to guide staff induction and support the professional development of lecturers.
Alongside this work, a CDN researcher Dr Nuala Broderick, has examined documentation provided by colleges in relation to their digital strategies and drawn together an extended glossary of terms used to describe digital aspects of college activities. This has been refined to around a dozen terms, which focus on future priorities and clarify definitions helpful in discussions going forward.
The final phase of this CDN project will involve the writing of a research report.
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