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Digital Literacies in Higher Education

Digital Literacies in Higher Education (DigitaLits)


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This research project sets out to examine the real nature of digital literacies for today’s undergraduates. These students are often referred to as ‘digital natives’, spending time text messaging, chatting online, surfing the net and using social networking sites like Facebook.

Students making use of technology

Such activity has led to claims of a crisis in student literacy, including the suggestion that students are no longer able to engage effectively in traditional academic tasks such as essay writing. The use of the web is also blamed for an inexorable rise in plagiarism.

At the same time elearning now plays a central role in the delivery of the curriculum; for example, students now access web-based course resources, participate in online discussion, download lecture notes and presentations, produce their own visual presentations and keep learning blogs, complete electronic records of progress and personal development plans.

Students in a Library

This research, which includes interviews and observation with students, is being undertaken in three different HE institutions. It is providing an in depth study of undergraduate literacy practices in a digital age, exploring the part that digital texts play for them in and around their studies and the implications of this for the changing nature of learning and knowledge in tertiary education.

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