Catch a tiger: Digital Literacies lunchtime seminar 1 March 1200-1300

I will be conducting a short 1 hour lunchtime seminar on digital and information literacies at Harcourt Hill on Thursday 1 March from 1200-1300. Room BG/25 .

Digital practices are changing fast. This seminar will be an attempt to catch a tiger by the tail: an early outing – and first acid test – of ideas for a keynote I will be giving at Dundee in June: “Is there a pedagogy of e-learning?”. Short answer: no. Longer answer: they are many. I may use a Sparta v Athens metaphor as we look at the Brookes’ Graduate Attribute known as Digital and Information Literacy, and use this to illuminate issues of:

  • Open Educational Resources (OERs)
  • Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
  • social citation
  • academic multimedia (lecture capture, audio feedback, etc)
  • distributed collaboration
  • and of course the move to Moodle.

All this is building to a notion of open online academic practice which offers a radical challenge to what Richard Hall (2012) calls the “polyarchic” limits to the discussion of digital literacy within institutions in conflict with themselves. This challenge is breaking the bounds of the enclosed debate about employability in the knowledge economy and “… connecting the work of the academy to the dislocated realities of the world beyond.” A world where even the credentialling of knowledge – once the sacred preserve of the university – is under assault by both popular and elite movements exemplified by initiatives such as Khan Academy, Stanford’s Coursera and MITx. According to Prof. Cathy N. Davidson of Duke University (2012) “… badges [are] peer-given contribution and reputation points. Badges are the visible symbol of a complex system of rigorous peer evaluation.” And, I thought it was just geeks playing games. With reference to that tiger, remember what Baloo said: “There are teeth in the other end!”

As well as the forthcoming talk at Dundee these ideas are being developed through new OCSLD online courses (
– Extending your online course 25 April – 27 May 2012
– First steps into learning and teaching in higher education: a massive open online course (mooc) development funded by the Higher Education Academy. Yes: OCSLD’s famous (?) “First steps” programme delivered online free to the whole world for 5 weeks 21 May to 22 June 2012.

Bring your own sandwiches and coffee. It is only an hour.
If you want to let me know you will be coming please send me a mail.
Hope to see you there.

posted by George Roberts

Davidson, C. N. (2012, February 7). Badges: A solution to our teacher evaluation disaster? The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

Hall, R. (2012, February 17). A note on the digital university and dislocated politics. Richard Hall’s Space. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from

About the author

George Roberts

George has been at Oxford Brookes since 2000 and joined OCSLD in June 2006 as an Educational Developer (e-Learning). In his previous role he advised the Head of e-Learning and the Senior Management Team of the University on policy for off-campus e-learning and e-learning partnerships.

He leads the MA Education (Higher Education) and teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PCTHE) as well as conducting Course Design Intensives (CDIs) and other educational development activities: workshops and consultancies.

He leads the organisation of the annual Brookes Learning and Teaching Conference (BLTC) and is Managing Editor of the Higher Education Journal of Learning and Teaching.

George is a visiting Lecturer at Cranfield University and a Visiting Fellow of Edge Hill University.

He wrote his doctorate (July 2011) at the University of Southampton on biographical narratives of adult users of a community IT centre on a large social housing estate.

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