As more and more staff in Higher Education engage in online teaching and learning, there is an increasing need to enhance the capacity of staff to integrate digital education in a way that promotes the digital wellbeing of students. Through building teacher capacity the Digital Wellbeing Educators project aims to improve students’ ability to address the challenges of engaging in a digital environment, e.g. How to detect ‘fake news’? How to keep your identity safe online? How to maintain a balanced online-offline life?
The JISC Digital Capability framework (2015) sets out the digital competences necessary for students and staff to thrive within Higher Education institutions and fully engage in education and the workplace, however, there are many definitions, frameworks and models, e.g. the Irish All Aboard (2015) project identified over 100 frameworks and models which encompass digital literacies or digital competences.
The Digital Wellbeing Educators project, which is partially funded by the European Union, focuses on one of the six Digital Capabilities, “Digital Identity and Wellbeing”, and has produced a compendium of resources and case studies from Higher Education Institutions (Digital Wellbeing Educators 2019). The social return is to build the capability of Higher Education staff across Europe by promoting awareness and sharing practices and open educational resources between countries and across disciplines.
The compendium has been produced through a qualitative research process involving interviews with experienced practitioners who have created interventions such as courses, MOOCs, books, and professional development seminars. This presentation gives a taste of the content of the compendium, illustrating current practice in the support of digital identity management and digital wellbeing. Three case studies from different countries, with a focus on different digital competences, are used to explain the potential impact of digital wellbeing interventions on students, educators and organisations.
This session will be of interest to educators, to educational developers and to those reflecting on their own professional development and digital capability. The compendium of case studies, frameworks and models can be used as inspiration for future interventions or learning material for professional development activities.
However, the case studies within the compendium are not directly transferable as they are situated in the context of each individual case. Similarly, frameworks and models tend to be over-simplifications that need to be applied sensitively in addressing the messy challenges of digital identity and wellbeing (Brown 2017). Learning is always situated in a social, cultural, political and institutional policy context from which it cannot be separated. As a result, there is a need to focus on social practices and look beyond the individual to build capacity within communities of practice.
All Aboard (2015). All Aboard: Digital skills in higher education. [online]. Available at: http://www.allaboardhe.ie/map/ [Accessed 30th May 2019].
Brown, M. (2017). Exploring the underbelly of digital literacies. [online]. Available at: http://oeb-insights.com/exploring-the-underbelly-of-digital-literacies/ [Accessed 30th May 2019].
Digital Wellbeing Educators (2019). Digital Wellbeing: Promoting the digital wellbeing of students. [online]. Available at: http://www.digital-wellbeing.eu/ [Accessed 30th May 2019].
JISC Digital Capability framework (2015). Building digital capabilities: The six elements defined. [online]. Available at: http://repository.jisc.ac.uk/6611/1/JFL0066F_DIGIGAP_MOD_IND_FRAME.PDF [Accessed 30th May 2019].