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Digital Pedagogy - A Guide for Librarians, Faculty, and Students

This guide is meant to inform the user about Digital Pedagogy. It includes information on educational theory, a collection of case studies, and resources relevant to the study of digital pedagogy.

Canadian Institutions Developing Online Modules

Case Study - University College Dublin

According to Walters et al, in “Developing Online Tutorials to Improve Information Literacy Skills for Second-Year Nursing Students of University College Dublin,” the authors recommend:

  • It is important to consider the information behavior of the group for which the tutorial is being designed for.
  • That active learning is included, aiming to aid in critical thinking skills.
  • The use of the VARK model should be included to accommodate various learning styles, and that presentation styles match intended learning styles.
  • That it is based on IL guidelines (ACRL)
  • That straightforward, easy to understand language is used.
  • That storyboarding is a very helpful tool in regard to module planning

Additionally, the authors indicate that key considerations should also include pedagogical strategies such as:

  • Sconul’s seven pillars of information literacy
  • constructivist learning approach

In this way users are encouraged to develop critical thinking and higher order skills, as they are active in the learning process. The authors also recommend educational scaffolding, so that information is layered in such a way that student moves from basics to deeper learning.


Case Study - University of Leeds

In Thornes’ “Creating an Online Tutorial to Support Information Literacy and Academic Skills Development,” an online module was created for long distance geography students at the University of Leeds, in order to provide the students with a resource they could use to improve and develop IL skills. In this instance, the modules were created with the principles of good design in mind. These include the following:

  • Modules should incorporate a range of activities. Interactive activities should be a combination of drag and drop exercises, short videos, animations, interactive quizzes, screen captures, ability to self-assess skills.
  • Students should benefit from learning by doing
  • A/V components should appeal to broad learning styles
  • Careful planning is required: information should be structured and useful, there should be a component of visual appeal, navigation should be intuitive
  • There should be an assessment component. Possible evaluation could include surveys, and usage statistics, although these may be difficult to quantify.
  • Helpful when tutorials are designed with faculty members was designed with collaboration with a faculty member.
  • Helpful when students can navigate through tutorial at their own pace and various paths can be taken.
  • Important to include learning objectives and clearly spell these out.

The authors also found that a variety of factors can influence whether students will use the tutorials. These include:

  • Preconceptions about what will be covered and assumptions about relevancy
  • Belief that they already know the material.
  • Access at point of need.

The authors indicate that in their experience, online modules may function best in a blended learning environment.