Developing DART: a digital learning tool to facilitate equity and access in the contemporary higher education context

Burton, Lorelle and Lawrence, Jill and Summers, Jane and Gibbings, Peter and Noble, Karen (2013) Developing DART: a digital learning tool to facilitate equity and access in the contemporary higher education context. In: Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia Distance Education Summit (ODLAA 2013): Eeducation Across Space and Time: Meeting the Diverse Needs of the Distance Learner, 4-6 Feb 2013, Sydney, Australia.

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This paper describes the processes of development of an online educational tool to facilitate equity and access for the diversity of students entering the largely digital context that is higher education today. The Associate Deans (Learning and Teaching) across the five faculties at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) responded to the issue of student diversity by developing a diagnostic and reflective tool (DART) to assist commencing students in developing their digital literacies according to their individual learning needs. DART was designed to enable and support online (digital) learning for the heterogeneous cohort of students studying at USQ, a regional Australian university. Initially, a range of theoretical perspectives were consulted to determine the knowledge, skills, and aptitudes that constitute digital literacy, including Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives. Secondly, from this review, a framework was constructed to map all relevant dimensions of digital literacy, dimensions which encompassed issues related not only to technical experiences but also to students' prior learning experiences. This stage also involved liaising with academic staff and other student support staff to further identify the threshold digital literacies required by first year students. Thirdly, two large-scale student surveys of students' digital literacies and prior experiences in engaging with digital learning environments were conducted. These evaluation cycles informed the ongoing development and refinement of DART. The current paper reports on initial findings from these surveys and discusses implications for the future implementation of DART in the University.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA) 2013. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2013 03:06
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 02:12
Uncontrolled Keywords: distance education; online; student experience; assessment tools; DART
Fields of Research : 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080602 Computer-Human Interaction
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930103 Learner Development

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