At a Changing the Learning Landscape event at the University of Exeter a few months ago I was impressed with a digital literacies survey they had produced called iTest. This was a light-hearted paper-based survey that allowed the student (or staff member) to find out how digital literate they were in a number of different areas. More information on iTest is available on Exeter’s Collaborate blog. The survey is available under a Creative Commons licence and at Newman we decided to see if we could convert this into an electronic version.
What we wanted was a version that would run on computer screens, tablets and phones.
We also wanted it to be customisable so that the administrator could easily change the question wording if they wanted and also change the feedback so that they could point students to resources particular to the institution it is being used in.
I’m not doing any of this work myself but have coerced/encouraged two colleagues – Peter Chapman and Mohammed Rehman in our IT Dept to put something together.
There was much discussion early on about whether the student should register first so that we could save the results in a database, but in the end we haven’t taken this route. The app can be used without inputting personal information. We can’t harvest the results (this was achieved in the Exeter version by the student completing an extra piece of paper recording their name and score and handing it in) but we feel it will still be a valuable tool in Freshers’ week to raise awareness of the Digital Literacy support on offer.
We’re not ready to release the app yet (lots more testing has to be done on different devices) but it’s on the way and will, of course, be released under Create Commons licence. More to come.