Using Undergraduates' Digital Literacy Skills to Improve Their Discipline-Specific Writing: A Dialogue

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International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, ISSN: 1931-4744, Vol: 6, Issue: 2, Page: 5

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November, Nancy; Day, Karen
Georgia Southern University
Academic writing; Digital literacy; Educational design research; Educational technology; E-learning
article description
As two lecturers from quite different disciplines—Population Health and Musicology—we faced a common instructional challenge: how to improve the standard of student writing in our first-year courses for non-majors, and thus to invite our students into the discourses of our disciplines. We collaborated in the design of a sequence of online writing assignments for our separate courses, which would address this question. We were inspired by the high-level digital literacy skills of our students, which we sought to use in similar ways to improve the students’ other literacy skills, especially disciplinespecific writing skills. Drawing on educational design research methodology, we took into account our own experiences with e-learning in our previous courses and the latest literature on e-learning and literacy development. The outcomes of our research are guidelines for teachers of writing across undergraduate disciplines, and reflections on how best to mobilize students’ digital literacy skills to educational ends.