Digital Dexterity on #AusLibChat, 3/8/2021 9-10pm AEST

The Digital Dexterity Community of Practice was recently approached by the Australian Library and Information Association’s New Generation Advisory Committee (ALIA NGAC) to participate in their August Twitter chat #AusLibChat which will focus on digital dexterity. This opportunity to shine a light on all things digital dexterity and connect with library professionals in the Twitterverse was an opportunity we could not refuse! We hope you can join us on Tuesday 3 August 2021, 9-10pm AEST!

To find out more about this upcoming Twitter chat, the questions that will be posed and to learn about how it works, head over to the ALIA Students and New Graduates blog.

ALIA NGAC promotional banner for the #AusLibChat for 3 August 2021

Digitally Dexterous Approaches to Microlearning

Keith Heggart, Lecturer in Learning Design, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney. Keith.Heggart@uts.edu.au  @keithheggart  

The rise of microlearning

If you’ve had anything to do with university teaching and learning in the last two years, you’ve probably been caught up in discussions about remote and emergency online learning, blended learning and similar topics. Central to many of these discussions is the need to craft engaging learning experiences for students. That’s where microlearning (Hug, 2007) comes in. You’ve probably already seen materials created using tools like Genial.ly, Quizlet or H5P- these can all be examples of this growing phenomenon.

More and more of us have access to powerful mobile devices. One way we use them is to consume ‘bite-sized’ chunks of knowledge. Torgerson (2021) describes this as a grass roots approach to learning, which is gradually moving from our personal lives (for example, YouTube videos on how to unblock a sink might be an example of microlearning) into workplace learning programs, and now, into the school and tertiary education sectors.

This is partially in response to the lack of time many people face in their day to day lives – such as the ‘sandwich generation’ (Miller, 1981). This is already causing many universities to rethink how they might offer courses to people engaged in full time work as well as caring responsibilities. It is also in response to what Torgerson (2021) describes as our desire to remain in contact with each other: social connectedness, which is facilitated through mobile technologies and especially social media.

What is microlearning? One of the most common definitions of microlearning is Khan’s (2019, p. 276)

“Microlearning can be viewed as a single objective‑focused, outcome‑based, stand‑alone, meaningful, and interactive learning unit delivered in bite-sized snippets (i.e., a short modular format) either digitally (i.e., via computer, tablet, or mobile phone) or non-digitally (i.e., as via a flashcard or booklet).”

While the exact definition of microlearning is still debated, there are some principles common to much of the discussion. Firstly, microlearning is short. Thalheimer (2017) calls it a short engagement in a learning related activity, and this follows on from Kapp and Defelice’s (2019) definition that it is a short engagement instructional unit. Of course, this begs the question: how short is short? Some have suggested that it should be less than half an hour. For Torgerson (2021), it’s 5 minutes or less – but best measured by the question: ‘Would you give up time in your day to learn this?’ If the answer’s yes, then that’s an example of microlearning.

There are some significant benefits to this bottom-up approach to microlearning. Malamed (n.d.) suggests that it’s a form of informal learning, but the benefit of microlearning is that it is ‘like riding a bike: the rider chooses the destination, the speed and the route’. This is the personalisation aspect of microlearning. There are some other factors that contribute to the benefits of microlearning: because of its brevity, it needs to be focused on being both efficient and effective. This is also a potential drawback, of course. Not everything taught at university might be suitable for microlearning. Rather, it’s up to the educator to think carefully about what might be leveraged into a microlearning opportunity. In addition, microlearning has the benefit of repeatability and scalability – one object can be watched many times, and it can be shared with 10, 100 or even 1000 students with no more effort than sharing it with one.

Six best practices for designing microlearning

So how can educators make use of microlearning? Fortunately, much of what we know about good examples of microlearning already conforms to our understanding of best practice approaches to teaching and learning. Perhaps this is not that surprising; after all, micro teaching has been a staple of many courses for a long time. As you would imagine, microlearning relies heavily on the use of technology and multimedia assets, and thus Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning (2005) is pertinent. In particular, the following ideas are worth keeping in mind:

  • Be very clear about what the purpose of the microlearning is, and how learners will achieve this through the learning process.
  • Include images, rather than having only written representations in microlearning objects.
  • These images should add to or help explain the information presented, not distract from it.
  • Make use of automated feedback  – but make the feedback descriptive!
  • Make it clear how users can interact with the microlearning object through careful design of elements like buttons and links.
  • Show ways that students are progressing through the learning such as percentage completed (from Tufan, 2021).

References

Hug, T. (2007). Didactics of microlearning. Waxmann Verlag.

Kapp, K. M., & Defelice, R. A. (2019). Microlearning: Short and sweet. American Society for Training and Development.

Khan, B. H. (2019). Microlearning: Quick and meaningful snippets for training solutions. International Journal of Research in Educational Sciences.(IJRES), 2(2), 275-284.

Malamed, C. (n.d). Informal Learning: An interview with Jay Cross. http://theeleanringcoach.com/elearning2-0/informal-learning-an-intervew-with-jay-cross

Mayer, R. E. (2005). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning. The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning, 41, 31-48.

Miller, D. (1981). The ‘Sandwich’ Generation: Adult Children of the Aging. Social Work 26, 419–423.

Thalheimer, W. (2017). Definition of microLearning.

www.worklearning.com/2017/01/13/definition-of-microlearning/

Tufan, D. (2021). Multimedia Design Principles for Microlearning. In Microlearning in the Digital Age (pp. 58-79). Routledge.


The Digital Skills GitBook project: creating an open-source online guide for researchers and the broader academic community

By Dr Sara King, Training and Engagement Lead, AARNet (Australia’s Academic & Research Network); and members of the GitBook project group

It is of critical importance that publicly funded institutions create open knowledge that is available to everyone. So we’re embarking on an adventure to create the Digital Skills GitBook. It will be a living, open-source online guide to ‘modern not-quite-technical computer skills’ for researchers, library staff, and academics, ideally written in a way that will be accessible for everyone. In the spirit of Open Science, the contents of the book are being created so that they will be accessible to all levels of an inquiring society; amateur or professional.  

A figurine of an oktokat in the center, in the background a laptop with the main page of the GitHub open.
Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash

CAUL’s Digital Dexterity Champions and their communities have set out to create an online book using static web technology on the GitBook platform. Utilising the connected GitHub notification system, creators and users can submit content, flag issues, and ask questions related to the format and the content via GitHub. The continuing maintenance of the book, to adapt to the ever-changing requirements for updates, is designed to encourage participation as an essential part of the process of creating a truly community-created resource.   

Our progress so far:

  • We submitted a proposal to CAUL with the help of their new Director of Strategy & Analytics, Kate Davis. They approved our project brief and we were launched.  
  • We attended ARDC GitHub training – on Zoom! This was a 3.5-hour workshop where our patient instructors, Matthias and Liz, showed us how to create a repository, how to edit our GitBook ‘from the back end’ in GitHub, and how to make sure that we shared all of our adventures with each other in one space.  
  • We created a test private GitHub repository and GitBook – sharing recipes, recording our steps as we went. This is a place where we could experiment and fail, and help each other.  We learned some important lessons here without damaging our main project! For example – don’t delete branches …  

How we are collaborating:

  • Members from WA all the way to NZ attend fortnightly meetings over Zoom to discuss our progress, barriers, workarounds, and how we can spread the word to our wider communities. 
  • We are making the most of a wide variety of systems and channels to keep track of our progress – Slack, Teams, CloudStor, GitHub issues log, and email.  This is extending our capabilities in digital communication, collaboration and participation – together with stretching our brains! 

Still to come:

  • We have SO MANY new concepts to learn – slugs, merges, pull requests, static web technology… it’s exciting!  
  • We are creating our strategy and content plan, and developing a chapter outline (one idea is to use CAUL’s Digital Dexterity Framework categories as chapter headings to make it relevant for our library communities). 
  • We’re even planning to present at VALA 2022! 
  • We want to extend the project beyond the Digital Dexterity Champions network, to others in our library and university communities. 

This project is part of our own push towards Digital Dexterity and using some of the attributes outlined in the framework, such as agility, collaboration and creativity, in order to produce a useful resource for our broader communities and their own Digital Dexterity. If we get it right, it’ll be a win-win! 

If you are interested in learning more about the Digital Skills GitBook project, please contact sara.king@aarnet.edu.au

Digital Dexterity Educators: a platform to share digital dexterity resources

By Kelly George, Academic and Research Librarian, Charles Darwin University Library

Ever needed some inspiration, a quick activity, or a handy infographic?

Where do you go to look for activities, lesson plans, handouts, and anything else related to the teaching and learning of digital dexterity?

As library professionals, many of us in the Digital Dexterity (DigiDex) Champions network use OER repositories like Merlot and OER Commons to get ideas and supplement our teaching materials. However, with the development of the Champions network we wanted to encourage the sharing of our own resources, relevant to our context, and to raise the profile of the work that we do as educators in the Australian and New Zealand tertiary sector.

Which platform?

There was no one place already established where we could easily find and share resources. We asked ourselves: what features do we need in a resource sharing platform? What is most important to the Champions network?

One of the most important things that emerged was openness – you wouldn’t need a log in to browse or download the resources, and it would be accessible to anyone, not just the Champions network.

In fact, we developed a long list of desired features and set forth to identify the platform that best matched our needs. OER Commons came out on top, with its ethos of Explore. Create. Collaborate, and it enabled easy upload, licensing, tagging, and version history. ISKME (the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education) designed OER Commons to be much more than a simple online repository of OER; it is also a collaboration and teaching platform and aims to involve educators in a sustainable culture of sharing and continuous improvement.

The Digital Dexterity Educators group

You may already be aware of OER Commons, but what you may not know is that we have created a group on the platform which gathers together relevant resources for the Australian and New Zealand tertiary sector. We can also add to the group any resources already published on OER Commons that we think useful. To become a member of the group and to upload or add a resource, you do need to create an account, but this is a simple process. On the OER Commons website, click on the Sign in/Register button as indicated by the first arrow in the below image.

Screenshot from www.oercommons.org of the top menu banner to indicate with two arrows and corresponding text boxes where to 1. click to register for an account and where to 2. click to search for groups on the website

Find the Digital Dexterity Educators group, and others, by clicking on groups (as indicated by the second arrow in the image above) and then see all groups (in the ellipse in the below image). For a quick search, try popping our tag, MyDigiDex, into the search box to find resources added by the DigiDex Champions. You can also search for Digital Dexterity Educators to find us (second image below).

Screenshot from www.oercommons.org of the top menu banner to indicate with an ellipse where to click to search for groups on the website
Screenshot from www.oercommons.org to indicate with an arrow where to search for 'Digital Dexterity Educators' in Groups on the website

After clicking on the Digital Dexterity Educators group, anyone involved or interested in promoting digital dexterity can join the group so please go ahead, explore the site, and add yourself as a member (see image below).

Screenshot from https://www.oercommons.org/groups/digital-dexterity-educators/5554/ to indicate with an ellipse where to join the 'Digital Dexterity Educators' group on the website

Here’s a taste of what you’ll find posted in the group: from Curtin University Library, we have the comprehensive 23 Things for Digital Knowledge; from Queensland University of Technology Library, the in-depth modules of AIRS – Advanced Information Research Skills, and from Griffith University Library, the handy digital dexterity tool designed for self-assessment.

Share and share alike

A vital feature of the platform is the ability to assign a Creative Commons (CC) licence. Adding a CC licence to a resource enables us to reuse, adapt, and share resources without having to ask permission. If you are creating resources, or adapting existing resources, consider sharing them with your community of fellow educators. The process for adding or uploading a resource is easy—contact your DigiDex Champion, or leave a comment in this blog post, if you have any questions at all.

Image depicting the CC BY SA licence logo

We recommend assigning a CC BY SA license to your resource whenever possible—find the Guidelines for Licensing Learning Objects for Re-use with Creative Commons on the Digital Dexterity Educators group.

Maybe you could set this as your ‘digital dexterity’-goal for 2021. Let’s see how many resources we can share by December!

So get creative, review your copyright literacy, and start adding resources to the Digital Dexterity Educators group on OER Commons.

Note: All screenshots are from OER Commons where the content is licensed under CC BY NC SA 4.0

Building a digital skill set with Aus GLAM Blogs

By Hugh Rundle, Manager, Digital Innovation, La Trobe University Library

Several years ago I created an aggregator service for blogs by Australasian GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) workers. Initially this was a simple Twitter bot, but later I built a web application that eventually allowed blog authors to register their blog, and readers to search by keyword, browse by tag, or subscribe to new posts via RSS or directly into their Pocket list, including the ability to filter out content they may be less interested in. If you’re interested in what Australian librarians are thinking and talking about, this is now a useful place to look.

One of the obvious questions for people wanting to start independently learning computer programming skills is where to start. The best advice I was ever given was to start by working on a real project you want to see exist, or contributing to an existing project you like. Aus GLAM Blogs was one my first “real” coding projects. I had unsuccessfully tried to teach myself some kind of computer programming for a couple of years, but it didn’t “stick” until I had something tangible to work on. Having a real life project to work on – especially one that was operating in public – really helped provide an incentive and focus to develop and practice the skills I needed to complete the job. The first version was quite rudimentary – a simple text file of manually-entered RSS feed URLs, some JavaScript loops, and a Twitter account back in the days when Twitter API keys were very easy to obtain within a couple of minutes. It barely worked at all, but it was something I thought would be helpful to bridge the gap between library bloggers looking for an audience and Library Twitter looking for good local content.

Last year I wrote about re-building Aus GLAM Blogs from scratch when I had developed more knowledge and skills. Developing the app in incremental stages meant that it wasn’t completely overwhelming. This sort of project-based learning approach can be used in many contexts, but is particularly useful when building your digital skills. Creating a web application meant I needed to host it somewhere, which led to learning about Linux server management. Gradually increasing the scope of the application led to developing an understanding of how databases and software applications interact. Re-writing the entire thing led me to consider problems of data normalisation and to what extent it is useful and acceptable.

Scaffolding my own learning like this has enabled me to slowly build a technical skillset around computer programming and server management, and think more deeply about the sort of data management questions colleagues working with library metadata have to deal with every day. I will never consider myself an “expert” in coding or server administration, but through a personal project I’ve been able to build my knowledge over time. For a while this was simply to amuse myself, but I now find myself in a library job where these skills are really useful and help me to look at problems in a different way.

Your own interests may be different. Perhaps you want to be able to make animated videos, or build your own computer from parts, or fancy being the in-house Excel macro expert. If you’ve been telling yourself that you’re “just not a technical person” or you will “never be able to do it”, I don’t believe you. The trick is to find some small projects – ideally personal ones where there are few consequences of failure – and work on them because you’re interested in the actual thing you are making. It’s surprising how much you can learn “accidentally” just by focussing on what you want to create rather than on the skills themselves. Then, simply increase your ambition for the next project, and the next one, and the next one.

Oh, and don’t forget to share it in a blog post so the rest of the library world can share your learning journey!

Being digitally copyright dextrous?

By Anthony O’Brien, Copyright Advisor, University of Newcastle Library

Cartoon image of a man with a speech bubble, containing a copyright icon

This is the first post in a planned series that will look at considerations for copyright as part of being digitally dextrous.  

When you download or use something from the web, do you actually stop to think about who owns the copyright and how you can use it?  It’s fair to say that most people don’t, and this can lead to issues later. 

But content on the web is in the public domain, right?

There’s a big difference between being publicly available and actual ‘Public Domain’ (capital letters) in terms of copyright.  Just because you can access it for free, doesn’t mean that the copyright owner will allow you to take it and use it however or wherever you like… [insert sad face here] 

Being copyright literate

When we have conversations around digital dexterity, things like ‘media literacy’ and ‘information literacy’ are usually included, but the considerations rarely extend to copyright literacy.  After all, if someone were going to, for example, remix content, true digital dexterity should also mean that they would understand what they could then do with that remixed content.  This is where a basic level of copyright literacy becomes just as important as the more recognised elements of digital dexterity. 

‘Fair use’ versus ‘fair dealing’

Part of the issue is misunderstandings around how copyright works internationally – there isn’t one system worldwide.  When users search for copyright information online, it’s inevitably something about ‘fair use’ that they find.  As Frank Ponte noted in his post on OER, ‘fair use’ is part of U.S. copyright law and is different to legislation we have here.  ‘Fair use’ tends to be broader in its application than the Australian version, ‘fair dealing’, which can cause problems.

So where can I start?

  • Look at where you’re taking your digital resources from and their potential usage issues.  Can you find appropriately-licensed alternatives (e.g. Creative Commons)? 
  • Include information on copyright and its application/s in your instruction modules and training sessions; 
  • Reach out to your institution’s copyright person and collaborate!  They might be nice (maybe definitely) and will most likely be keen to get the word out; 
  • Look out for other posts coming in this series.  Plans include images, video, music, etc., but if there’s something you’d like to see, please let us know. 

Keywords: copyright ; Creative Commons;  digital resources; fair dealing; fair use; licensing ; literacies

Eight essential elements of digital literacy

By Professor Jo Coldwell-Neilson is an ALT Fellow and Associate Dean, Teaching & Learning, Faculty of Science, Engineering & Built Environment, Deakin University jo.coldwell@deakin.edu.au

Article first posted in Campus Morning Mail , May 2nd 2021 – reposted with permission.

Digital literacy needs to grow and be nurtured. It needs to be scaffolded through learning. And, ultimately, it needs to be fit-for-purpose

As society responds to the impact of Industry 4.0, the need to have sound digital literacy skills, and the confidence to grow them, has become an essential professional skill for all graduates.

Students need to develop a digital mind-set, regardless of what direction their careers take. This involves being flexible and adaptable, particularly in the context of using digital technologies to support their learning, – technologies which will continue to change and develop.

Digital literacy needs to grow and be nurtured. It needs to be scaffolded through learning. And, ultimately, it needs to be fit-for-purpose. Importantly, it is a mindset and an attitude, not just a skill set. Improving digital capabilities is enabled through ongoing, contextualised, digital literacy development activities that are integrated into discipline learning.

Essential elements of a modern understanding of digital literacy include

  • an understanding of how digital technologies work;
  • confidence in using these technologies;
  • the agility and flexibility to engage with and negotiate a rapidly changing digital environment
  • skills to understand the modern media world to enable critical engagement with the environment
  • skills to recognise when information may not be reliable at best or fake at worst
  • skills and capabilities to be a responsible digital global citizen
  • skills in ethical judgement about emerging dilemmas arising from digitally mediated interactions in the digital world; and
  • skills and capabilities to harness the power of digital technology for the betterment of self, community, and the world we live in.

In other words:

Digital literacy is the ability to identify and use technology confidently, creatively, and critically to effectively meet the demands and challenges of living, learning, and working in a digital society.


Jo’s website, Decoding Digital Literacy, provides information about digital literacy and links to publications produced through the Fellowship work.

ALTF 2019 Legacy Report is here

Introducing the original Blog Group

 Some of our working group members have left us, so to make sure they don’t go unsung, we have put this post together as an introduction and, in some cases, a farewell … 

Ana Shah HosseaniInformation Services Librarian, University of Technology Sydney 

Ana’s creativity, strong teamwork skills, and willingness to give new things a good go is serving the blog group really well. She has sourced some very interesting blog posts since the inception of the blog, especially the coordination of the 23 things blog post by Karen Miller. Unfortunately, Ana will be leaving the group shortly to pursue other avenues at her workplace.  

Christopher Hart, Griffith University 

Christopher sadly left the Digital Dexterity Network earlier in 2021 for new ventures.  

Danielle Degiorgio (Kong), Digital & Information Literacy Project Adviser, Edith Cowan University 

I joined the group due to my interest in LibGuides and web design, but I felt I lacked experience in blogs. I am hoping to expand my knowledge about methods of digital communication and learn how to better connect ideas with people. I like working in this group because it’s always interesting to see new innovative ways to interact with the world, what people are doing, and we get to know firsthand what’s happening in the digital space.  

Emily Pyers, Library Website and Systems Officer, Federation University 

Emily left the working group in April 2021, after defecting to the dark side (public libraries).  She’s gone on to lead the Engagement and Digital Services team at Melton City Library, putting some of the mad skills she’s learned through working with Champions Group to use! 

She says: 

“I joined the Engagement Group because I think communicating the value of Digital Dexterity, as well as sharing our knowledge with other library professionals is what it’s all about!  My favourite DigiDex thing is the emphasis on building complementary skill sets like collaboration and creativity to support problem-solving – being digitally dexterous isn’t just about being technically literate” 

Kristy Newton, Digital Literacies Coordinator, University of Wollongong 

Kristy is a recent addition to the blog editorial team. With her creativity and previous experience of blogging she is invaluable to the group.  

Lyn Torres, Monash University 

After assisting to establish the blog, Lyn took a step back from the group in early 2021 in order to focus on other work commitments.  

Ruth CameronCoordinator, Digital Library Programs, The University of Newcastle 

I joined the Engagement Group because I needed ideas on how to promote Digital Dexterity to library staff, university staff, students … and I stayed because the group is AWESOME.  Not only did we manage to launch our blog in time for the first day of the virtual Digidex Festival in February 2021, we keep track of scheduled posts, we edit, we format, we toss ideas around, and generally keep things ticking over.   

My favourite DigiDex thing is, believe it or not, the working groups.  You get to meet amazingly generous people who have phenomenal ideas and then put the work in to implement them.  You can contribute in heaps of different ways – I think one of the first things I did was to take notes in meetings! 

Sara Davidsson, Member Services Coordinator, CAVAL 

As part of my work at CAVAL I assist in facilitating the CAUL Digital Dexterity Network. I love this particular working group for sharing lots of interesting stuff about Digital Dexterity and, in them doing so, providing very valuable food for thought in the area. 

What I like most about DigiDex is the confidence you get from hearing about new things/tools etc., trying them for yourself, and learning how they work and how you can use them in your work and daily life. It is also great to be able to share this with our network.  

Simone Tyrell, Liaison Librarian, Deakin University 

I joined the working group as a way to get more involved in the DigiDex Champion group as a whole. I already had some experience with blogs, having created and currently managing a blog for my team at work, so thought this was the perfect group to get involved in.  

I really enjoy this working group and the people in it. Being part of a smaller working group is a really great way to get know members from other institutions and less intimidating than the bigger meetings. We have a really dynamic and enthusiastic bunch of people. Not only do we get to coordinate, create and share some really interesting pieces to our DigiDex community and learn new things, but we have a lot fun while we do it.  

The team are always looking for ideas and contributors for posts. If you would like to contribute please email us at DigitalDexterityBlog DigitalDexterityBlog@caval.edu.au

Enabling high-quality, scalable and consistent design: supporting library staff through a library design system

By Sarah Fennelly, Digital Designer, Deakin University Library

Our problem

Deakin University Library’s Digital Experience (DX) team is charged with delivering high-quality, consistent and scalable digital solutions across a range of library platforms and channels. However, we found ourselves with multiple challenges in delivering good on this:

  • There wasn’t a library-specific design reference for our developers, designers and digital content managers to help them manage consistency of look, feel and functionality across our digital library ecosystem, and to maintain accessibility, brand and design standards.
  • We often ‘reinvented the wheel’ when it came to digital design; library staff presented with differing design requests and needs, and the DX team often ended up creating bespoke designs to accommodate this.
  • At other times, librarians created their own design elements with little or no input from the DX team, and with limited understanding of design best practice, accessibility and brand requirements.

Our Solution

Our solution was to create the Library Design System (LDS), a website that provides the source of truth for library-specific design elements used across our digital ecosystem. The LDS references and extends upon existing university-wide design guidelines and tool kits to provide targeted and more library-focussed design direction.

The LDS is divided into two main areas:

  • Referencing guide for the library’s professional designers, developers and content managers to use across web interfaces and systems.
  • Design assets and templates created to specifically help librarians and library staff without professional design expertise.

Referencing guide

The sections used predominantly by the professional design, developers and content managers are:

  • Components: These are a selection of interface elements that can be reused across the library’s digital ecosystem. These elements include buttons, colour, forms, grids, headers and footers, logos, navigation, tables and typography.
  • Interface inventory: A table that identifies library systems, platforms, products and applications with a student and/or researcher interface.

Design assets and templates

The sections used to help librarians and library staff without professional design expertise are:

Deakin Library page showing example of characters and graphics that can be used. character posing in different postions, with both professional and student attire and with different versions of character.
  • Characters: A suit of characters developed to represent our Deakin cohort.Graphics: Multiple sets of library and faculty specific graphics.
  • Graphics: Multiple sets of library and faculty specific graphics.
screenshot of various graphics available to be used from the learning design team.
  • Iconography: Currently 189 icons in branded accessible colours in both SVG and PNG formats.
  • Templates: D2L banners, photographs and the advanced search graphic.   
  • Print: Deakin printer details.
example of scenes with 4 steps.
Step 1 adding background
step 2 add second layer image (information desk)
step 3 add third layer image (bookshelf)
step 4 add fourth layer image (couch)
  • Scenes: A series of PNG graphics that staff can use to build their own images or scenes, by layering the graphics in provided H5P, PowerPoint or Adobe Illustrator templates.
  • Video and audio: Deakin branded top and tail videos, videos created by the DX team, in conjunction with the library Learning and Teaching team and the library communications manager.

The future

The LDS is not a ‘set and forget’ resource; it will continue to adapt as a design resource to support all library staff. We will continue to maintain, update and grow the LDS to reflect changing university and library brand needs and changes in the library’s complex digital ecosystem.

Good design is imperative in our complex digital ecosystem. Design that reduces cognitive load through visual and functional consistency, allows our students to focus on learning and understanding the course content we deliver.

By Sarah Fennelly, Digital Designer, Deakin University Library, s.mccormick@deakin.edu.au

Five ways to advocate and promote OERs within your own institution.

By Frank Ponte AALIA (CP) Academic/Research, Manager, Library Services (Teaching), RMIT University Library, frank.ponte@rmit.edu.au 

There are many ways to engage with open educational resources (OERs).  Start your journey with these five easy steps.

1. Understand the language of OER: 

Open: Free to share adapt or modify.  
Free: Free to access but not necessarily allowed to share adapt or modify. 
Fair use: An American phrase that permits limited use of material for educational purposes in the United States. In Australia, we are bound by several educational licenses set out within the Copyright Act 1968. 
Public Domain: Works that are publicly available because intellectual property rights have expired or been forfeited. 
All Rights Reserved: Copyright holder reserves, or holds for their own use, all the rights provided by copyright law.  

2. Badge:
Badge your content with a CC license and host it on a shareable platform.  By doing so we: 

  • contribute to the Creative Commons worldwide repository. 
  • increase our professional connections and reach through attribution. 
  • build a large collection of locally created and customisable content. 
  • have access to a broader selection of adaptable materials  
  • streamline our workflows. 

Speak to your Digital Dexterity champion at your institution to discuss hosting your
       creative commons licensed content on a shareable platform.  

3. Share: 
Librarians have an entrenched ethos of sharing. Become experts at curating OER content and sharing your original and remixed resources.  
textbookscoursescourse materialsInteractive simulationspublic domain booksaudiobooksmodulesopen access booksvideospodcastslearning objectsprimary resources  
 
Use Metafinders to help uncover materials quickly.  
Here are some shareable materials from RMIT University Library.  
 

4. Collaborate, Customise & Co-Create: 
Here are some examples: 
 
Customise – Remix an OER by adding your original content with adapted content for your audience. Example: Social Science Research: Principles, Methods and Practices (Revised edition) is an Australian University remixed textbook that has modified the original work to include editing and formatting changes and the inclusion of content in Chapter 16 to describe the Australian context. 
 
Make OERs culturally specific: Localise content to an Australian audience. It can be as simple as using Australian names and places or using local case studies.  
Example: A Charles Darwin University academic teaching Cultural Capability has added four case study chapters written by students. 

Co-create content with your students. Robin De Rosa, a Plymouth State University Professor built an open anthology with her students that is now free to access. 

5. Celebrate Your Success by 
Sharing a new OER resource with the world. 
Mapping student financial savings
Demonstrating impact

RMIT University Library host the Open Textbook Initiative and is interested in highlighting student textbook affordability by building a student savings bank when academic staff adopt an OER textbook in their teaching. This initiative is open to all Universities to participate. Tell us if you are using and OER Textbook in your teaching practice by filling in this form.  

If you’re interested in reading more on OER, have a look at this recently published article by Frank Ponte, Anne Lennox and Jennifer Hurly.

The Evolution of the Open Textbook Initiative. https://doi.org/10.1080/24750158.2021.1883819