Digital literacies in the lives of undergraduate students: Exploring personal and curricular spheres of practice

Jones, Sylvia and Lea, Mary R. (2008). Digital literacies in the lives of undergraduate students: Exploring personal and curricular spheres of practice. Electronic Journal of E-Learning, 6(3) pp. 207–216.

URL: http://www.ejel.org/Volume-6/v6-i3/v6-i3-art-6.htm

Abstract

This paper reports on the initial findings from the ESRC project, Digital Literacies in Higher Education. This project offers a complementary perspective to much of the research on e-learning and student learning in a digital age. Rather than foregrounding the technological applications and their associated affordances, its focus is on texts and practices and textual engagements in digital environments. We are attempting to unpack what kinds of things students do with texts and technologies, both in and outside the curriculum and in those spheres where the personal and the curriculum overlap. Early findings are suggesting that the intermingling of institutional and academic textual requirements and issues of student identity and personal affiliation come together to shape the textual interactions of students and their engagement in digital literacies. Evidence suggests that students actively discriminate between different contexts for writing and create conscious demarcations between personal and curricula spheres of activity and practice. These findings suggest that students make their own decisions about the texts they produce, where and how, and showing a lack of willingness to blur the boundaries between the personal and curricula spheres in any meaningful way in their learning.

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