An Open Educational Resource to develop digital literacy skills for employability in the life and health sciences through a staff-student partnership

A presentation from the STEM Annual Conference 2014.

Students appreciate the importance of developing their digital skills and competencies for efficient and effective learning; they also recognise the key role digital literacy has in enhancing their employability. Funding was received from the Higher Education Academy to work with students to develop an Open Educational Resource (OER) that supports the development of digital literacies. The OER has been designed to support students in the exploration of career options and opportunities for Life and Health Science graduates. These graduates have a wide range of career options available to them which can be broadly categorised into careers that directly use the skills and knowledge developed in the degree (laboratory or hospital based careers), options that use science knowledge but require further professional development (e.g. teaching, scientific journalism, regulatory affairs) and options that use the transferable skills developed through their degree programme and apply them to a different sector (e.g. finance, marketing, IT etc.). The OER provides information on the key skills required for employment in various sectors, and prompts students to recognise and evidence their existing attributes and identify areas for development, furthermore it equips them to articulate their experiences and skills to employers. Embedded in these activities is the use of digital literacies including: information gathering, evaluation and sharing; critical analysis of online information, reflection, planning and self-presentation, promoting awareness of ‘digital identity’ and the production of podcasts and / or other media-rich content. In this presentation students will provide an insight into their motivation for getting involved in the project, an overview of the project development, and a demonstration of the resource.