How do we ensure that students at our liberal arts institutions are prepared to be effective in their chosen fields of pursuit both immediately after graduation and throughout their lives and careers?
We know that students come into our colleges and universities with uneven access to technology and uneven awareness of how to work with data and digital tools, yet we know that digital fluency, including the ability to learn new technologies as needed, is a critical factor for success in scholarship, professional work, and life in the 21 st century. Our programs must therefore scaffold students’ development of critical digital literacies, foster their awareness of their emerging capabilities, and ensure they gain the ability to articulate their competencies in compelling ways to a range of audiences.
At Bryn Mawr College, we have developed a digital competencies framework aligned with liberal arts values and practices, including reflection, critical thinking, communication, and the metacognitive skills of learning how to learn, being able to assess what tools and skills are needed in a particular context, helping a team to bring a project to fruition, and understanding how to draw on resources to support agile development of new capabilities. Our program focuses on connecting students with rich curricular and co-curricular opportunities to learn core concepts related to the digital world, to build capabilities through hands-on experience and reflect on what they’re learning, and to develop confident ways of sharing their knowledge and skills with others.
In this presentation, I’ll share how we’ve invested as an institution in building a student- centered Digital Competencies Program, and I look forward to exploring with all of you how facets of this framework might connect with your institutional contexts and digital literacy program goals.