Topic outline

  • Module 1: Digital Fundamentals

    This is the 1st  module of the Academic Digital Fluency course.


    Module Description

    Digital literacies are those capabilities that are necessary for an individual living, learning and working in a digital society (JISC, 2014). The use of digital technologies has become integral to every aspect of daily routines, including teaching and learning processes and academic administration. Accordingly, academic staff need to be digitally literate to work competently in this rapidly growing area. This module aims to provide skills, knowledge, and understanding of how to work in your digital environment in an academic context, and to enhance your skills to efficiently, critically, creatively, and safely work with digital technologies in your daily academic routine.

    The first topic reminds us of basic computer concepts and operations. We then move on to internet fundamentals, which covers recommended techniques of searching for information, and introduces useful web-based applications. The third topic concerns making good use of your virtual learning environment, using Moodle as an example. Then we explore the fundamentals of multimedia, with the aim of developing the necessary skills to create and introduce engaging resources for your students. In the final topic, you have the opportunity to practice editing digital media.

    Learning Outcomes  

    Upon completing this module, learners are expected to have developed skills and knowledge related to:

    • Using a range of basic and emerging digital technologies and devices in academic duties;
    • Digital editing and reviewing techniques for digital documents;
    • Making use of available internet functions and web applications, social networks, communication tools, and search engines to facilitate academic work.
    • Efficient usage of the features, functionality, potential, and benefits of a Virtual Learning Environment.
    • Demonstrating an ability to use freely available digital multimedia applications in developing, processing, and presenting information.


      Your facilitators for this course are: <Hyperlink facilitator/s names to their Moodle Profile>

      <Example of a welcoming video from the facilitator> 

    • Introduction

      The aim of this module is to enable academics to grasp the concepts and operations of computers, and use them efficiently. It identifies and discusses the components of computer systems, how they are organised to perform specific tasks, the different types of computing devices, and emerging technologies and techniques in efficiently operating digital devices. Computer components are divided into two major categories, specifically: hardware and software. Academics today use different types of digital devices, among them desktops; laptops; handheld devices, such as smartphones; and tablets. Selecting which device to use depends on the tasks that need to be accomplished. These different computers operate via diverse technologies; hence the interaction and compatibility between different operating systems is an important consideration. This topic provides basic knowledge of computer technologies, and hence enhances the individual’s ability to use them efficiently in daily activities

      Objectives

      Upon completion of this unit, you are expected to be able to;

          • Describe range of digital devices, that is computers, and their usage in academia;
          • Identify the main functions of digital devices, specifically computer hardware;
          • Identify types of computers and their various forms;
          • Use emerging technologies for the task at hand;
          • Demonstrate the uses of educational computer programs;
          • Describe types of productivity programs and their use; and
          • Manage files and folders
    • Introduction

      This topic introduces the individual to various internet-related technologies used daily for communication and research. You will be guided on how to use internet technologies and their applications in daily academic activities.

      The internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that links several billion devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, from local to global scope, which are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the world wide web (www), the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks for file-sharing and telephony. (Wikipedia, 2014)

      Unlike online web services, which are centrally controlled, the internet is decentralised by design. Each internet-connected host computer is independent, but may be mirrored in different parts of the world. Its operators can choose which internet services to use, and which local services to make available to the global internet community. For individual access, it is usual to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP), be it via a mobile smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop (Webopeida, n.d.).

      Objectives

      At the end of this topic you should be able to

          • Describe internet technology;
          • Identify types of internet connections;
          • Search for reliable information on the web;
          • Describe features of social networks;
          • Identify and describe internet applications; and
          • Identify internet ethics and security issues
    • Introduction

      This Unit enables the individual to identify various internet related technologies used for daily means of communications and research. It provides the ability to utilize internet technologies and their applications in daily academician activities.

      Internet is known as a global system of interconnected computer networks that link several billion devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. (Wikipedia, 2014)

      The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), the infrastructure to support email, and peer-to-peer networks for file sharing and telephony.

      Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well. There are a variety of ways to access the Internet. Most online services offer access to some Internet services. It is also possible to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).

      Objectives

      Upon completion of this section, you are expected to be able to;

      • Describe internet technology
      • Identify type of internet connections,
      • Search for reliable information on the web,
      • Describe Features of social networks
      • Demonstrate methods of communications
      • Identify and describe internet applications
      • Identify internet Ethics and security issues
    • Introduction

      Following the emergence of the internet in the early 1990s, many new tools and products have been developed to exploit its benefits fully. Since the mid-1990s the education community software products labelled Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) or Learning Management Systems (LMS) have appeared with the aim of supporting learning and teaching activities across the internet. (Ramsden, 2014)

      Commercial VLEs has been currently used in education such as Blackboard, WebCT, Lotus Learning Space, and COSE, other open source VLEs systems are also used for the same. Most of these systems are intended not simply to reproduce the classroom environment -‘on-line’, but also to use the technology to provide learners with new tools to facilitate their learning. (O'Leary, 2002)

      They aim to accommodate a wider range of learning styles and goals, to encourage collaborative and resource-based learning and to allow greater sharing and re-use of resources.

      Objectives

      • Upon completion of this section, you are expected to be able to;
      • Describe Virtual learning Environment
      • Identify and describe features of Virtual learning Environment
      • Identify social features in Virtual learning Environment
      • Use of Virtual learning Environment
    • Introduction

      Multimedia is described as a means that uses variety media to convey information.  These variety media sometimes are known as multimedia elements which include text, audio, graphic, animation, video and interactivity. The elements can be integrated by the control of computer to develop multimedia application or multimedia products which uses multiple media sources to present multimedia information in various fields including, but not limited to, art, education, entertainment, engineering, medicine, mathematics, business, and scientific research. This unit provides the skill that contributes to digital fundamentals, whereby the individual is equipped with ability to use multimedia based computer tools to perform task in hand.

      Objectives

      Upon completion of this unit, you are expected to be able to;

      • Identify multimedia elements and applications
      • Create a simple multimedia application
      • Insert multimedia file in presentation
      • Recording and editing video files
    • Now that you have reached the end of this module , please provide us with some feedback on your course experience.