Digital Literacy and Subject Matter Learning: A Learning Design Model

Karin Levinsen, Birgitte Holm Sørensen

    Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    It is generally agreed that learners need to acquire digital literacy in order to be able to act as citizens, employees and entrepreneurs in an increasingly digitalized environment. It is also generally agreed that the educational system has to be responsible for educating towards digital literacy. However, there is no shared conception of the scope and meaning of digital literacy. The overall picture shows two main approaches: The first aims at digital literacy in the sense of Buildung (general education) while the second addresses a wide range of specific skills and competences: From basic computer skills over multimodal analysis to social conventions for behavior in online environments. Consequently designs for teaching and learning that aim at learners acquiring digital literacy and the related learning objectives appear as weak defined. According to the Danish Ministry of Education Shared goals for ICT and media competences in the Danish primary school from 2009, digital literacy is understood as both building and specific skills and competences. However, the shared goals do not suggest learning designs aimed at acquiring digital literacy. In this paper we draw on cases stemming from two recent and major development and research projects performed in the Danish primary school, where students work with digital production of learning objects aimed at other students.
    In this paper we present a model for design for learning that seeks to combine digital literacy as both buildung and specific competences along with corresponding learning objectives and criteria for evaluating progression. These designs produce arenas that allow students to work with, challenge and develop their digital literacy. The suggested model is based on Allan Martin's model for digital literacy and findings from an ongoing research project in primary school, which concerns students digital production in different subjects and cross-disciplinary projects. The empirical data are produced through a mixed methods approach, where action research, as one of the mixed methods, is combined with a series of interventions that support iterative improvements and changes of learning designs and practice throughout the project. This approach has allowed us to implement and test elements of the model in everyday school practice and the findings so far are that digital production facilitates student learning processes and qualifies student learning results regarding both subject matters and digital literacy when executed within a teacher designed framework that provides space for- and empowers students agency. Conclusively, we point at areas of interest for future development and research in the field.
    Original languageDanish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of 14th European Conference on e-Learning ECEL-2015
    Editors Amanda Jefferies, Marija Cubric
    Number of pages9
    Place of PublicationReading, UK
    PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
    Publication date2015
    ISBN (Print) 978-1-910810-70-5
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-910810-71-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventECEL 2015: The 14th European Conference on E-Learning - University of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, Storbritannien, Hatfield, United Kingdom
    Duration: 29 Oct 201530 Oct 2015


    ConferenceECEL 2015
    LocationUniversity of Hertfordshire, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB, Storbritannien
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address
    Series Proceedings of the European Conference on e-Learning

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