MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Digital Media and Information Literacy
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
Digital, Media and Information Literacy (DMIL) combines the study of theories of information use, behaviour and practice, with more practical investigations of students’ own context and the information needs and criteria for evaluation that arise from that specific context. The syllabus includes;
- the notion of cognitive authority (Wilson 1983) – how do we make judgements about the credibility and worth of information, based on the views of others?; how can this authority be embedded in information systems and, then, potentially challenged by the digitally literate (Whitworth 2014)?;
- the various frames and faces of information literacy (Bruce 1997, Bruce et al 2006), seen as skills and competencies by some, but also defined more deeply, as an understanding of personal context, the social impact of information and the experience of variation;
- the idea of information landscapes (Lloyd 2010) and their association with communities of various kinds, including geographical, interest-based, practice and so on: and how these landscapes influence the context of information, how literacy is acquired through immersion in a context and its associated ‘digital habitat’ (Wenger, White and Smith 2009);
- how digital, information and media literacy have been taught, and how they can be taught.
The course unit comes in all MA: DTCE students’ first semester of study and as well as introducing them to these important frameworks and concepts, the DMIL course unit also attends directly to their own academic literacies, including information behaviour, information practice, use of ICT and action research.
The unit aims to:
help students develop effective personal information practices required at Masters’ level study, particularly online information searching, academic writing and the evaluation of information available in the ‘public sphere’, particularly the broadcast media and social media such as blogs, wikis, Twitter, etc.
Also, to help students develop relevant and effective teaching practice in the area of digital, media and information literacy.
Teaching and learning methods
On-campus students: 22 hours seminar and workshop time, including 2 hours in a synchronous online session held with distance learners, exploring differences in context and how these affect information practices.
25 hours pre-reading for ‘flipped classroom’ sessions
30 hours portfolio preparation (including podcast)
75 hours private study
Distance learners: 4 hours synchronous online sessions (2 x 2 hours)
20 hours pre-reading for ‘flipped classroom’ sessions/discussion
20 hours self-guided activities (‘personal workshops’) and online discussion boards
30 hours portfolio preparation (including podcast)
75 hours private study.
The materials intended for distance learners lead them through each week’s teaching in a ‘personal workshop’ format, undertaking self-reflective and self-guided activities that are directly equivalent to those that on-campus learners complete in class.
Knowledge and understanding
Use frameworks for understanding information behaviour, applying these to an analysis of their own and others’ information practice
Mapping of information landscapes, and use of concept mapping more generally
Critical analysis of the literature
Ability to apply phenomenographic principles (the analysis of variation) to an analysis of diverse phenomena
Begin development of an e-portfolio
Information searching using online databases
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Evaluation of academic information, media messages, everyday discourse
How and when feedback is provided
Weighting within unit (if relevant)
Creation of a portfolio of teaching and learning activities relevant to a specific informational field or practice, including a commentary that describes and evaluates the activities with reference to theories of information literacy
2,000 words for the commentary plus other materials appropriate to the chosen activities (e.g. lesson plans, PPT slides)
2-3 weeks after submission
Feedback is provided 14 working days after submission
Whitworth, A. (2014): Radical Information Literacy: reclaiming the political heart of IL, Chandos: Oxford.
Whitworth, A. (2009): Information Obesity, Chandos: Oxford.
Bruce, C. S. (2008): Informed Learning, ACRL, Chicago.
Lloyd, A. (2010): Information Landscapes, Chandos, Oxford.
For Information and advice on Link2Lists reading list software, see:
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Andrew Whitworth||Unit coordinator|
This is an optional course unit for MEd Communication, Education and Technology students.
NB: It is advised to contact the tutor if you wish to take this unit as an option as availability may be limited.