The SORRs project - The Open University

Developing Computing and
Information Literacy Skills
on an Award Basis
Marion Hall
Faculty of Health & Social Care
Integrate computing (ICT)
and information literacy (IL)
skills into HSC awards such that:
Skills are taught in the context of the course
There is minimal repetition between courses
Students progress from L1 → L2 → L3
Students can demonstrate acquisition of specific
skills by the end of the award
HSC awards need to deliver
ICT/IL skills:
• To support academic requirements of course
• To meet professional and QAA standards
• Because employers – and students – want them
• Award-based skills development in place in
‘professional’ programmes (Social Work/Nursing)
– external requirements for award
• General Social Care Council – ECDL
• NHS – Knowledge + Skills Framework
– more straightforward to implement
• relatively fixed progression through courses
• limited choice of courses
• Now developing strategy for award-based skills
teaching in HSC programme
• K101 (part of all HSC awards)
– remade 2008 - now teaches
basic ICT/IL skills
• Skills Working Group
– devised strategy for skills development
– identified ICT/IL skills sets for L2+L3 (see handout)
– working with CTs to implement L2 strategy
• HSC Resource Bank (HSCRB)
– online repository of shared resources
– generic skills activities
– see
• Build on skills developed at
previous level
• Use HSCRB skills activities
– updated centrally so less work for CTs
– where possible, they allow use of example from course
– accessible to all students at any time
• Provide skills diagnostic at each level to direct
student to ‘catch up’ activities if necessary
• Integrate skills learning in context of course
• Assess skills so that demonstrable – but take
‘light touch’ approach
Basis of skills list
• The OU’s undergraduate levels
framework (developed by COBE)
• Guidance from the Library’s
Information Literacy Unit
• Subject Benchmark statements
• The NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework
• Skills Councils websites and publications, including Skills
for Health and Skills for Care and Development
• Employer requirements
• Skills developed in HSC degrees provided at other
(See handout for details)
Skill groups
Skills can be divided into 3 groups:
• Core skills - important academic skills
and/or skills employers want, such as:
– literature/information search and evaluation
– word processing
– spreadsheets
• Basic skills – needed to acquire core skills, such as:
– using and managing toolbars and menus
– understanding how the internet works
• Optional tools - benefit student but not essential, such as:
– bibliographic software like Refworks
– word-processing tools like spelling check, highlighting
– Windows tools like search, shortcuts
• Core skills - need to be demonstrable,
so must be assessed
• Basic skills - no need to assess since
can’t acquire core skills without them
• Optional tools – no need to assess because can still
achieve necessary outcome without them:
– can do reference list without Refworks
– essay can have good spelling without Word spelling check
• Assessment based on outcome not process
– if TMA in Word, assume have word-processing skills
– no need to test in detail how actually use software
• Assessment based on final link in chain
– if have to learn skill A before they can learn skill B,
only need to assess skill B
L2 strategy
• Three core L2 courses being
remade as two: K217 + K218
• Deliver L2 skills set in both
• All students take K217 or K218, few will take both
• Assume skills taught in K101
• Approx 21 hrs study time for L2 skills activities
from HSC Resource Bank
• Allow time in first week to catch up/revise
equivalent K101 skills, also via HSCRB activities
Level 2 LOs
• Plan/carry out/refine web search
for information/publications
• Evaluate information on web
• Download PDFs, images, tables, etc from web
• Create PowerPoint presentations
• Create diagrams using drawing software
• Use spreadsheets for simple calculations and to
create graphs and charts
• Produce professionally formatted and styled
word-processed documents
K217 production
• Health, social care & wellbeing
• First presentation October 2010
• 60 points
• 5 Blocks
• One TMA per Block
• ECA (project) not exam
• Activities in online learning guide
K217 skills
• Each activity:
– sets context of task in relation to course
content (e.g. find information about particular policy)
– directs student to HSCRB activity to get relevant
skills if necessary (e.g. how to search internet)
– then brings them back to course context to complete
task (e.g. discuss policy implications)
– output of activity may feed into assignment
(e.g. incorporate information they find into TMA)
• Can bypass HSCRB activity if already have
necessary skills
• About 30-60 min per week ICT/IL skills
• Core skills are necessary to complete ECA
If you are interested in finding
out more, please contact:
Marion Hall
Chair, Skills Working Group
Faculty of Health & Social Care
ext 55136