Even though much focus are placed on training staff and making sure they know what technology is available, there is the parallel need to make sure that students are trained. Therefore students are supported to enable them to focus on learning and not get stuck on the IT, which forms an integral part of their curriculum. They are expected to use a computer sufficiently to be able to produce their essays and use (Vula) to the degree necessary to submit assignments, communicate with one another, their lecturers, access online exams, online notes and information.
Digital Literacies for undergraduate students
At the beginning of the year students complete a compulsory Online Competency Test (OCT) to establish their Information Literacy and Digital Literacy competencies. The programme focuses on students’ “ability to perform tasks effectively in a digital environment... Literacy includes the ability to read and interpret media, to reproduce data and images through digital manipulation, and to evaluate and apply new knowledge gained from digital environments.” Based on the results from the test students are allocated to different tutorials in the DL programme to suit their needs. In addition, those with little or no digital literacy skills, participate in a 15 –hour intensive course during Orientation Week.
Scores for the DL Diagnostic Assessment (Semester 1, n=442)
During Semester 2 the focus was on the training of PowerPoint in preparation for the students’ Becoming a Health Professional (BHP) presentation assignment as well as Quantitative Literacy (QL) training provided by UCT’s Numeracy Centre. Feedback from the course evaluation indicated that covering aspects such as Information Literacy, Digital Professionalism and Open Educational Resources were received favourably and should be interpreted as an indication of their perceived relevance to future health science professionals.
Postgraduate Student Digital Literacy and IT Training
Training for students was provided for various postgraduate programmes, mostly at diploma and master’s level. Training involved how to use Vula, introducing students to basic computer literacies and UCT systems. Certain programmes required more extensive training of students and the example of the Saturday training sessions organised for the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing students can be highlighted as one who went the extra mile to address the needs of students