Learning from 23 things

The 23 Things programme is as much about reflecting on how digital technologies might impact upon your own research practice, and how they might change your research field, as the basics of how to use the various tools. To help you frame your response to the tools we introduce each week, we have developed a reflective framework to offer you a structured way to think through your approach to each Thing, and to organise your blog post, if you want to use the framework as headings to write to.

The reflective framework is based on the New Curriculum for Information Literacy or “ANCIL” (Coonan and Secker, 2011). The four elements include:

  • Key skill. This is essentially learning to use the digital tool. We will post instructions each week for each of the Things. You might blog about some of the technical issues you’ve encountered or solutions and neat tricks you’ve discovered, and share those with other participants. You may already have tried out, or be using a particular tool. In this case, you might be able to advise other participants.
  • Discipline-specific issues. We will set a small task each week for you to achieve using the tool in the context of your work as a scholar, student or staff member. This heading encourages you to think about how the tool might  support the kinds of work you are engaging in (research, teaching, administration, public engagement, job hunting etc), and also how such digital tools might impact on the wider practice of the field you work in. This section therefore consists of two elements – the general ways in which digital technology impacts on academic work, and more specifically, whether this changes the nature of your work.
  • Evaluation. You are invited to evaluate the tool for use in your own practice and to consider particular issues which it might raise, and which you may have to negotiate. These might include things like confidentiality, copyright, sustainability, accessibility, data ownership or ethics.
  • Reflection and integration into practice. You will need to think about creating a strategy for engaging with the tool or tools like this in your future working practice. This might include the changes in your habits or routines to integrate it into your workflow, or change the way you work in the new way enabled by the tool. Alternatively, if you decide not to use the tool, you might need to consider other ways of enhancing that aspect of your work. Even if you decide to opt out, others will be adopting these tools, and you’ll need strategies to deal with the fact that this will impact indirectly on your work and the wider culture and practice of scholarship in your field.

Each week we will post suggestions based on these four aspects, tailored to the tools and issues we’re looking at, to help you explore the Things and write your blog post. You don’t need to answer all the questions – they are largely prompts to help you think about some of the major issues.

(Adapted from a post on Reflective Framwork from the DH23Things blog by Helen Webster)