Developing ehealth
capabilities for practice
in a rapidly changing
healthcare environment

Mapping Curricula

Major outcomes from this project were the development of a digital literacy mapping tool and demonstration of the process of applying it, with a university health science curricula used as an example. The purpose of this activity was to identify existing digital literacies and opportunities to further develop metacognitive awareness of developing digital literacies.

WHAT WE DID

We used our developed contextualised digital literacy framework as the basis for our mapping tool. Using an iterative process, the six themes were reviewed and applied to the 14 core units of La Trobe University’s Bachelor of Health Science/ Master of Occupational Therapy Practice. As a course co-ordinator, subject co-ordinator and academic involved in the accreditation processes of the Occupational Therapy Council and World Federation of Occupational Therapists Minimum Educational Standards, Dr Carol McKinstry had a detailed knowledge of the OT curriculum. Dr McKinstry and Professor Teresa Iacono worked together to apply our developed framework across core OT subjects, including first year subjects, that form a foundation first year for the majority of La Trobe health science courses.

The mapping exercise involved reviewing subject learning guides. Where the digital literacy content was not evident from the learning guides, we contacted the subject co-ordinator for further information and confirmation of content. Our mapping involved consideration of assessments and the weekly learning tasks.

In each subject, digital literacies were identified and tabulated with explanatory notes. Progressive levels were identified using the following operational definitions:

A
Basic/ introductory – includes content, activities or use of technologies or platforms that develop basic skill in the target digital literacy.

B
Intermediate – requires more developed skills in that there is demonstration of digital literacy, which is required to complete an activity, or the competency in the digital literacy is made explicit, but full mastery is not expected or required.

C
Advanced – elements of the digital literacy are evident in activities or platforms that students use, and the digital literacy is made explicit.

All information was transferred to a grid to provide visual representation of digital literacies across the course. This information was reviewed by other team members, areas of inconsistency were identified and refinement occurred. This grid formed the basis of our mapping tool, which was revised and reapplied to the OT curriculum. To test the validity of the tool, an academic familiar with the OT curriculum, but not involved in the project, reviewed the mapping results. He provided comments indicating his agreement that the activity identified did reflect the specific digital literacy described and the level assigned to it. Findings from the mapping exercise were also presented to the occupational therapy academic team who are revising the curriculum. The findings stimulated discussion around the need to embed digital literacies throughout the curriculum, conscious of what occurs before and what is to come in subjects in later years. What digital literacies are required of students during practice education in authentic workplaces were discussed however little is known of whether students feel they have the necessary capabilities or need to acquire these on the job.

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