A short introduction to the new Digital Literacies course

A short introduction to the new Digital Literacies course

At Imperial College, a Digital Literacies course has been introduced into the medical curriculum (MBBS), as part of the Foundations of Clinical Practice Theme (Year 1) which extends longitudinally throughout the undergraduate course. 

The aim is to provide core skills for learning and professional life.

The course covers all seven of the digital literacy areas identified by JISC:
  • ICT literacy
  • Learning skills
  • Communication & collaboration
  • Career & identity management
  • Media Literacy
  • Information literacy
  • Digital scholarship

In practice this means taking students from basic use of Imperial systems (Blackboard, Panopto, email) through the use of generic applications (Office, web browsers, social media, collaboration software) in medical contexts, to specific medical applications and databases. Issues such as copyright, data protection, privacy, and health and safety issues with ICT are also covered. In the final year students will consider emerging technologies such as wearable devices and their potential impact on the patient-doctor relationship.

The plan is to extend the Digital Literacies Programme longitudinally throughout the undergraduate course focusing on the following key digital literacies at undergraduate medical education level: 

  • Year 1: See above
  • Year 4: Using Digital tools to support and enhance research skills
  • Year 5: Use of health-related wearable technology and their potential impact on the patient-doctor relationship
  • Year 6: Introduction to digital technology used as a foundation doctor

The Digital Literacies Programme has been featured in JISC Digital Student Project as an exemplar.

Digital Literacies Course Guide (Year 1 MBBS) [pdf]