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Digital learning opportunities

Studying at university is a real opportunity to develop your digital skill set. This article looks at various ways this can happen.
An open laptop and open notebook with a pen, together with a coffee cup on a coaster and a small spray of flowers in a small clear vase in the background
© University of York

Studying at university is a real opportunity to develop your digital skill set which will set you up for the future.

You will engage with a range of online tools and learn how to use them effectively. Chances are that you have already encountered a fair amount of digital – or blended learning opportunities already, at home, work or school/college.

Blended learning refers to learning through a combination of your face-to-face lectures, practicals or seminars with learning on your own or with small groups of other students, supported by various technologies.

If you have ever researched an assignment on the Internet, played a historical simulation game or connected with a friend using video conference software, such as Zoom, maybe to collaborate on a project, then you have engaged in blended learning.

The blended learning experience at the University of York takes the strengths of classroom interactions with your lecturers and fellow learners and combines them with the power of computer-based resources. With access to a wide range of technologies that are available for you to support your work outside the classroom, you have a fantastic learning environment that is available anytime, anywhere.

Tools for blended learning – putting you in control of your success!

Blended learning enables you to take control of your learning experience, and the more you engage with them, the easier it becomes. Here are a few of the exciting tools and online resources you will encounter to put you in the driver’s seat for your learning journey:

  • Virtual Learning Environment or ‘VLE’: most universities will have some sort of virtual learning environment. At the University of York, this is called Yorkshare. It is a virtual space that allows students to access weekly input, documents, videos, online discussions and assessment information. You may also be able to access Reading Lists linked to the Online Library resources from your own computer or mobile device.
  • Recorded Lectures: lecturers will likely make available recorded videos of your lectures for you to watch back at your own speed and in your own time. At the University of York, this feature is called Replay. Find out more about using Replay here.
  • Online Library Resources: Most universities will have a search facility where you can look for library holdings and beyond, including articles, books, journals, audio-visual materials, government publications and many other resources. At the University of York, this feature is called YorSearch.

At the University of York we also have extensive resource known as Skills Guides which give guidance on anything relating to digital, information searching and academic skills. Take a look at this resource the University of York’s Skills Guides webpages.

Over to you

Sometimes the thought of developing our digital skills can be a little daunting. However, chances are you already have and use a lot of these skills already!

Take a few moments to consider all the times you have used a search engine to look for specific information, or used your phone or the internet to participate in a video call. Think about the apps on your phone; for example, maybe you have a calendar/diary you use regularly? Maybe you have an app that helps you make lists, play a game, or even check the weather or latest news. You engage with these technologies on a daily basis – tell us what online tools and phone Apps you use now that might be useful to you at university and why.

What other digital skills would you anticipate developing at university that would help you in a successful career later on?

© University of York
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