'You've been frameworked': evaluating an approach to digital and information literacy at the Open University

  • Katharine Reedy Open University
  • Robin Goodfellow Open University
Keywords: learning development, digital literacy, information literacy, curriculum development, distance learning, skills development, elearning


This article explores the effectiveness of the Open University's (OU's) Digital and information literacy (DIL) framework (Reedy and Goodfellow, 2012) in promoting the integration of digital skills into modules and qualifications - a key strategic priority for the university - and in contributing to cultural change in the digital practices of teachers and learners - a key aim for the UK HE sector as a whole. We trace the history of digital and information literacy in the OU curriculum and elsewhere, leading up to the development of the framework. Four sets of interviews tell the story of academic and library staff engagement with it. These case studies are supplemented by two further interviews giving the perspective of OU middle managers responsible respectively for learning design and digital and information literacy development. We evaluate the success of the framework, and suggest how it might be further developed in future. Conclusions point strongly towards the need to involve students in shaping their own skills development, as found in other recent research (for example, Jisc, 2011a; 2011b).

Author Biographies

Katharine Reedy, Open University

Digital and Information Literacy Specialist at Open University Library Services. Previous work includes development of the OUââ¬â¢s award-winning Being digital site and the OUââ¬â¢s Information literacy levels framework. Chartered librarian, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and active member of ALDinHE.

Robin Goodfellow, Open University

Senior Lecturer in Teaching with New Technologies at the Open University's Institute of Educational Technology. Was principal investigator for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded seminar series ââ¬ËLiteracy in the Digital Universityââ¬â¢ from 2009-2011. Published research has included work on computer-assisted language learning, literacies and learning technologies, learning cultures in online education, and most recently, digital scholarship.

How to Cite
Reedy, K. and Goodfellow, R. (2014) “’You’ve been frameworked’: evaluating an approach to digital and information literacy at the Open University”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. Plymouth, UK, 00. doi: 10.47408/jldhe.v0i0.291.