(Re)developing an online pre-entry course to support student transition into Higher Education





digital skills, transition, student induction, online learning, open educational resources


Students entering higher education must possess the skills to navigate the digital landscape. In 2019 the Bloomsbury Learning Exchange (BLE) created an online ‘Digital Skills Awareness’ Course (DSAC), designed to improve incoming students’ awareness of the digital skills required for them to succeed in their studies. The DSAC was disseminated – via mailing lists, conferences, and word of mouth – to colleagues working at universities across the United Kingdom (UK). Interested individuals could download and integrate the DSAC into their own institutional virtual learning environment (VLE). To date, 58 colleagues have signed up to download a copy of the course for their students. However, it is unknown how many versions of the course have been successfully implemented. Students’ perceptions of the DSAC implemented at one institution (University of Glasgow) have been positive. However, we do not have any understanding of staff members’ experiences of adapting and integrating the course for their students. This ‘On The Horizon’ article reflects on the development of the DSAC, the outcomes to date, and describes next steps to evaluate staff experiences of adopting the course in their context.

Author Biographies

Kirsty McIntyre, University of Glasgow

Kirsty McIntyre is a lecturer in the School of Medicine at the University of Glasgow. Her scientific background is in placental physiology and women’s health. Currently, Kirsty’s scholarly work focuses on student transition into higher education and patient involvement in medical research and practice. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3224-7043 Twitter: @_kirstymcintyre

Nancy Weitz, Bloomsbury Learning Exchange

Nancy Weitz is a digital education specialist, working (through her company Architela) with the Bloomsbury Learning Exchange to lead online course creation and other digital learning projects. In her thirty-year career in education, she has also worked as a lecturer in English, lecturer in Technology, e-learning facilitator and digital designer. ble.ac.ukarchitela.com ; Twitter: @architela

Sarah Sherman, Bloomsbury Learning Exchange

Sarah Sherman is the Director of the Bloomsbury Learning Exchange, which promotes digital learning strategies and practices for its institutional partners. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), a Fellow of the Centre for Online and Distance Education and a former Trustee of the Association for Learning Technology. ble.ac.uk ; Twitter: @BLE1


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