Digital Literacy:

The following list includes examples of projects that professors might want to incorporate into their classes to help students develop and demonstrate digital literacy skills. These suggestions assume that students have used digital technologies to investigate and evaluate the resources before creating their final projects. Some of the projects require ongoing investigation and evaluation to be successful.

Create a Website

By using Weeblie or some other digital technology, a student could:

  • create a website based on some aspect of the research done for the course. Instead of requiring a formal research paper — or in additional to a formal paper — students can create websites based on their research.
  • create an analysis of a book read for the course. Requiring students to read and analyze a book is a valuable assignment. The student could be asked to organize their analysis as a website (or in video format).
  • create an on-line portfolio. During the 2013 Fall semester, I intend to ask my composition students to create a website on which they will publish their final portfolio. A website might also take the place of a series of short papers because the content on each page could be equivalent to an individual paper.
  • create a tutorial that teaches a class concept. Although they are not student created, examples of on-line tutorials are included in Resources for Researchers.

Create a Video

By using Windows movie maker or some other digital technology, a student could:

  • create a public service announcement such as Eric DeWulf's PSA targeted toward the citizens of fourteenth century Germany who were dealing with the plague. Details concerning this assignment can be found on the "Techne vs. Literacy" page.
  • create an analysis of a book read for the course. Instead of asking students to write book reviews, they could be assigned a video analysis.
  • create a video relevant for a campus event such as the Multicultural Fair, Earth Day, School Daze, Pageturners, or the International Institute. Incorporating campus events and activities into the classroom is an ideal way to encourage student engagement which benefits the student, the classroom, and the college.
  • create a tutorial that teaches a course concept.

Create a Meme/Digital Image

By using a photo editing technology, a student could:

  • create a meme about a topic relevant to the course. Samantha Floeter's meme analysis is described on the "Techne vs. Literacy" page.
  • create a digital image concerning a topic learned in class. Matthew Hyde's image is described on the "Create" page.


By using Wordpress or some other technology, a student could:

  • create a blog that analyzes or provides information about a specific research project. In my film course, I have had students write a series of film analyses. For the Winter 2014 semester, I am considering asking each student to publish his/her analyses as a blog.
  • create a blog where they publish a series of short papers for the course. Blog entries need not be lengthy. For example a paragraph reacting to course lectures, readings, or projects, could be appropriate if investigation and research were required by students before creating their blog entries.


A student could create an article for Wikipedia or revise a series of articles found in Wikipedia. Wikipedia has developed some guidelines to help professors develop larger projects:


A student could create a Facebook page that educates individuals on a specific topic. There are some pages that I have liked that provide periodic postings that require investigation and evaluation before they are created.


I am aware that Twitter can be used for research and that appropriate digital literacy projects can be completed via Twitter. However, I do not tweet. I am listing twitter here as a reminder that there are more types of digital technologies and potential digital literacy projects than we might be aware. Sharing among colleagues and giving students choices to incorporate technologies with which we might not be familiar is good pedagogy.

Return to Digital Literacy Index

How Do I Assess the Technology?

My focus for the evaluation is advance the courses core competencies, the quality of the research, the critical thinking skills, and so forth. The success in the technical aspects, or techne, is a secondary consideration that is influenced by the level of difficult of the technology utilized by the student, whether the student was using the technology for the first time or had previous experience with it, and the amount of time given to students to complete the project. For example, when students complete videos in my courses, I realize that I am not teaching video production.

What if I Don't Know the Technology?

I have found that there are always some students in a class that have technology skills I would like to incorporate into the course. When I form teams, I make sure that there is at least one experienced person on each team. For example, although I have no experience making videos, the last time I incorporated video production into a class, I discovered that more than 80% of my students had already produced a video.

I also like co-teaching with students and having students take significant responsibilities for course content. The last time I taught a class that required students to create a website, one of the students in the class conducted a seminar for the class on how to use Weeblie, a technology I had not used but which is better than the technology I would have taught.

References and Resources