Topic 1: Encouraging students to gain confidence and empowering learning experiences

Analysis of Scenario 1

My first approach to analysing a scenario is to identify keywords which stand out in the description. Apparently, the learner described in scenario 1 is feeling excitement, yet anticipates challenges due to little experience in an online learning environment. In addition, the wide range of online tools and the learner’s perceived ignorance related to digital literacies cause a feeling of self-consciousness. These are most likely common feelings and concerns shared by many learners, regardless of age! Personally, I very much relate to the learner’s feelings as described in scenario 1. However, instead of experiencing inhibiting sensations of fear, stress and worry, I am rather curious about the contents and how the open networked learning course will unfold, particularly also due to the fact that this mode of learning invites an international pool of educators from different fields. I am very intrigued by the fact that ONL222 provides a cross-disciplinary forum for educators to develop their digital literacies and to exchange interesting ideas and practical solutions related to online learning.


Gaining awareness of own digital literacy skills – Visitor-Resident Continuum (White, 2014)

The webinar on Digital Literacies offered by David White and Jörg Pareigis (2022)[1] provided a useful opportunity for learners to become aware of their own digital literacy skills. Before this course, I would have described myself merely as a user, or according to White’s (2014)[2] terminology, as a visitor as far as most online tools are concerned. However, I became aware of the fact that I can consider myself a resident in the use of many online tools which I already apply in my work. This blindness or unawareness of my own digital skills, and the fact that we should refer to digital literacies in plural, provided eye-opening experiences. In contrast to commonly shared associations, such as related to the rather problematic or oversimplified term ‘digital native’ (Jones and Czerniewicz, 2010), it is interesting to note that digital literacies include a much wider range of elements and skills, such as related to communication and collaboration, career & identity management, digital scholarship, information literacy, ICT literacy, media literacy, and further development of such skills[3].

As David White (2014, 2022) rightly suggests, learners might be intimidated by the institutional context. Students aim to gain a degree, however, getting there can be intimidating from the start. The student described in scenario 1 is most likely unaware of their own digital literacy skills. The described fear of the learner is seemingly caused by a perceived weakness or feeling of incompetence regarding digital skills, and possibly based on wrong assumptions regarding the institutional context and own skills. A practical solution to raise a learner’s awareness of own strengths could be provided by offering meaningful exercises to foster online socialization at the beginning of a course, and by establishing a community of inquiry throughout the course. Exercises, such as a classic SWOT analysis, or using David White’s (2014) visitor-resident continuum, will help to raise a learner’s awareness of their own digital literacy skills. Online learning can offer very motivating and empowering experiences if learners realize that they are capable of more than they were aware of, that they are invited to learn, and most likely already possess a valuable set of digital literacy skills, including skills related to communication and emotional intelligence. As a result, learners gain confidence even at the start of an online course, which provides a promising basis for further success in their learning.
On this positive note, I aim to further develop my pedagogical skills online, and am particularly interested in exchanging hands-on exercises and practical advice with my colleagues, to provide the best possible learning experiences and guidance for learners.



Jones, C. and L. Czerniewicz (2010). “Describing or debunking? The net generation and digital natives”, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Vol. 26/5, pp. 317-320,

Pareigis, J., White, D. (October 5, 2022). Digital literacies. [Webinar]. Open Networked Learning.

White, D. (March 10, 2014). Visitors and Residents. [Video]. YouTube.

Jisn infoNet (2014). Developing digital literacies. Retrieved October 15, 2022 from


[1] Pareigis, J., White, D. (October 5, 2022) Digital literacies. [Webinar]. Open Networked Learning. The webinar was held on October 5th in the Open Networked Learning course (ONL222), as part of the first topic with focus on online participation and digital literacies.

[2] White, D. (March 10, 2014) Visitors and Residents. [Video]. YouTube.

[3] Jisc infoNet (2014). Developing digital literacies. Retrieved October 15, 2022 from






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