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Digital Literacy for Instructional Practices Seminar

Join us for a series of workshops and discussion groups for faculty, staff, and graduate students to discover ways to better integrate teaching digital skills into the intellectual work of your course. Held in partnership with the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship and the Columbia Libraries Digital Humanities Center, this seminar will help instructors:

  • Connect technical skills to intellectual practices;
  • Create activities to scaffold students’ development of mastery;
  • Develop rubrics to assess students’ progress and what different stages of mastery look like;
  • Create a community of practice.
Deadline: January 20, 2017
Learn more

“I registered for the Digital Literacy Seminar because I wanted to learn some strategies for incorporating digital literacy competencies into my teaching as a librarian. The Seminar provided me with such strategies and much more!”

Meredith J. Levin

Research Collection and Services Librarian, Interim Head Burke Library, CU Libraries

Read more about Meredith's experience

It was really valuable getting to know graduate instructors and professors who are committed to integrating digital literacy into all facets of the Columbia curriculum. Understanding how they develop their courses and assignments will greatly assist me as I begin to plan library instruction sessions for classes ranging from first year University Writing sections to incoming PhD students in a hands-on practicum.  

“Technology is a buzz word in most professions and can easily be misused as an empty signifier of novelty; in the digital literacy seminar, however, I learned about the implications of technology in the classroom and how it can be integral to both traditional and emerging learning goals.”

Erica Richardson

Graduate Student, English and Comparative Literature, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Read more about Erica's experience

Before I started the seminar, I had used blogging in my classroom before to get my students to write reading responses that anticipated an audience other than myself, but gave less thought to the digital literacy skills entailed. Over the course of the seminar there were a number of exercises and readings that helped me recognize the skills involved. One of the most useful was the scaffolding. Instead of just expecting my students to just post blogs and comment, I instead learned to scaffold the blog post as series of exercises and conversations about digital citizenship. I had mini lessons on the incorporation of media, tagging, and commenting that correlate to the overarching goals in my American Studies themed University Writing course. Students learned to synthesize arguments and connect them to images and video; they learned to organize and search through data creating and using tags; and they learned how commenting could be peer review and public discourse. In our current political moment how we communicate online has social, ideological ramifications and potential. In this digital literacy course I developed a pedagogy that allowed my students to engage these realities and develop skills they will need both in and outside the classroom.

“The Digital Literacy Seminar totally transformed both how I was doing a digital project during the semester of the seminar, and how I envision moving forward with projects in the future.”

Laurie Postlewate

Senior Lecturer in French, Barnard

Read more about Laurie's experience

During the seminar, I was able to identify ways that I could quickly strengthen the structure and content of the ongoing project (Power Players in the Golden Age of Versailles); these included scaffolding assignments so that objectives and procedures were more clearly comprehensible for the students, and structuring assessment. I can say with certainty that my class project was immediately improved and I now have a wealth of ideas for further modification in its next iteration. I was also able to draw from discussions with the CTL and from fellow attendees, a wealth of ideas for future projects in a number of my other courses. It truly was one of the most enriching and stimulating pedagogical experiences I have ever had: practical and intellectually engaging!

When and Where

This program enrolls a new cohort at the beginning of each semester. Deadline for applying to participate in the Spring 2017 cohort will be January 20, 2017. Please note that the Spring 2017 Seminar will be offered in collaboration with the Columbia Libraries Digital Humanities Center and priority will be given to those supporting Digital Humanities instructional efforts.

Spring 2017 seminar meeting dates are scheduled from 1-3 pm on the following five Fridays in 213 Butler Library: January 27; February 10; March 3; March 31; and April 21.


This program is open to anyone at Columbia who teaches digital skills as a central or secondary focus. Faculty, staff, and graduate students who lead or assist with courses, bootcamps, and technical training are all encouraged to apply.

Program Description

This seminar offers anyone at Columbia (faculty, staff, or graduate student) who teaches digital skills at any level the opportunity to ground their work in a structured approach for representing skill development.  During the seminar’s workshops, participants delve into the basics of digital literacy, data management, and open practices in research and scholarship. Through the seminar’s reflective communities of practice, they gain a broader understanding of digital literacy as an intrinsic element of higher education. Upon completion of the seminar, participants will be able to connect their implementation of digital literacy instruction to a standardized structure for representing skills and competencies.


Any questions? Email Lucy Appert (

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements?


Is this a credit-bearing university seminar?

No. The Instructional Practices for Digital Literacy seminar is a program offered through the CTL designed to further develop your teaching and learning.

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